Jin Sangtae – Sacrifice 2 : Sounds stretched to a parallel sequence in me.

I first read about this great little disc on Matthew Revert’s blog, Trash Complex. The review had me compelled so I ordered the disc from Erstwhile immediately.

In the act of listening to everyday objects, slowly one is able to transform the relationship from a ‘glob-of-object’ into a complex system within itself, a series of patterns where symbols are separated and stretched so that the spaces in between the typographical operations can be expanded to allow us to experience an entity as a series of arithmetical operations.  That is, when ‘adjusted’ either technically or through our transformed ability to hear or both of these at the same time, our recognition of an object will alter such that its, not just a now-new object, but a reference point for experience, beyond our previous imposed (now) limitations.

This is something that Jin Sangtae has been able to achieve with Sacrifice 2. In this small disc of one track, Jin Sangtae takes one of the most offensive of sounds – the car horn – and stretches it, via cybernetic machines,  upon an isomorphic line so the result of which is our transformed awareness of what ‘the car horn’ means inside our own symbols and impulses.

Sacrifice 2 is a complex listening experience. What we immediately long for, when reading a review like this, is an alteration of the sound such that ‘The Car Horn’ is no longer identifiable within our existing framework. This is not the case here. Instead, Jin Sangtae stretches the sound, broadening it within its own strings of impulses, symbols and icons and inflicts it upon us, from the outside with the devastating result that it calls us within itself. We are not ‘here’ to be relieved, rather we are called deeper into the ‘always-already-annoying’ experience of this object turned instrument. The function of the car horn is not only preserved, but amplified.  We are left with a sound that is more like a car horn than a car horn.

This is an exciting concept, to expand sound within us, rather than outside of us, but to do it with a sound that in its very design insists we raise the alarm is a challenging listening feat. We are literally left with the string of symbols and icons stretched before us. The meaning we attach to this sound never leaves us – not for a second, and that is what makes this disc so clever. I still jump and respond, even to the stretched to distorted horn sounds, I still raise the internal alarm. Jin Sangtae is able to combine my own neural pathways with his strings of symbolic sound, to an isomorphic point,  even when he has stretched the sound to ‘not horn’ point.

Indeed, I am hard-wired when it comes to a sound symbolising alarm.

Toward the end of the track, sound is intensified to the sense of becoming operational. Horn is Magnified into alarm. Sound attacks, out from nowhere, all the time maintaining its position on the stretched isomorphic string. So again, the sound acts with all the ferocity of the alarm – a high-pitched piercing intensity that is uncomfortably loud – and yet it is also the ‘not-alarm’, the object transformed by the immersion into itself. The parallel sequence of the sound and all it contains running along side my altered and not-altered listening experience becomes operational in the sense of a sponsored procedure. It’s almost as if my response to the sound is not the sounds fault. We run side by side rather than clash.  We meet only in the timeline.  The symbols, icons and impulses meet only in the spaces in between.

All of this, of course, is no accident. We are in the hands of a very capable musician comfortable with our discomfort. I really enjoyed this disc, and have to confess to going back to it over and over. Freud would argue that I want to dominate this sound, defeat it, colonize it – absolve myself of my fear. I guess that is the case.

Grab your copy (its a limited edition) here.

These video’s are not off this disc, but WHO can resist the opportunity to listen to this magic anyway?