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Brother of Divinity

by Tim Olive & Yan Jun

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    Glass-mastered CD in hand-stamped, recycled chipboard cover

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Raymond Cummings, The Wire:
…Brother of DIvinity trades heavily in sine waves scrambled gently or aggressively, with samples snuck into the general surface melee: a Where’s Waldo? approach, with Waldo replaced by a crying kitten or squashed snatch of pop or re-re-regurgitated Morse code guitar. In their questing, Olive and Yan Jun - the former on magnetic pickups, both on electronics - seem determined to draw down on or sharpen some ineffable sensation, like amateur radio enthusiasts straining to lock onto a pirate radio signal halfway around the world. Rubbery, stippling pulses, piercing squeaks and sheets of shivering statics are their (and our) rewards for sonic labours that are anything but plain, anything but anonymous.

Brian Olewnick, Just Outside:
Olive can always be depended on for an aggressive and imaginative improvisatory use of electronics and in Yan Jun, he's found an excellent collaborator. 'Brother of Divinity' is a single, 26-minute track of high intensity, bristling and sizzling electronic mayhem with a huge range from spiky highs to molten lows, managing to create a fine sense of elasticity between. A kind of kitchen sink approach except without any sense of crowding, more a funnelling of a vast stream of sound into a (semi) coherent flow, bumpy and sharp, acidic and likely painful to the touch, but very alive. Even when it quiets down some, the splintered, muted guitar and radio grabs carry substantial sting. Excellent work.

Michael Rosenstein, Dusted Magazine:
Here, one gets the sense of sonic calligraphy built from sparks, static, shadows of melodic fragments and burred and squiggled oscillations. Yan’s electronics meld effortlessly with Olive’s setup and Olive reminisces that “We recorded for two afternoons and got quite a bit of music… While going through the recordings, it occurred to me that two of the pieces might work well together. They were similar in length, so I basically laid them on top of each other, did some very minimal mixing and that was it. The textures are very clear, very open, so they work well together, and I love the inadvertent/unplanned consonances and dissonances and the matching and mismatching of textures.”  
Listening as the 28-minute piece unfolds, a certain playfulness emerges. One can hear the two probing at the activity of sound creation, something that is certainly central to Yan’s work. But rather than a conceptual exercise in aural cataloging, the two revel at the accrual and juxtaposition of resultant sounds. Radio grabs, quicksilver scratches and scrapes, sputters and pops, flutters and quavering tone sweeps, reworked plucked and fractured melodies, hums and hiss duck in and out with nimble fluency. The variety of timbres, densities and pitch spectrum is striking right up until the final moments of low thrumming pulse, electromagnetic fuzz and the distant chime of church bells. But it is the process of weaving these together into a coruscating aggregate that ultimately stands out. Even without knowing the final mixing process, the overlapped layers which accumulate and then fray apart with variegated intensity and concentration reveal a volatile unfolding structure. 


released January 30, 2019

Tim Olive: magnetic pickups, electronics
Yan Jun: electronics

Recorded in Kobe, Oct. 2017
Catalog Number: 845-10
Format: Glass-mastered CD, hand-stamped cover
Limited Edition of 100
Mixed by Tim Olive
Mastered by Makoto Oshiro
Illustration by Jason McLean

"i'd like to say something.
but i have no words at this moment.
words are something not belong to me.
ok, the year of boar is coming.
- yan jun, january 8, 2019


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