Untitled No. 2

by Troy Schafer

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  • Untitled No. 2 (Black Horizons) cassette
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The document in hand is manual by nature - a cut up, dramatized micro-history suggesting accounts of aural engagement between myself and the South Loop of Chicago Illinois, and the public and private spaces therein, between the summers of 2012 and 2014. As a narrative device, it conveys an aestheticized recounting of the daily relationship between a lone recordist and a damned urban soundscape. The resulting composition could be considered a byproduct of a rigorous marshalling practice, justly tuned interferences and procedurally arranged fidelities.

All performances, sound recordings and samples, including the inhumed Fanfare for Bowed Tape, are original in the sense that I wrote, performed and recorded them solely for this record and none other, unless noted otherwise.




3:42-4:19 I met Douglas Raber in the winter of 2013 while aiding a lecture about esoteric recording techniques for studio. He presented a beautiful recording of a performance in which he inserted a shotgun microphone down the body of a trombone, attached to a bari sax mouthpiece. I fell in love with it immediately and burgled the file from the class computer, informing him of it after the fact.

6:24-6:35 In an effort to escape the commotion of the city, Devin DiSanto and I travelled south west of the city. We parked in Joliet and carried a nine-piece drum set 8.7 miles through a corn field before entering one of hundreds of ammunition bunkers covered in grass. Atop the bunker were three guernsey cows rubbing their snouts together. We closed the steel blast door and worked in complete darkness, the echos lasting nearly 20 seconds. The slowly decaying tone in the forefront of this segment is a processed and reamped sample of the rusty door hinges swinging shut.


"Grinding cut-up experimentation from Kinit Her's Troy Schafer, often times reminding one of a rather modern power electronics. Filled with abrasive textures and gut wrenching vocals. Full color digital printing on pearl vellum, with an angled booklet. Hand made glass bird photography courtesy of Jorge Gallo of Noctooa. Edition of 100 copies on transparent blue tapes with silver labels."

- Black Horizons

"On a release like Troy Schafer‘s Untitled No. 2, I find myself contemplating the experiences and the places that led to the creation of such a jagged and fascinating blend of sounds. The result is something not quite human yet undeniably culled from the travels and trials of an individual surrounding by so much of the human element that evading and shaking it off entirely is a natural response, or perhaps I’m reading too much into the back story here.

Readers who do their homework are likely familiar with Troy’s work of a more traditionally tonal nature, either with Wreathes or Kinit Her, yet the choppy and disconnected collages of hideously manipulated city life and oddly composed melody make sense when considering his guest appearances with the decidedly more uncomfortable likes of Venowl. While this release occasionally lacks anything resembling consistency in form or pace, it still feels like a set of sonic experiences that have all been cut from a similar cloth. Whether it’s a unifying theme of some sort or simply that the listener comes to expect nothing but confusion and unnerving variation, Schafer keeps things interesting, skillfully walking the line between painfully “off the wall” and digestible. Folks seeking the predictably intense patterns of harsh noise wall or the pops and chirps of mixer abuse may be slightly let down by the ollage work on Untitled No. 2 but the release carries a similarly ominous and unforgiving energy to each of these noise-related niche communities.

While my personal preferences have me leaning towards losing myself in moments where a constant path is followed for a minute or more, as is displayed to horrifying effect on the tape’s B-side, I find myself drawn to the sheer ugliness and discomfort of the less easily absorbed moments. It’s only through enduring pain and challenge that one grows, and Troy Schafer’s Untitled No. 2 feels like a call to growth from where I’m standing. Destroy your comfort zone. Listen to the sounds of Chicago burning to the ground by getting this tape from Black Horizons, who have done a brilliant job with the tape’s packaging as always."

-Black Metal & Brews



released May 31, 2015



all rights reserved


Troy Schafer Madison, Wisconsin


CONTACT: troyallenschafer@gmail.com

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