Saturday, September 25, 2010

The Extraordinary Pigeons - Journal of Graphic Noise: Issue One [Pigeon Coup]

Journal of Graphic Noise is a new art zine from Seattle act Extraordinary Pigeons. The 20-some pages of artwork are accompanied by a lathe cut, cut rectangularly to size to slip inside the pages of the zine. The concept here though is the audio on the lathe was "created by converting the zine's images into sound with reverse spectrogram technology." Reverse spectrogram technology? Sounds like a made-up something from one of those 50s sci-fi movies I love but I'll take the Pigeons at their word that it exists.
The artwork in the zine was created by the members of Extraordinary Pigeons and I don't know how many members there are but it seems like there are 3 hands at work. The first set of images are a grey-scale, topography-gone-psychedelic affair. They look they were made on a 20 year old computer, mapping diagrams of microscopic bacteria. Next up are 4 bizarre ink/colored pencil drawings of faces with strange features and creatures popping out of them. Gruesome teeth, skeleton/Swamp Thing hybrids, some sort of rabbit/beetle/larvae thing. Weird shit. The last section, probably my least favorite, continues the WTFs with a centerfold of two cats doin' it and computer manipulated photos of children and boy scouts.
Now for the audio portion. The small, weirdly cut lathe makes my automatic turntable flip out. It refused to play it for a while until I outsmarted to the stupid machine. The sound of the images via that "reverse spectrogram technology" is strictly harsh noise. Heavy crunching static crackles and rips in surprisingly dynamic fashion. I'm assuming there has to be some human organization here as I'm guessing the images themselves don't indicate any temporal instructions to the audio conversion. I don't know if the Pigeons scan the images live and sculpt the output from there or if this is all put together on a computer. Either way, it's a pretty good shot of harsh noise and the lathe ends on a groovy, crackling locked groove.
This certainly an interesting release and the first time I've ever come across something like it. If you are interested I recommend heading over to Extraordinary Pigeons' awesome website ("we are a band, this is our fucking webpage.")

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