Category Archives: Review

Review on Memory Wave Transmission

Michael Ridge

Cover Scan

Ryne Barber who writes for the Memory Wave Transmission blog has provided a positive and insightful review of Spear/Streak recently released on Quagga Curious Sounds:

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Photographs and Reviews by Thorsten Soltau

It’s been a while but Thorsten has once again created a fantastic set of photographs depicting the ‘Tholins’ tape by Rob Michalchuk and my own Zebra Mu tape ‘Sun Bleached Haze’.

Here’s a great review of both tapes by him as well:

Tholins by Rob Michalchuk is a rather unusual affair on QCS. Developing in three tracks
(in mono mode even), Opener Amassed Heart Shaped Hydrocarbons starts with looped
jazz fragments and underlying sheets of delayed voices and narrative noise structures,
soaked in frequency blizzards and lofi-esque equalizing mixtures. Animated GIF strikes
with thinned out harmonic chords played in a jarring manner, pitched into higher realms
to reveal a crying sound Jandek would be proud of. After half of the tracklenght, jazz
elements blend in with the sound of an scratching box sound, like an animal being trapped
inside the walls of a wooden prison, rattling and gnawing on the uncomfortable trap.
The last track is a roaring trumpet piece, looped and sequenced in a evolving way, a bit
resembling the AMK path of shifting through the variety of sounds and building a slow
almaganation of tones and clusters. A highly unusual release on QCS- with a near absence
of noise but full-on work on electroacoustic music.

“Zebra Mu’s Sun Bleached Haze draws on field recordings and peoples voices, clattered
and cutted up in various creative manners. It’s like listening to a movie with the visual side
ripped away, leaving the bare audio track, rearranged in a careful, nearly poetic way. There
are nature sounds and gulls screaming above the sky, there is a woman talking, children
playing in the back and the rhythmic sound of a car window cleaner. A more listener piece
related music, and coming with great collages printed on coloured paper”.

Unfortunately both tapes are now sold out!!

Thorsten also documented the Ridge & Scrase acetate zine Perspicuus / Filum too, check it out on our site:

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News #36

Roger Batty of Musique Machine has given the recent Martyr of Sores C90 a very positive review (this release is now unfortunately sold out!):

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News #35

As you can see Thorsten Marc Soltau has created a set of wonderful photographs and provided a written review of the AMK tape release ‘Watertower’

“Michael Ridge from the great Quagga Curious Sound label sent me the latest November package for full joy in cold days. AMK, the f/wizzard behind flexi-turntablism released a new tape, one-sided studio, the other recorded live.

In case you never heard enough bells, go for the A and listen to the noisy ambiente bells and tower clocks are producing. Sourced from records and flexis, the mix is a superb, but simple production, creating an unholy drone with the low pitched, jarring tones of metal resonances and whispering cascades of midnight signals. The b-side, recorded live with Damion Romero & Eldon M has a more spontaneous, raw gritty feel, voices whirling in and out, a mixtape tour de force with record hangers and the tics of worn out stereo jacks. AMK shows his turntablism skills here in full effect, thrown into a box of weird effects and firework like eruptions.

Many thanks to Michael for this lovely package. Included is even a flexi from AMK with each copy”.

Thanks Thorsten!

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News #29

Thorsten Marc Soltau has provided a set of delectable photographs and great review of the Sindre Bjerga ‘Beyond the Thirteenth Chord’ 3″CDr & 3.5″ Floppy Disk!:

“Michael Ridge from QCS released another gem of noise’n’delica, this time by Sindre Bjerga. Based in a live recording, this is an excursion into light metal percussion and fuzzed out guitar static. There is a haunted feeling on the chordline Bjerga webbs and folds several times, but the middle part with it’s warped and scrambled vocals makes up a rather uncanny affair of noise. The tension curve is strong and even without the full concert you get a good insight into a free composition. There is a slight hint of 80ties tricks and treats (Homotopy To Marie anyone?) on the acoustic range and Bjerga takes it to full effect with a nicely slow build-up to keep the piece in flow.
There is a 2 minute remix made by Michael’s Zebra Mu moniker on the floppy which has a sort of best-of feeling- he shortens the gig to a degree of edits and tape juxtapositions with some sparse dub effects on top. A great addition with a serious nerd factor (mini-CDR and floppy!) and the usual lovely addition of QCS design on thick cardboard.

This is an extremely well executed release, limited to 30 copies only. Be quick better, as this is some fine material of decent noise I heard in a long time. Zebra Mu’s appearance with his first remix ever will be later this year continued, albeit in different form: he releases another floppy with a track called Muscle Junk- 10 copies for the world…

With a lot of thanks to Michael for his endless stream of golden hits in front of our camera lens!”

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News #27

Thorsten Marc Soltau has provided another set of fabulous photographs and brief review of the Richard Ramirez ‘Wrangler’ C20:

“Richard Ramirez gets the Quagga treatment and a nice one as well. I am not sure of RR is taking it seriously but I had a laugh looking at the tracktitle and the used colours a bit. Yes, everything smells from sex, gay sex and that’s simply the statement added to this release. The picture reminds of a well known 80’s porn star being blessed with a larger-than-normal organ while the back shows a more intimate get-together of two men. The idea to wrap the tape in a tight fitting bondage tape sadly leads to the option to listen or collect since the removal of the tape cannot be made without a sharp scissor. The music is a abyss of disfunctioning noise, rejected particles of dirt and smear, chopped into handy pieces of bright noisy wall-like maelstroms.
Ramirez takes the 10 minute route for each piece and you get what you need- have a look onto RR’s long career and you can tell in less words than me what you have to expect.

A really strong release and nicely executed- the artwork cares for an aesthetic than shock value alone and this makes the work of RR and QCS much more appreciated.

Thank you Michael for this wonderful chance again!”
EDIT: Sold Out!

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News #26

Soundaries a new webzine for reviewing Harsh Noise, Power Electronics and Experimental Music was recently set up by Sam Hunt (of Zamyatin Records and the deceased Ear Ear Records)
Sam has given a great review of Richard Ramirez ‘Wrangler’ C20 which you can read here!>>>>

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News #24

Thorsten Marc Soltau has taken some greats photographs and provided a brief review of the Zebra Mu / Magic Toy Balloon: Magnoalchemy Merz Manipulations C30:

“Michael Ridge has sent me kindly a copy of his latest release, limited to a shamelessly reduced amount of 15 copies only- can you believe it (Yes, we do this ranged as well, so I keep my mouth shut).
There is a nod and an excuse to Mr. Schwitters and Mr. Akita, better known under his pseudonym Merzbow. Looking at the cover collage and the imprinted notes you can clearly see the nod over to the noise god and the dadaesk painter and writer, but there is more between the ferrostripes of tape.
Zebra Mu opens up with an extremely tight compression of etheral noise blast, given a short glimpse of dark fetishized synth electronica (only intervalls) which could be lifted from an Prurient track, heading into delay cascades and rough piercing tape manipulations. I’m picky about noise, but you have my attention. There is an evil beauty overall the whole piece and when sonics collabs and fall into debris of various splittered entities of sound you feel a seldom power of extremely well executed arranging- low end rumblings gets marked with short bursting interruptions leading into more ambient-ish noise realms you know from Kevin Drumm for example.

The other side, created, sculpted and crafted by Magic Toy Balloon is more murky, dense and hollow than the former one. There is a slight random dizziness overall the whole piece and some great sampling introductions as well like an anonymously interrupting FM radio. Noise is also the option here, but in a less scratched way than Zebra Mu, but fascinating as well. While the audio is serious in approach, you get a slightly funmaking feeling, a hidden humour in the noisy sheets. Nothing you hear everyday and while the limitation making this to a pretty rare item even when it’s available, this is a very wonderful meeting between two craftmans of sonic extremeties. The artwork itself is simple and effective and the colours add a lighter feeling to the scene’s entire black addiction. Chapeau.”

Unfortunately this release is now sold out!