Choi Joonyong, Hong Chulki, Sachiko M, Otomo Yoshihide - Sweet Cuts, Distant Curves

1. 1/1
2. 1/2
3. 1/3
4. 2 [sample]

5. 3/1
6. 3/2

liner note included(written by Otomo Yoshihide and Hong Chulki)

running time: 56:05

Choi Joonyong: cdplayers
Hong Chulki: turntable, electronics
Sachiko M: sinewaves
Otomo Yoshihide: turntable, guitar

recorded by Jin Sangtae on 2006.5.14
mixed by Hong Chulki
mastered by Kondo Yoshiaki at GOK Sound with Sachiko M and Otomo Yoshihide
designed by Choi Joonyong

This disc was recorded during Sachiko M and Otomo Yoshihide's trip to Seoul for concerts organized by RELAY.

released date






only available at other distributions

out of print

sweet cuts, distant curves
at Nabi Art Center 2006.5.14 (photo by Jin Sangtae)

related audio file from RELAY at Theatre Choo 2006.5.13


[review by Hatta]

[review by Brian Olewnick]
Trying to elucidate what makes a release like this one stand somewhat apart from many other worthy recordings might be something of a fool's errand, but one thing that I kept thinking about was how the pitch range used here, high to low and in between, oddly resembled that which one might get from a "standard" quartet, rock or jazz--maybe even a vocal group, with soprano, alto, tenor and baritone. Not that these musicians stay in parts but that there's usually a fullness here that's a bit unusual in these realms. They also mitigate between dronage and short, harsh bursts, finding a juicy middle ground with regard to those choices, a fine balance among brief hums, sharp scratches and gentle pings. The music is "full" as opposed to sparse (again, relatively speaking), with an airiness between sounds more often found in acoustic settings. Whatever, an excellent disc, certainly one to hear.

[review on Vital Weekly 652 by Frans de Waard]
The releases by Balloon & Needle from Seoul, Korea always look nice without being too fancy or over the top, like some others sometimes do. The releases often, but not exclusively includes the work of Choi Joonyong (CD players) and Hong Chulki (turntable, electronics), who team up with Sachiko M (sinewaves) and Otomo Yoshihide (turntable, guitar) in this concert recording of 2006, when M and Yoshihide visited Seoul. If the work of the Japanese part of this CD is in anyway familiar with you, then you know what to expect. Sachiko M's sinewaves are the very bottom, or foundation if you want of the music. Things buzz in the front, in the back, below and above, high and low, but they buzz. On top of that the three men add their own blend of cracks and cuts, from the media players at hand - what the guitar is unclear, but no doubt he fits into this in a clever way - either sounding like a sinewave or like another crack or hiss. This is a work that is great, but but but its also something that we heard before, mostly in the work of the Japanese two involved here. That perhaps makes things less of a surprise, but the total concentration involved by all four players requires full concentration on the side of the listener. Only then it will reveal its true beauty.

[review on Paris Transatlantic by Dan Warburton]
Having thoroughly enjoyed other Choi Joonyong / Hong Chulki releases that have recently come my way - the final chapter of the 5 Modules series on Manual, the Expanded Celluloid, Extended Phonograph DVD with Lee Hangjun, reviewed here last time round - I have to admit I'm having problems with Sweet Cuts, Distant Curves - though not with the album title, which is terrific. There's something about this particular assemblage of clicks, rips, crackles and hums (yes, once more I'm afraid we're stuck with this vocabulary, until anything more musicologically coherent comes along, which I suspect might be a while) which fails to keep my attention, and I've tried six times now; and I think it's to do with the pacing of the material and the event density. The other abovementioned offerings from the Koreans (Choi on modified CD players, Hong on turntables and electronics) are busy, even boisterous affairs, while my favourite discs of recent times with Otomo (turntables, guitar) and Sachiko (sinewaves) - most notably the majestic Good Morning, Good Night on Erstwhile with Toshimaru Nakamura - have been quite the opposite: slowmoving and spare, but the five sweet cuts here seem to lie somewhere between the two, in a strange midtempo - if we can speak of tempo - limbo, neither quiet and intense enough to draw you in, nor rough and feisty enough to thrill to. I'll keep trying, but I haven't cracked it yet.

[review on TEMPORARY FAULT by Massimo Ricci]
Despite the above positive review of Hum And Rattle I¡¯m not the least envious of artists expressing themselves with CD players and turntables these days; how can they find innovative ways of making music without producing the same results from a record to another? Most times a success is not waiting behind the corner, all those skip-click-fizz-and-buzz practices often turning into a litany for the destruction of the residual hopes of listening to a cleverly conceived recording. Luckily, this one (¡°recorded during Sachiko M and Otomo Yoshihide¡¯s trip to Seoul for concerts organized by RELAY¡±) doesn¡¯t belong to this category, especially in virtue of its rather interesting combinations of colours. This stuff is only for the well-versed, of course; not sure that the melange of maniacal sputtering, vituperation of harmonic construction, bizarrely hesitant oscillations and unsympathetic hiccups is going to appeal to those who love to hear some old-fashioned consonance in their wine-influenced evening sessions; in the final track, Otomo is even heard torturing an electric guitar. In general, nothing memorably new under the sun, although the sonic concoctions generated by this quartet tickle the nerves quite efficiently. With headphones on, in front of a muted TV set airing Criminal Minds, the session made for an experience halfway through occult encoding and electrophysiological stimulation. Alternatively, you may be willing to listen to Mozart or Vivaldi and get brainwashed for real.