reviews and thoughts

some thoughts and reviews regarding Attention Span Zero

from Maarten Van Valen /

Just wanted to give a few impressions of this album….

It is a riveting listen. The whole album streams through as one track,
like KLF’s Chill Out-album yet it’s developed in several factions that reveal
themselves the best in one continuous listen.

The first three songs fit sequentially together because of the same rhythmic pattern, like Kraftwerk reinterpreting Porcupine Tree’s Voyage 34 and it’s irresistible because of its ‘four to the floor’-beat. The next three tracks kick in, one enveloping ambient, the other more aberrant industrial, breaking the mould towards the next phase. The more haphazard way of the industrial parts do cause a slight break in momentum for mine. Surprisingly enough is the following track- Level Of Attention is the hit single, like The Knife or, obscurer, His Name Is Alive’s forays into electro-funk. Expect remixes from the Bloody Beetroots and Tiesto on the upcoming 12″

The broad drone of Approaching Hilbre Island offers the perfect step up to the second part of the title track which closes the album- with more accent on the sequencing part than on the first episode it’s almost Jarre-esque, especially when halfway the big synths kick in to add melody…the ending I’d call Exotic Endless and highlights exactly what the disc is all about!

There’s the constant presence of chatter, background noise and samples from radio and TV…as if to convey the message that the circumferential noise is the reason why people have problems concentrating…which did not happen as it never meanders overly long or gets repetitive….

And with the final waves lapping at my feet it’s time to pour myself
another sangria….(this will only make sense when you hear the album….)

My compliments good sir! Killer listen! And absolutely full marks on the fantastic cover art!

from Chris / BCB messageboard

Hey Conny

I received Attention Span Zero in the mail the other day. Thank you so much.
Thanks, also, for the album being so good.
It bears similarities to some of its influences, but it’s also very original and fresh sounding.

Again, many thanks.

– Chris

and from TMB / on the music forum 99musik / only in Swedish

Conny Olivetti – Attention Span Zero (kortrecension)
Det damp ner en liten present med posten i fredags – senaste CD:n från Conny Olivetti här på forumet.

Rent stillmässigt så känns det som Attention Span Zero tar vid där Treibholz slutade. Gillade man Treibholz har man sitt lystmäte här i ännu mer av det goda. Och gott är det.

Som vanligt möts man av tunga beats, hypnotiserande drones kombinerade med ambienta inslag och de allestädes närvarande röstsamplingarna (lead vocals: Peter från NaturalReader ) i en ljudmässigt ofelbar mix. En liten utstickare är låten ‘Level Of Attention’ där man får höra Linneas (från wHatIf) gudabenådade pipa och återigen slås man hur väl hennes röst passar stilen på låtarna – det mjuka mot det hårda.

Ett väl genomfört arbete både artistiskt och hantverksmässigt.

Rekommenderas varmt.



…har lyssnat några varv på min “snik-nedladdade” kopia av ASZ idag som “ambient” till lördagsbestyren.

Efter att tidigare ha lyssnat på den mer “låtbaserade” och (i min smak lite för blipp-bloppiga) Treibholz så blir jag väldigt glad av att höra det väl sammanhållna konceptalbumet ASZ!! Det ska ska helt klart avnjutas från början till slut – låtarna bildar ett naturligt flöde mellan olika stämningar.

Variationen gör ASZ till en spännade resa! Rytmiska stycken övergår i vackra klanger övergår i smått kaotiska collage övergår i “låtar” igen! Det fångar och håller upp intresset hela vägen, utan dödpunkter (eller få – se nedan ) Favorit-bitar är ASZ part one, Beacon of Hope och Approaching Hilbre Island.

Många lovord till arrangemang och mixning! Det låter spännande utan att spreta, enhetligt och riktigt bra hela tiden (såg ju i en annan tråd hur du jobbat i “en låt” hela vägen). Hittar inget att göra annorlunda, förutom…

…lte småsaker då… Är ingen större fan av Peter! Det är inte överdrivet mycket av honom, men ändå! För mycket tweed helt enkelt! Ger typ samma slags kårar på ryggen som om du hade tagit in Lasse Berghagen istället Sedan stör jag mig på sångerskans ständiga droppande av i princip varenda ton i Level of Attention. Den skulle annars vara albumets givna singelsläpp

Ger 4 1/2 av 5! Bästa (hela) album jag hört på mycket länge!

Kevin Stephens / from BCB forum

Well, I am certainly not a good reviewer but here goes;

I have listened to this album about half a dozen times now and enjoyed it every time. My first few listens were at relatively low volumes, where it sounds very effective. However this afternoon I got a chance to crank the volume. Well! The amount of further detail this brings forward is just amazing. This is a very layered sound, and each time I listen something else in the mix leaps out at me.

So, it can be listened to in an ‘ambient’ fashion and sound quite accomplished, but you certainly are rewarded by giving it a bit of volume.

I am taking this round to a friends place at the end of the week – I had previously played him Treibholz and he is quite excited to hear the new work, so add another fan 😉

Whilst I was pretty impressed already by your other work Leif, this is certainly a substantial step forward! Thank you so much for sharing.

Now I am off to listen to Treibholz again to refresh it in my mind 😎

Billy / from BCB forum

Arrived on the door matt yesterday — thanks very much. Just a few quick notes here — but I’ll add more later.

I played it through last night and my first impression was the obvious jaunty, more ambient sound compared to the last one … what was that lot from the early 90s — ‘Rising High Records’. If you can find a time machine, I’m sure this would have found a place there Irresistible Force and all that …

It’s odd that I didn’t ‘notice’ the unbroken flow until somebody mentioned it here … works fine and dandy … I guess the way that a lot of the tracks drop in and out and drift within themselves makes even the idea of individual ‘tracks’ a bit redundant? Perhaps they could be ‘overlapped’ even more?

Great production too — and some lovely deep notes. And all those added sounds in the background that add interest without being overused — that was a key to the success of the last one …

The only thing that bugged me slightly was that the repetitive use of the ‘Attention Span Zero’ sample may have been overdone just a bit in the some tracks (just those three words, not the other stuff from the same/or similar source), although I did like the girl’s voice who added the long drawn out ‘zero’ every so often …. cool and fruity!

Great listen, overall! Keep it up!

Trans-Chigley Express / from BCB forum

Really enjoyed listening to this today on my long commute and was really able to absorb it in (I have a good attention span ). I think the decision to split it into tracks was good as despite the flow of one sequence into another, they are very distinct tracks. There is plenty of variation to keep things interesting and I don’t think anything outstays its welcome. It’s perfectly sequenced too and ,yes, Approaching Hilbre Island did indeed have some seagull sounds which I completely failed to notice on my crappy computer speakers but were quite clear on the headphones. I liked Distraction’s slightly creepy ambience.

I’m inclined to agree with billy and do think the ‘attention span zero’ speech is overused a tad on the part 2 as I think the music is strong enough on its own. A minor quibble though and I feel a bit churlish offering any critcism at all as it’s a gazillion times better than anything I could ever do.

As already noted prodution-wise it sounds marvellous! It will certainly get many more listens.

king feeb / from BCB forum

I didn’t have a chance to really sit down and listen closely until today.

I especially liked the ambient parts this time around, especially “Approaching Hilbre Island”. I also think the stretch at the beginning of “Something Else”, “I Want To” and “Beacon Of Hope” was really top notch, especially “I Want To”, which has the best use of samples on the album and a very eerie atmosphere. Probably my top track on this one.

There are some really high-pitched vocals in the middle of the album that reminded me of a Faust track, but I can’t remember which one. Interesting.

I also thought the title track was nice and Kraftwerk-y.

A fine album all around. The sound throughout is wonderfully clean and professional, as always.

feedback regarding the new album Treibholz

Marakas Combustion /
“Treibholz” – crisp and punchy production values, a nice minimalist motorik feel with all the fat trimmed off, smooth developments with careful attention to programming.Having smart references to 60’s television, 70’s Krautrock it is Conny Olivetti’s finest production to date and yet his first utilising the Propellerheads “Record” program. An excellent CD for dancing, driving or psychological alteration!!

C /
Well done Leif!!
Robust stuff!
Very robust stuff!!
I think my favourite track (amongst all the other robust ones) is Broken Doll
Good lad

King Feeb /
I played it twice today. I think it’s probably your best album yet.
I especially liked the eerie, almost malevolent, atmosphere of “Toys For Girls”. “Suspended Re-Activation” was another highlight, especially the way the disembodied-sounding choir voices come at you from the edges of the mix (and it’s a great album closer- that little ambient sample at the very end is genius). And the short piece, “Interlude”, is a great change-of-pace, and it sounds like it was influenced by mid-period Cluster (Grosses Wasser, Curiosum)… always a good thing in my book. There are some amazing sounds throughout, the recording itself is totally pro, and the deep bass of “What’s The Title?” caused the cat to rouse himself from his nap and stare at the speaker in a puzzled manner. His ears were twisting around like little antennae.
Good job once again.

robertff /
Listened to it last night. Not quite my usual thing as the prog bretheren will already know but listened all the way through and enjoyed it. I can see I will have to get a little deeper into this electronic/ambient stuff. Will give it some more play.
Very well done Conny, may which ever forces, you want to be with you, be with you.
Great cover too.

yomptepi /
Here today, and I am playing it right now. It sounds fantastic, really loud and robust. Very good so far, and I am enjoying it more than Motorik. Good job Conny!!

and thank you very much!!

Billy /
Well, I’m playing it again now, for the third time.
My immediate thought on hearing the first track was ‘Ultramarine’. Very much the same kind of vibe — ‘organic’ in its feel. The other thing that grabbed me was that there’s always something going on that’s unexpected, those little breaths, tweets and samples so delicately poised in the background. And as the album progresses, the change of mood from track to track continuously maintains the interest (track 3 is a great example — a real change of mood but it still fits in with the album). The production is great too — really booms out of the speakers.
I’ll be back with more thoughts later!

John Roussety /
The Treibholz cd is marvellous.
It is very hard to describe it fully without resorting to listing its influences but it is less ‘motorik’ than the obvious krautrock antecendents and, though it doesn’t sound like them, has more in common with the ‘Big Beat’ and ‘Trip Hop’ acts of the late 90s and the more soundscapey, cinematic electronica of Lemon Jelly et al. It is hard to deny the spectre of Tour De France Soundtracks though – in a good way.
Well done feller.

and some comments from the swedish music forum 99musik

Peo /
Ett riktig kanon album ni har fått till
gillar detta skarpt snyggt jobbat!
Tack för att vi fick ladda ner det.

Efter en första genomlyssning: Satan i gatan va bra! Favvo är battle computers och går nu på maxvolym här. Alla låtarna är dock skitbra tycker jag.
Fattar inte hur du får sånt tryck i beaten. Känns som om de hoppar fram och smäller en på käften.
Kanoners och en ypperlig inledning på påskhelgen.
Till övriga: Ladda ner och njut!

Bengus /
Låter riktigt bra, får lite TaM (danke – mr loop) vibbar av vissa arrangemang och ljud samt av skivkonvolutet – och det är INGET minus! Kommer snurra här under påsk helt klart – tack för den påskpresenten!

Tublenco /
Fick skivan idag – tusen tack
Låter kanon. Som vanligt väldigt inspirerande och underbart!
Nu ska jag låta den gå på repeat en massa gånger

hasse_fx /
Mycket bra album och väldigt kompetent komponerat, arrat och genomfört! Nu ligger detta i periferin av min “lyssningssfär”, men fungerar väl som inspiration och referens

jgb /
Lyssnar på den här än en gång, och samma sak slår mig igen. Alla talsamplingar stör mig, det känns för mig som knappt lyssnar på vad de säger som ett störande moment, som förtar den grymt snygga produktionen en hel del.

Väldigt tråkigt, men sant. Produktionen är i toppklass på alla sätt, men det når inte fram till mig. Lyssnar hellre på WhatIf.

erko /
Lite kort vad som poppade upp i huvudet nerknackat via iPhonen som dök upp.när jag lyssnade på plattan Är sjukt imponerad och gillar det skarpt!.

Broadcast power – Läskiga ljud, reverb och schysst beat
What’s the titel? – Bla tyskt babbel och snygga ljud och lite Kraftwerk-vibb..
Treibholz – Vågskvalp och vackra melankoliska syntslingor
Toys for girls – No! Yes! Blöta ljuden återkommer. Skitsnyggt arrangerad och fina ljud med delay. Lite oväntat break vid 4.30
Tamiflu (test) -.Mullerbasen kittlar trumhinnorna skönt i mina lurar. Snygga skräckfilms-stråkar en bit in låten. Och bra röstsamplingar. Fina pysljud i beatet..
Broken doll – Skönt beat och lite improviserad melodislinga. Fin!.
Interlude – Film-musik till tysk deckare. Gött!
Battle computers – Skönt repetitiv och fet bas gör denna till min favvo på plattan.
Suspended Re-activation – En lång och snyggt arrad låt. Härliga svischande ljud som dyker upp i bakgrunden och ibland i förgrunden.

Bravo olivetti!!! Och väldigt gentilt att göra den tillgänglig som download.


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