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by Philip Jeck

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Casio 02:19
Anatomy 08:39
PS One 07:52
PS Two 07:23


"On Loopholes, his impressive solo debut CD, Jeck also uses tape loops and a cheap Casio keyboard to create a lo-tech jungle without the breakbeat - a collision of sources rendered unrecognisable through speed changes, short loop lengths and distortion. The progressive degeneration of material through successive re-recordings is celebrated in Jeck's blissed out, textural aesthetic. For the Loopholes CD artwork, Touch label partner and graphic designer Jon Wozencroft creates a neat visual analogy to the music using photographs of VHS playbacks of images generated by camcordering TV pictures. The medium loops back on itself and enhances its own idiosyncratic qualities. "Its similar to the way I'm working with sound: just textures and landscapes. You're not quite sure what they are and it doesn't matter," says Jeck. "I'm not brilliant at keeping time with tunes or whatever," Jeck continues, outlining his idiosyncratic and primitive approach to sound construction. "With looped records or looped tapes the rhythmic structure looks after itself. I listen to the sound and change the tone controls actually on the record players. And I really only use two effects - an old cheap reverb which goes wrong occasionally and a guitar delay pedal. I just fiddle around with the controls until it sounds right."

Jeck trained in the visual arts at Dartington College and moved on to performance work in the 1970s. For a short while he was in demand as a DJ at warehouse parties imitating the innovative turntable techniques he'd heard coming from the States on records such as Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five's Adventures on the Wheels of Steel. But it was during a five to six year collaboration with contemporary dancer Laurie Booth, which took him all over Europe, when he developed his own particular style on stage in front of an audience, tailoring his aesthetic more to the manner of performers like Paul Burwell and Max Eastley...Besides his ongoing work for dance companies (including a forthcoming BBC Dance for Camera programme), Jeck also works with the song-based group Slant. Meanwhile, Jeck's biggest project, the 180 turntable audio-visual collaboration Vinyl Requiem, starts a European tour at this year's Hamburg Summer Festival. Jeck's listening habits are wide-ranging and eclectic, including Brian Wilson and The Beach Boys, Sinatra's Capitol recordings, John Cale and Nico, God, Material/Bill Laswell, fellow turntable manipulators Christian Marclay and DJ Krush, and the obligatory Bristol trio of Massive attack, Tricky and Portishead. For performance purposes, however, Jeck prefers the records he finds in car boot sales - records otherwise destined for obscurity.

Among the minimal information on the Loopholes CD booklet there's a Latin quote: Versa est luctum cithara mea... "That's from a piece of music I really like," explains Jeck, "a funeral motet by a Spanish composer, Victoria. It means, "My harp is tuned to mourning". And I am in mourning about a lot of things in this world, in this country."


released January 1, 1995


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Philip Jeck Liverpool, UK

Philip Jeck (1952-2022) worked with old records and record players salvaged from junk shops turning them to his own purposes. He really did play them as musical instruments, creating an intensely personal language that evolves with each added part of a record. Philip Jeck makes geniunely moving and transfixing music, where we hear the art not the gimmick. ... more

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