Blevin Blectum {Irradiance}

The Wire - September 2014
The ambiguity of what Bevin Kelley’s work evokes — whether its palette of sounds comes from the squish and churn of bodily and computerised interiors, or from the colder spaces of the stars — has long been disquietingly productive. This limited edition release on a contemporary classical [sic] label comprises installation pieces designed to mirror the invisible spaces and forces of cosmic space, but a lingering doubt remains. The mineral glisten of its quiet drones recalls Kevin Drumm's Imperial Distortion, but they lack the casual, backgrounding drift of the drone form in ambient. When a loud, choppy gust pours through “Warm Machines”, pulling a wheezing metallic pulse in its wake, it could equally be a dying starship or an evacuating bowel. - Dan Barrow

Textura - July 2014
Electronic music aficionados likely will be familiar with Blevin Blectum (real name Bevin Kelley) for the collaborative work she's done with Kristin Grace Erickson as Blectum from Blechdom and for her solo productions, too. Having released material since 1998 on labels such as Tigerbeat6, Orthlorng Musork, and Aagoo, Kelley, a veterinary nurse as well as violinist, multimedia composer, and sound designer, brings a substantial prehistory to this forty-six-minute set on Estuary Ltd.

Created at Studio Sinopterus in Providence, Rhode Island and issued in a letterpress-printed edition of 200, Irradiance layers synthesized, acoustic, and hand-held electro-acoustic material into five immersive and detail-intensive settings. Originally generated for a ten-channel installation-and-performance space, the project features analog and digital sounds that Kelley transformed, dissolved, and recombined into their ultimate multi-layered form. There's an hermetic and uncompromising quality to the project reminiscent of the kind of explorative sound research associated with the BBC Radiophonic Workshop and its early pioneers of electronic music and computer design such as Daphne Oram and Delia Derbyshire.

Though Kelley's released material on Tigerbeat6, Irradiance possesses little of the anarchistic playfulness sometimes heard on its recordings—which is not to suggest that the album isn't playful, too. Stated otherwise, Irradiance wears a serious mask, but underneath it one finds an explorative sensibility that's playful in its own way. “Enfolded Embers” presents a sound portrait seething with alien or insect interactions magnified so as to render every possible detail with clarity. “Warm Machines” would seem to be an ironic title, given the severe vortex of sound on offer, though the title could be interpreted as referring to overheating machines on the verge of collapse. The recording's longest piece is the penultimate “Incinerating Zeros,” whose micro-sound textures ripple through ghostly, heavily reverberant spaces with a clinically controlled deliberation for seventeen minutes. In the tightly wound sub-universe Kelley fashions, tension slowly mounts until it reaches an almost unbearable degree, and the abstract elements mired within it seem to want to break free from the state of suffocation entrapping them.

Irradiance's universe generally feels so self-contained, the mere presence of field-recorded crowd noises in the closing “Presages of Woe” arrives as some kind of relief—even if the human sounds do quickly transform into ghoulish shrieks. Even so, one will reap the greatest benefit from the recording if experienced as a headphones listen or on a high-end system capable of bringing forth the subtleties of its sound design.

Loop - July 2014
Bevin Kelley is an electronic music multimedia composer and sound designer, violinist and veterinary nurse. Under the moniker of Blevin Blectum she started his carreer in 1998 and alongwith Kristin Grace work as Blectum and Blechdom have released several records on labels such as Tigerbeat6, Orthlorng, Phthalo and Aagoo.

'Irradiance' was released in a limited run of 200 copies on Estuary and consist on five songs.

We walked into the complex musical world of Blectum in both digital and analog devices weave the various intricacies and sometimes dark passages that connect these five pieces. Processed voices, compressed sounds and thick layers of sound, scraps of percussion, objects of different materials are manipulated and drones propose a meandering and abstract collage. 5 / 5. -Guillermo Escudero

Bad Alchemy 82 - July 2014
Bevin Kelley promoviert gerade an der Brown University, kein Zufall also, dass ihre neueste Musik bei einem New-Music-Label in Providence, RI, herauskommt. In der für Estuary ltd. typischen, schönheitspreisverdächtigen Aufmachung werden unter dem Stichwort 'Strahlungsstärke' fünf Werke präsentiert, die für eine Installation entstanden sind, bei der sonnenmagnetische Kraftlinien und Dampf die Sinne berührten, während die Musik auf zehn Kanälen die Synapsen bestrahlte. Bloß in Stereo und bei Tageslicht fühle ich mich nicht so recht in den Fokus genommen von den Dröhnwellen und ihren metallisch perkussiven Begleiterscheinungen. Pumpende Bewegungsabläufe werden von furzelndem Dopplereffekt durchquert, es wallt und schwallt auf mehreren Ebenen, grollende Wooshes branden über einen hinweg. Aber so richtig warm werde ich mit den 'Warm Machines' nicht. Von zündenden Ideen ist allenfalls etwas zu ahnen, während man im Klangbad darauf wartet, von einer Null zu einer Eins wachgeküsst zu werden. Zumindest legen die Titel 'Entombed Zeros' und 'Incinerated Zeros' etwas Ähnliches nahe. Oder das Gegenteil. Flügelschläge, die einen in der dröhnenden Finsternis umflattern, reichen zur Belebung, zum Bewusstwerden nicht aus. Zumal die Wooshes rückwärts abrutschen, das Bewegungsmoment wolkig in die Breite quillt, statt irgendwohin Tritt zu fassen. Vielleicht ginge das auch über die Verhältnisse eingesargter Nullen hinaus. Zuletzt dennoch Jubel, Beifall, kindliches Kirren, allerdings unter der ominösen Überschrift 'Presages of Woe' (Vorahnungen von Kummer, Vorzeichen von Leid). Will heißen: Leben heißt Leiden? Nur... -Rigobert Dittman

Metamkine - April 2014
Irradiance est basée sur des matières initialement créées pour une installation immersive sur 10 canaux prenant le système solaire comme modèle. La version stéréo de ce disque conserve cette plongée dans un univers cosmique où les éléments semblent se dissoudre et se transformer au fur et à mesure de l'écoute. Limité à 200 copies.

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