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Subscape Annex: Reviews


"Subscape Annex' Tarot Talking takes a unique angle, utilizing Tarot decks as the sound source, in fact five decks. I liked this bit of subtext, and am a bit surprised the use of particular literature wasn't explored elsewhere in the compilation, it's an interested non-sonic element that lends a certain flavor when listening. It's a long piece, 13 minutes plus, demonstrating an incredible range of sounds, with lots of apparent looping and different fidelities which broadens things. At times it's a real polyrhythmic feast with overlapping pulses. Again, the knowledge of the arcana involved in the "instruments" made a fascinating background to it all."
From _Nick Robinson: Papermusic_ review.


"mounted a piezo contact mic on a bow used for upright bass. The results are delicate and detailed."
From MAKEblog: Piezo Bow.


"Subscape Annex, has used the potentially explosive technique of combining electricity and water in a work that involves sound from dripping water across the contact of an instrument cable jack. The result 'The Water Method' is a sublime ambient work that is hypnotically compelling."
From the press release for the Second Sound of Failure Festival, 2008, Australia.


The image to the left plays with perception of scale. That circular saw diving headlong into the white dome is not, in fact, a saw at all, but a tiny exposed contact microphone whose sharp metallic edge has cleanly sliced through a halved eggshell. What that mic, along with others like it, located in such brittle environs is exposed in four MP3s posted in a LiveJournal entry by Steve Burnett (aka Subscape Annex, at badger.livejournal.com), one of the participants in a recent sound-art festival, The Sound of Re-use, held in Australia.

Two of the tracks are inherently abrasive, less compositions than topological tours of the objects, all rough surface and grainy detail. Burnett states that he deemed these too noisy for his performance at the festival, the munchy rhythms of "Shards 2: Steam Time" (MP3) and the scratchy activity of "Shards 3: Steam End of Time" (MP3), the latter of which rises into a violent whorl. The two tracks that made Burnett's fest set list are, indeed, less antic, more exploratory, and both benefit from a healthy does of echo, which no doubt smooths the edges inherent in the source material. "Shards 1: Monks of Dagon" (MP3) rides a dubby mantra, which provides a foundation for a rumbling scrim of scraping noises. And "Shards 4: Garuda Wakes" (MP3) opens with the ebb and flow of breaking waves, only to become a hall of sonically reflective mirrors, like some nightmare sequence from Dr. Who or The Prisoner.
From Eggshell-Sourced MP3s review on Disquiet.


SUBSCAPE ANNEX (FRIDAY 10:30 P.M., NIGHTLIGHT)
Steve Burnett's name may not be a household one among local electronic music fans, but it should be: Dressed all in black with matching leather rancher's hat and a long black beard, Burnett strikes an impressive figure. He's moved in the goth and industrial music circles for years, and he hosts improv and experimental shows at his Badgerhaus. As Subscape Annex, Burnett comes equipped with homemade noisemakers, a Theremin and a Chapman Stick, an instrument invented in the '70s that looks like the wide neck of a guitar but that allows many notes across a wide tonal range to be sounded at once. While Signal's dance floor puppeteers work toward an infinite beat with the gradual acceleration of pulse and rhythm, Burnett tinkers with the abstract side of our electronic world and its pensive, restless persona. Billowing waves of static cast an irresistible, steady spell. - Chris Toenes

From 7 Signals to See - advance promotional article in the Independent published 15 April 2009.


Every year at Signal, people drop the term "experimental" to cover a wide swath of artists, usually focusing on one night's gathering. This year, there were plenty of left-of-center, non-dance floor musicians tinkering with the temporal qualities of electronic sounds. At its most minimal core, lies Steve Burnett's Subscape Annex. After sets by noisemakers Ted Johnson and Joe Hendrix, Burnett offered a moving, dark passage of loops and plinking percussive bits, calling to mind the eerie analog synthesizer and ring modulator pieces of Norwegian artist Deathprod. Seated Indian-style on the floor surrounded by effects pedals and cords, he played one long piece that moved with an emotional beauty at its center. A string of red, yellow and green lights flickered overhead as the small but rapt audience sat, bowing in meditation.
From Signalfest: On New Wave Hookers and brand new noise - Independent music blog SCAN, review of Signalfest.


From 919 Noise: Piedmont Melodies review:
...Having become part of the world, a sound can never quite go home again. Subscape Annex's faint percussion tinkerings bells, bowls, brushes, pinging and amassing in aleatoric harmony-capitalizes on a similar vision...

Last updated 20 March 2011.