08XX Goh Lee Kwang "Draw Sound"
Drawing + 3"cd
34 pages and 8 mins+
Release date: November 2008
12 Euros + shipping
Also by Goh Lee Kwang
Goh Lee Kwang "Vice Versa"
Goh Lee Kwang "The Lost Testimony of Rashomon"
Goh Lee Kwang "Hands"
Goh Lee Kwang "Good Vibrations"
Gotta love a 3", 8 1/2 minute long disc with 98 tracks...or do you? Each cut is roughly equivalent, consisting of the sound of one or more coins being dropped onto what sounds like a smooth, wooden surface--their initial click and subsequent quavering rotations as they settle. It appears as though coins of differing weights and thicknesses are deployed as well as varying patterns of dropping. Humorously enough, track number 89 is performed by one Woody Sullender, though I'd be hard-pressed, admittedly, to differentiate his technique from Kwang's on the other 97. Still, there's something kind of fun about it--who hasn't had some degree of fascination with this very process, both visual and aural? You can even (I suppose) get into it to the degree that you begin to distinguish "good" tosses from ordinary ones. I found myself thinking that the last track indeed culminates with something of a bravura finish!
The disc is accompanied by a handsomely printed booklet containing 30 squiggly pencil drawings, presumably by Kwang. They're very loose and somewhat random within a general kind of form--not such a bad analog to the sound of the coins.
- Brian Olewnick -
In a very atypical manner, this work magnifies a euro cent to the size of a CD 3”, before attaching it to a sophisticated booklet of nervous pencil sketches by the same author. There have been as many as 98 combinations of launches of the above mention coin, a fact reflected in the 98 micro-tracks on this album. 'Draw Sound' is an interesting project by Malaysian Goh Lee Kwang, who is now based in Germany and is accustomed to electroacoustics and improvisation, often prone to both natural and recorded sounds. This work is a reflection on the timing of the events, which have been repeated at different points but always end in the same outcome, an overlapping of instantaneous snapshots, a narration of how a simple gesture can be reproduced endlessly and become - finally - a scary clone of reality. It is only 8 minutes and 40 seconds duration, but it can seem a lifetime, 'acting out' purely conceptual 'art' - Baudrillard would say - 'culminating in banal tautology', here and now. "The relationship with the work belongs to the sphere of contamination, or of the infection: you connect, absorb, plunge, as in the flows and networks".
- Aurelio Cianciotta -
Despite the fact that there are 98 tracks on this 3″CD, it still lasts only 8.40 minutes. On the disc face there is a picture of the coin of 1 eurocent. If you listen to the music, you hear the sound of a coin falling on a table, or several coins, perhaps. I am not sure if there is some sort of electronic processing going here, but I don’t think. Tracks are very short, obviously, and if you look at the CD player, it looks like a cash register going up. A fascinating, conceptual release. Which is hard to say about the booklet that comes it with, with pencil drawings by Goh Lee Kwang of a highly abstract nature, or perhaps a highly naive nature. Its what some people prompt to say: my 2 year old is better at this. The soundwork is great though, and not without humor: ‘track 89 performed by Woody Sullender’.
- Frans De Waard -
The Watchful Ear
Goh Lee Kwang’s own Draw sound / coins release isn’t actually on Why Not but is connected to his other label, the more “professional?” Herbal International. I’m a little confused but also quite charmed by this little release, which consists of a small book (about 5″x6″) full of wild, child-like abstract scribbles. There are forty or so pages of these, and the title of the release perhaps suggests the images might be visual interpretations of Goh Lee’s music. Although I’m not sure what one is really meant to do with it its a cute little book, and even better there is a 3″ CD tucked in the back featuring a short piece named Coins. The music on the disc seems to have been made by recording the sound of coins being dropped onto a miked-up surface. So the coins, of different sizes and weights land at random, some with a thud, some with a tinkle, occasionally rolling around a bit before falling flat. Obviously this isn’t the most essential or important piece of music in the world today, but as a careful study of the audio properties of everyday objects its the perfect companion for the book.
- Richard Pinnell -
Conceptual art a go-go. A booklet full of abstract pencil drawings, a 3-inch CD modelled after an 1-Eurocent, a 9-minute piece divided in 98 short tracks, each consisting of a throwing of (most probably) that piece of change with its different kind of rolling. One of the “actions” was performed by Woody Sullender, the rest by Kwang. For collectors only, as this thing has absolutely no weight in terms of “musical” quality. Maybe it could be used to disturb someone while they’re desperately trying to relax, just to have some stupidly wicked fun. The scribbled sheets look only slightly more interesting. Sorry, if there were hidden meanings it’s too hot today to search and find them.
- Massimo Ricci -