Zammuto: Willscher    (APTB001)
listen to excerpts from Willscher
where to buy Willscher
MM, Octopus, April 18, 2000

Oren Ambarchi, «Insulation», (Touch, Ipt, Wv)
Zammuto, «Willscher», (Apartment B, Ipt, Fex)

Dans la lignée de Robert Hampson ou Christian Fennesz, Oren Ambarchi et Nicholas Willscher (alias Zammuto) [sic] ont relégué leurs guitares au rang de générateurs de sons. L'Australien Oren Ambarchi a composé «Insulation» sans avoir recours à aucun traitement digital du son. Les onze morceaux de son premier album explorent des directions allant des dérapages à la Mego à des compositions plus axées sur la texture ou la répétition, réminiscentes de travaux plus acedémiques. Si la façon dont Ambarchi produit des sons concrets et des fragments sonores à la granulosité exacerbée - sorte de recontre entre Farmers Manual et Main - reste un mystère, la finesse de l'ensemble fait de ce travail le disque le plus excitant sorti par les Londoniens de Touch ces derniers mois. Zammuto, pour son, «Willscher», a, lui, recours à un ordinateur; ses compositions sont pourtant plus lo-fi et les traits musicaux de l'icône rock y sont plus facilement reconaissables. Rappelent l'electronica concrète de Matmos, la musique de Willscher a sans cesse recours au grain, au souffle et à la rugosité sonore; les neuf morceaux de ce premier disque du label new-yorkais Apartment [B] évoquent le rapport physique à la guitare. Si la pallette de sons de Zammuto est plus restreinte que celle d'Ambarchi, les formats de ses compositions sont netternent [sic] plus pop. «Mbast goodanswerremix» pourrait être le son produit par des souris (sur Mars, bien entendu) grignotant la guitare de David Pajo. Tandis que «Swap(a, b);» et «Some Moss» démontrent comment l'utilisation outrancière du flanger (?!) peut créer un amalgame hallucinant entre mélodies acoustiques et clic'n'bass électro-acoustique. «Willscher» est un monument de post-post-rock. (M. M.)

In the tradition of Robert Hampson or Christian Fennesz, Oren Ambarchi and Nicholas Willscher (alias Zammuto) [sic] have relegated their guitars to the rank of sound generator. The Australian Oren Ambarchi composed Insulation without any digital processing of the sound. The eleven pieces on his premier album explore directions ranging from the glitches of Mego to ones more focused on texture or repetition and reminiscent of more academic work. If the way in which Ambarchi produces conrete sounds or sonorous fragments to excerbated granularity - like a meeting between Farmers Manual and Main - remains a mystery, the finesse of the whole makes this work the most exciting disc to come from the Londoners Touch in the last few months. Zammuto, for his Willscher, has used a computer; however his songs are still lo-fi and the musical traits of rock'n'roll are easily recognizable. Recalling the the electronica concréte of Matmos, the music on Willscher consistently returns to grain, to breath, and to the roughness of sound. The nine pieces on this premier disc from the New York label Apartment [B] evoke a physical rapport with the guitar. If Zammuto's pallette of sounds is more restrained than Ambarchi's, the formats of his compositions are clearly more pop. "Mbast (goodanswerremix)" could be the product of mice (on Mars, of course) nibbling on David Pajo's guitar, while "Swap(a, b);" and "Some Moss" show how the extreme use of the flanger (?!) can create an astounding mixture of acoustic melodies and electro-acoustic click'n'bass. Willscher is a monument of post-post-rock.
(poorly translated by Danny)

Aquarius, April 26, 2000

Apartment B (loose affiliates with Lucky Kitchen in the mutant corners of electronica) has given a proper release to this album from Nick Zammuto after its original release as a cdr. With a number of post-rock starting points (multiple bass harmonics, motorik pulse hypnosis, lust for 70s German electronics), Zammuto constructs a rhythmically bubbling sound by broadcasting these sounds through a construction of PVC pipes, and sampled the results for hard-disc editing. As if Fridge's percussive grooves and Noto's slow constructions of sine wave oscillation had a meeting of minds. Hrvatski endorsed.

Ben Goldberg, Matador News, April 24, 2000

"Obligatory obscure electronic minimalist release mention"

Dan Hill, Motion, April 18, 2000

"truly thrilling new music" [read more]

Rjyan Kidwell, City Paper, April 5, 2000

Zammuto creates beautiful new textures with a sharp attention to detail, but never falls away from a musical direction and into pure "sound experimentation." [read]

Rob Geary, Grooves, Issue 4

Late in 1999, a triple pack of CD-R arrived totally unbidden on numerous doorsteps with the mysterious title Solutiore of Stareau. The discs received acclaim in electronic and print circles for their daring vision of 'glitch' music as transportable to live instruments, particularly the guitar. Now a man called Zammuto has revealed himself as the brains behind that massive bundle, and tracks from the third disc of the SoS set have been remastered and compiled as his proper debut, Willscher.

This one man work encompasses influences from current Tortoise-led post rock, early seventies prog rock, particularly the German strain, and in structure and rhythm, contemporary (ultra)minimal techno and glitch explorers like Microstoria. Harmonic taps, strums, and digitally altered and extended sounds of basses, guitars and other strings emerge in a structure associated with computer music, but every note has a warm, analogue feel to it. An eloquent defense of the analog instrument in the age of software virtuosos.

Frans de Waard, Vital (at Staalplaat), Issue 217
Two examples of popmusic; yes, I don't mind using the big word. They are both examples of popmusic for this millenium - well, for some years of it. The milkies, a duo from France, quickly moved in their career from industrialized ambience, to sounding like Coil but better to this, a small highlight in their career. They sampe the hell out of guitars, basses and add glitchy rhythm parts to create small, fragile, warmbient pieces of poppy music.
Now the difference between the Ultra Milkmaids and Zammuto is that the french use one specific musical language to create the work, but Zammuto puts in fact a lot in there. It's even more popmusic, with it's extensive use of err... guitars, basses and maybe voices even, who knows. Of course this is all sampled like hell, but who cares with the warmth involved. But it's all very very cleverly made and an enjoyment throughout. I have to note this is my second entry in this year's top 10. (FdW)
Hrvatski, Forced Exposure Bulletin, March 18, 2000
Timely mass-market (re)issue of the final/climactic disc of Nick 'Willscher' Zammuto's 'Solutiore of Stareau' themed CD-R trilogy (although the 'incriminating' breakbeat tracks were excised for conceptual continuity), a highly appealing artefact through-constructed of warm alien tones/rhythmic propensities and rumoured outsider construction (electric bass harmonics/motorik broadcast through individually mic'ed PVC tubes of varying length, assembled and layered in a grid-based PC digital audio environment). The real deal, conceptually aligned with an eclectic array of significant precursors: Remko Scha/Het Apollohuis's electric guitar sourced audio-art, geographically specific instrumental post-rock (we'll just leave it at that), the A -> D conversion error/artifact ghetto, pre'73 'Experimental German Electronic Rock Bands' (a definite affinity for Cluster/Harmonia resounds throughout, whether intended or not), even mutant strains of 'minimal/repetitive techno' (almost all tracks are tempo consistent throughout; vinyl please?) all the while refusing to tear whole pages directly from these respective textbooks (binding intact), a feat well worth commending in these cookie-cutter times. Forthcoming releases on Tom and Plate Lunch could ostensibly widen Zammuto's aura, an excellent thing for us all (give this man ALL the room he needs to breathe). THAT good... -- Hrvatski.
Robin Edgerton, Other Music Newsletter, March 1, 2000
Zammuto's aural aesthetic is all about resounding (or re-sounding); his noises bound and rebound like tennis balls hit down a bare cinderblock alley. But tucked softly between warm beats are acoustic guitar and piano strings, gently plucked. Zammuto, an art restorer from Massachusetts, released a 3-CDR set last year (the "Solutiore of Stareau") and this CD is made up of music from the last disc of that set. Detailed beats rock and tap like coins thrown into flattening spirals, ruffling dollar bills, silverware and dishes being stacked irregularly: a restaurant with a pulse, filled with patrons playing tambourines made of glass and aluminum and paper. Like a cross between Annea Lockwood's glass experiments (intimate, detailed and unusual sounds) and Oval's light digital fingerprints, made with the timbres of torches, beakers, and coal. A wonderful debut for this new label, associated with Lucky Kitchen. Very, very good. [RE]