Pinkcourtesyphone is the bizarrely-named alter-ego of Richard Chartier. There's enough similarities between this and Chartier's solo material that fans of his work will find a lot to dig into on "Foley Folly Folio." Among many descriptions of Pinkcourtesyphone, perhaps the one that rings most true is "Pinkcourtesyphone operates like a syrupy dream." This is especially true on the cryptic opener, "Wistful Wishful Wanton." A looped, childlike voice endlessly repeats the line "The most wonderful night of my life" on top of a bed of melodic, slow-moving electronics. There's an almost dystopian, sci-fi feeling to it with the cold and clinical nature that envelopes the piece. The album gets more menacing as it saunters ahead, crawling along at a glacial pace and filling in any discordant cracks. These pieces may be sprawling, but they're quite dynamic as well. "Foley Folly Folio" acts as a separate, but still related, meditation on minimalism that Chartier does so well. Great cover art, too. - Brad Rose, Experimedia
LINE SEGMENTS is the new series (or sublabel?) of releases on LINE which will highlight some, perhaps, very non-LINE-like works. Works that stray from the norm... more maximal, maybe... louder, maybe... noisier maybe... beat-oriented, maybe. So many possibilities... a chance to showcase some things LINE loves.
The first LINE SEGMENTS release is the lugubrious Foley Folly Folio by Pinkcourtesyphone. But what IS Pinkcourtesyphone and why is it so delicious?
Pinkcourtesyphone is dark but not arch, with a slight hint of humor.
Pinkcourtesyphone is amorphous, changing, and slipping in and out of consciousness.
Pinkcourtesyphone desires to capture the sonic essence of some nicely dressed 1960's housewife wistfully peering out her window while reclining on some lovely couch or divan, with, of course, a slowly sipped cocktail and perhaps half of a Valium. Perhaps she is waiting for the phone to ring.
Pinkcourtesyphone operates like a syrupy dream.
Pinkcourtesyphone strives to be both elegant and detached.
Pinkcourtesyphone remained dormant for a long time.
Attention listeners... Pinkcourtesyphone is calling... please pick up.
wistful wishful wanton (5:24)
here is something... that is nothing (22:20)
a dark room full of plastic plants (22:00)
afternoon theme / germs through wires / evening theme (20:30)
all made up (2:32)
formed from places, plastics, and particulars during 1997, 2004, and 2011 by Pinkcourtesyphone / Richard Chartier
design+photo: Richard Chartier
thank you to my three initial phone muses: M.Hartman, P.Von Kant, and D.Vallens
"and all the other princes and their princesses would come... - and they would say... 'delicious delicious'... oh how boring."
Pinkcourtesyphone is actually Richard Chartier (b.1971), some sound and installation artist, considered one of the key figures in the current of reductionist electronic sound art which has been termed both "microsound" and Neo-Modernist. Chartier's minimalist digital work explores the inter-relationships between the spatial nature of sound, silence, focus, perception and the act of listening itself. Chartier's sound works/installations have been presented in galleries and museums internationally and he has performed his work live across Europe, Japan, Australia, and North America at digital art/electronic music festivals and exhibits. In 2000 he formed the recording label LINE and has since curated its continuing documentation of compositional and installation work by international sound artists/composers exploring the aesthetics of contemporary and digital minimalism. He is considered by some to be quite fancy.
Pinkcourtesyphone's Foley Folly Folio, recorded between 1997 and 2011, is the debut by Chartier's alter ego. Whereas releases under his own name are often about exploring specific artistic processes, the comparatively more maximalist and free-form Pinkcourtesyphone pieces wouldn't sound out of place next to analog-ambient pioneers Tangerine Dream or early '90s post-rave comedown music.
(The Washington Post, US)
Pinkcourtesyphone is the not so secret alter ego of renowned sound artist Richard Chartier, and while it seems to be geared more towards a looser, more relaxed sensibility than the serious artist guise that is usually thrust upon him, it lacks none of his careful attention to structure and detail. Quite a bit of the material on this compilation (recorded erratically between 1997 and 2011) could pass for his normal work, but throws enough curve balls to give it a distinct identity all its own.
While the imagery and mood conveyed seems to lean a bit into the world of camp, it never goes too far. It isn't afraid to defy expectations either, however. For example, the overt sampled voices on "Wistful Wishful Wanton" and "Afternoon Theme/Germs Through Wires/Evening Theme" would never pop up on a traditional Chartier composition, but here they work, even if they're treated and layered into near indecipherability.
The textural, analog noises of "A Dark Room Filled With Plastic Plants," however, isn't that far removed from the style he's known for, though the shift into almost uplifting, dreamy electronics at the end seems a bit more maximalist than I would have expected. The same goes for the echoing, reverberated clicks and clacks of "Here is Something...That is Nothing," which are occasionally disrupted by the almost techno-ish synth swells and jarring outbursts of sound.
The aforementioned "Afternoon Theme..." especially mixes things up, right from its opening of distant, jazzy horn like sounds and twittering, colorful electronics. With the exception of some passages of dissonant, machinery hums, it is far more in line with musicality than the clinical studies of sound he usually does. In general, the three long (20+ minute) pieces that make up the bulk of this album are surprisingly varied and dynamic, even if they often delve into quiet minimalism.
At first I was expecting Foley Folly Folio to be a bit more of a drastic departure from Richard Chartier's normal work...for some reason I was bracing myself for disco beats and house music orchestral hits, but the result was not quite extreme as I thought. In truth, it is probably all the better for that, and it does have a more relaxed, inviting feel overall. While I like the usual detached, clinical approach to sound art that Chartier usually engages in just fine, the unpredictability of this one made it stand out as rather unique, compelling, and even a little fun at times.