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
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.
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.
…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.