Monday, November 15, 2010

Lubrication - The End Is Insight [wsr004]

Wet Saint Recordings 004
Wet Saint is a net.label dedicated to text-damaged improvisational music.

mIEKAL aND entered into my awareness in the mid-80s, through the medium of Mail Art. His and Elizabeth Was' work was dispersed through the US Mail in exchanges with other Mail Artists, and was shown in Mail Art shows around the world. I recall the early format was in the form of custom made ink stamps, with drawn additions. As time went on, Audio Cassette exchanges were added to the Mail Art genre, in which MIEKAL and Elizabeth also partook. There was a number of name imprints he was involved in creating: Xerox Sutra Edition, Xexoxical Endarchy, and now Xexoxial Editions (due to the Xerox company disliking the use of its name).

Out of a recent group of releases on the Wet Saint net.label, Lubrication: The End Is Insight is the fourth. All of the Wet Saint releases are available for free download from the Internet Archive's Audio section.

There are 24 sound pieces that make up this diverse release. As I listened to the various tracks, I found myself being attracted to the sounds that made up the pieces, as opposed to melodies, or lyrics (of which there are none, really). If I were to want to put a general label to the genre that the release fits into, I would say it would be closest to sound poetry. There is more than a bit of humor in the pieces, some of which might be better referred to as "transitional pieces," (i.e. sounds linking a longer piece to a longer piece) as some are as short as 4 seconds. A cinematic quality abounds, in the way that the pieces suggest an environment, in both the sound textures as well as their regular repetitiveness. My favorite track is Ghost factory, constructed from pleasantly repetitive mechanical sounds with just a bit of reverberation...similar to a slightly blurred photograph. If I had anything I wish I could change, it would be to lengthen some of the pieces a bit more; although when it comes to improvisation in general, brevity is sometimes unanimously welcome. Throughout, I sense hints of Musique Concrete, as well as the ghost of Jackson Mac Low wandering around in the background.

Biographical Information: mIEKAL aND is a longtime DIY cultural anarchist & the creator of an infoplex worth of visual-verbal lit, audio-art, performance ritual & hypermedia, all distributed by Xexoxial Editions. His hypermedia works reside at JOGLARS Crossmedia Broadcast ( Recent work has focused on activating online collaborative workspaces where writers & media artists can create collective digital works in a real time environment. "Bystander: An Irreality" is a 'pataphysical post-apocalyptic novella just out from BlazeVOX. Recent books with Maria Damon include "eros/ion" (ntamo 2007), "pleasureTEXTpossession" (Zasterle 2004) & "Literature Nation" (Potes & Poets 2003). With Camille Bacos, he has produced a number of visual-poetry digital films including "...entré pyrobiblios..." and "The Samsara Laundry" which have been shown at festivals at Harvard & Notre Dame.

Since 1991, he has made his home at Dreamtime Village (, a hypermedia / permaculture village project, located in the driftless bioregion of southwestern Wisconsin. And devotes much time to creating edible wilderness indoors & out, growing such things as figs, citrus, cherries, grapes & chestnuts (!). 1998 marked the creation of THE DRIFTLESS GROTTO OF WEST LIMA (, a permanent public grotto/park/installation which when finished will feature a bird-operated time machine in a 25 ft blue glass tower.

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