Transit of Venus
CST091      3x180gLP MP3 FLAC

"'Gentil The Unlucky Astronomer' is a grand unification of Conrad and Heistek’s string theories with Craven’s constant coupling drums… Unlike some of Conrad and Hangedup’s efforts divorced from one another, the exposition here pretty much provides everything ye need know; for such a seemingly careening track, 'Gentil The Unlucky Astronomer' ultimately proves quite organic."

"Conrad's pinched string drone dovetails perfectly with Geneviève Heistek's thin sawing on the violin and viola. Conrad's collaboration with Faust is a bit of touchstone here, yet this trio, with Heistek and drummer Eric Craven, covers a great deal of ground. Some tracks, especially "Principles," exude a latent funkiness evoking the Pop Group's seductive menace. Elsewhere, woven metallic lattices of string drone are draped across a soft, insistent percussion pulse, and hoarse, reedy clouds are intercepted by robust drums and distant percolations."

"[Hangedup's] core duo of viola and drums is augmented, suspended, tortuously and deliberately ill-harmonised and rhythmically scattered by Conrad’s advance-technique playing. Craven’s drums steamroll through the droning, harmonious, clanging string arrangements, powerfully underpinning the cacophony. Punk stretched to its instrumental, creative and dynamic limits, perhaps…Breathtaking."

"Droning violin and massive noise riffs dominate the listen, striking as much fear as admiration into the listener. From the opening number – 'Flying Fast N Furious', which somehow sounds like a plane landing, even as the energy increases and the song slams forces the gas pedal through the floorboard – to the final tense moments of 'Panorama From Maxwell Montes', the trio invokes ghosts and terror. Outside of 'Bright Arc Of Light', there is little sunshine to be found on Transit of Venus, but HangedUp & Tony Conrad remind us all of the beauty of the most powerful storms."

"'Panorama From Maxwell Montes' is a slow tango, every bit as serpentine and carnal as that description implies. Here the strings all but snap from heat, and the centrifugal improvisation serves up heavy gravity."
The Muse in Music
Clatter For ControlHangedup   CD / 180gLP / DL
Kicker In TowHangedup   CD / LP / DL
HangedupHangedup   CD / LP / DL

THIS ALBUM PART OF MUSIQUE FRAGILE VOL. 02 - Limited edition 3x180g LP box set.

A meeting of the legendary violin minimalist and one of the past decade's finest instrumental punk bands. Tony Conrad needs no introduction, having made crucial contributions to avant-garde experimental film and sound since the 1960s. Hangedup – the Montréal duo of Eric Craven and Gen Heistek – released three searing albums of steam-engine percussion and layered, distorted, dive-bombing viola on Constellation in the early 2000s.

Conrad and Hangedup first met in 2003 at the k-raa-k festival in Belgium, which led to a series of shared concerts and collaborations in 2004 and a pile of live-in-the-studio recordings captured while the trio were working up various pieces and improvisations. These tapes rock. Having gone unreleased at the time, Craven together with Harris Newman at Greymarket Mastering recently plunged back into the archives and started shaping an album from the various 2-track and live-mixed multi-track source material.

Transit Of Venus documents this fertile collaboration and includes some enormous slabs of drone rock alongside more decomposed pieces and gorgeously gritty string duos.

Release date: 26 June 2012
Running time: 43:49

Packaging notes
The Musique Fragile Volume 02 box set 3x180gLP vinyl edition is a silkscreen print extravanganza. Each album comes in its own 2-3 colour screenprinted jacket accompanied by a screenprinted poster, and the three albums are contained in a 2-colour screenprinted slipbox hand-made from thick 100% recycled chipboard.

Please see MUSIQUE FRAGILE VOL. 02 for additional packaging components when this album is purchased as part of the 3-album Musique Fragile set.

1. Flying Fast n Furious
2. Transit Of Venus
3. Principles
4. Bright Arc Of Light
5. Gentil The Unlucky Astronomer
6. Panorama From Maxwell Montes

Tony Conrad: Amplified violin, monochord, bowed drum skins
Genevieve Heistek: Viola, Violin, Loops
Eric Craven: Drums, Skateboard, Sheet metal

1, 2, 3 & 5 recorded live to 24-track analog tape
4 & 6 recorded live to 2-track DAT
All recorded/mixed by Efrim Menuck at the Old Hotel2Tango, Montréal, 2004.
Except 3 mixed by Eric Craven and Harris Newman at Greymarket.
Mastered by Harris Newman at Greymarket.

Big thanks to Harris Newman for making time to help Eric sort out all the options. Another big thanks to Mark Molnar for attentive listening and making observations that were very helpful. Special thanks to Mike Beard for bearing witness to all of the live collaborations with Tony and for always being open for creative collaboration.
Thanks to Don and Ian for making a home for these recordings.