Sounds of Silence
2017 repress. Sounds of Silence is an anthology of some of the most intriguing silent tracks in recording history and includes rare works, among others, by Andy Warhol, John Lennon, Maurice Lemaitre, Sly & The Family Stone, Robert Wyatt, John Denver, Whitehouse, Orbital, Crass, Ciccone Youth, Afrika Bambaataa and of course, Yves Klein. In their own quiet way, these silences speak volumes: they are performative, political, critical, abstract, poetic, cynical, technical, absurd. They can be intended as a memorial or a joke, a special offer, or something entirely undefined. The carefully-chosen silences of this anthology are intrinsically linked to the medium of reproduction itself and reveal its nude materiality. They expose their medium in all its facets and imperfections, including the effect of time and wear. At the most basic level, these silences are surfaces. And it is in their materiality that they distinguish themselves from the conceptual experiments of John Cage with "4'33". Since the 1950s, silence has found a place in the economic structure of the record industry and since then it would increasingly be appropriated by a vast array of artists in a vast array of contexts. Indeed, the silent tracks seem to know no boundaries. The LP presents the silences as they were originally recorded, preserving any imperfection that the hardware conferred upon the enterprise, without banning the possibility of being satisfying to the ear. The liner notes provide historical background for each track, revealing the stated (or presumed) motivations for these silences, while providing novel sound correspondences or interferences. This album is meant to be played loud (or not), at any time, in any place: a true aural experience. Only a few hundred copies available for distribution, in a gatefold iconic sleeve.