Premiere: Phauss

Concert footage from Dallas, 1991 (from the – remastered by Lawrence English

I love when Room 40 goes big, and this ambitious double release from the legendary Phauss is no exception. The duo of Carl Michael von Hausswolff and Eric Pauser began in the early 1980s, and their sonic experiments still sound as progressive 30 years on as they did at their inception. Two of these works have been unearthed and are being issued as CD+book editions by Room 40.

Nya Sverige – Nothing But The Truth is an expansive recording assembled from performances in 1991 during Phauss’s exhaustive tour with Hafler Trio and Zbigniew Karkowski. It’s not just the sonic clatter and proto-rhythmic soundscapes that give this piece its sharp edge but the dangerous physicality embedded in the process. Sparking electronics and stage fires weren’t isolated events as Phauss lived up to the “Extreme Swedish Industrial” description that adorned their flyers.

Audiodrome shows Phauss’s more restrained side, if only just. “Zürich 1986” uses field recordings to create a chaotic documentation of their travels. The approach for both pieces on Audiodrome was to record whatever was happening wherever they were when an alarm they’d set would go off every few days. Using those recordings, they sculpted enigmatic yet engaging sound art like a sonic archaeological dig through another world. 

The Nya Sverige – Nothing But The Truth book includes a longform conversation between von Hausswolff, Pauser, and Lawrence English, plus photos and documents from that North American tour. Audiodrome has an extensive collection of photographs, documents, and artwork from the duo made during their travels heard on these recordings. Both will be released on December 12. Pre-order both through Room 40.

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