Darren Bergstein | e/i Magazine | Installment 9 | July 2007
Canadian Steve Burr, who operates as the parenthetical (((stereofect))), apparently has been on the scene since 1989, which means he's probably no stranger to the DIY cassette ethos that brought out nameless hordes of experimentalists eager to hawk their art on an unsuspecting public. Of course, now CDR's have wrenched control from that previously unreliable format, but the working model remains the same, and this gent seems to be a natural. Burr is a new name to me, but "Ping" ought to remedy that fairly quickly. Triple Bath releases have thus far demonstrated that there's usually more than meets the ear after initial exposure and although Burr's wall of sound at first appears to be more simplistic in tone and architecture to his colleagues, successive listens reveal him to be better than just a chip off the old (Ni)block. Wavering curtains of pealing static, aftershock tectonic rumble, castrated amplifier feedback and other machine-decay ephemera jostle for position across the album title's three lengthy episodes, varying in pitch, intensity, density and poison. Burr's approach is certainly not one of affability - these are electronics that take great pains to boast of their palpable electricity, that invade the aural canals like Martian war machines, that pan and scan across a soundfield pockmarked by a very sharply taloned nettle of textured, yet unbridled noise. Don't despair, however: this is not noise in the sense of machinic ambience whose prevailing exhaust is left on automatic. Rather, Burr understands how to sculpt, nurture and reconfigure the rather obvious ugliness into something indescribably... beautiful? Of course.
Tobias Fischer | Tokafi | January 2007
Even for the tiniest of labels nowadays, whether or not something could sell and cater to the needs of a specific target group has turned into the pivotal reason for releasing a record. Themistoklis Pantelopoulos' fledgling Triple Bath outfit take a different route, one which awards priority to the question of intrinsic value first and then throws the music out on the marketplace to test its economic potential. Keeping this in mind, "Ping" is more than an album - it's a mission statement. It is also a rare case of absolute rapport between an artist and his record company. Steve Burr has seventeen years of experience as a composer and performer to his credit and yet this is a debut both for the freshly hatched label and himself (disregarding a full-length from the MP3.com heydays). This points to a certain disregard for the usual ego-pleasures of seeing your name on a silver disc as well as to a preference of the concert situation over the studio. Most importantly, though, it reveals a desire of walking the way on his own and avoiding cheap compromises. There are definitely none of those to be found on "Ping". A three-part real-time studio-improvisation, it is a testimony of absoluteness, of clarity about one's aims and of the will to realize a vision at all cost. For an entire hour, tortured frequencies clash and collide, dark atmospheres condense into claustrophobic clouds and the occasional corroded rhythm peals itself from combustible craters of acid distortions. Burr's methods are those of an industrial artist, condensing various layers of noise into inwardly intricate and outwardly raw walls of aural mayhem, but his pieces move with a certain grace. Underneath the terror, there is always a flimsy film of breathy drones and the music regularly disassembles and drops back to this sphere of comfort to stock up on energy for a fresh assault. While the opening twenty minutes gran the listener few moments of rest, Burr is pleasantly close to the atmospheric early days of his personal heroes Tangerine Dream in Part 2, which sees the symbiosis of software synthesis with analogue equipment come to full fruition in a concise display of swelling and decongesting bass tones. It is only in the finale, however, that the album really cools off, with the hum of a faraway amp being the only sound source for minutes. It is here that "Ping" goes from being a well-executed experiment to something unique and haunting. Then again, these strangely beautiful last twenty-five minutes need the aggression and fire of the beginning to fully blossom. Burr could have retreated from his original idea, he could have mitigated earlier or added one or two melodies, but he sees this thing through until the end. Does that mean this goes straight into the face of target group marketing? Absolutely. Was it worth releasing? Even more so.
Moodi Drury | Freenoise | December 2006
Nicely packaged CDR (except for no ID on disc). Excellent quality textural washes which build and resonate subtly, often unnoticeably into great storm surges. Constantly evolving and mutating, evoking images of Mythopoeikon style, sci-fi jungle scapes on distant planets. Total production quality. Extremely compelling and captivating stuff. Warning: my mp3 player couldn't see it (it's a Philips) due to the "(((" in the artist title. Sleeve notes: "Steve Burr, composing electronic music since 1989, has become a sturdy voice in the Canadian underground scene. Via analog / hybrid equipment combined with a laptop, he makes droney, ambient and dark, spacey soundscapes. "Ping" is a three part live improvisation which evokes megalithic instincts surrounded by an ever-dispersal toxic aura."
Thodoris Kolsouzoglou | Tranzistor | November 2006
translated from greek
Steve Burr was born in 1962 in Canada and he began composing electronic music in 1989. Now we meet him behind the pseudonym (((stereofect))) and with this release he offers us a real-time improvisation which is constituted by three parts. His collaborators are the monophonic synthesizer module MFB Synth-Lite and the analog filter Frostwave Resonator. His basic aim is to leave no frequency to come out un-annoyed from his speakers. Along with the analog madness of his tools, he will dress every frequency in filters with a full appetite for inner-researching and finish it with beautifully soft deformities. Somehow thus his creation is ready. He presents it in a darkly chaotic atmosphere and he names it "Ping". To those that wish to become aural witnesses of this, this release was printed in 96 copies and is released by the newly established Athenian label Triple Bath... and if you don't believe me, you pass a walk from the website: (http://www.triplebath.gr)
Jaap Kamminga | Ikecht | November 2006
translated from dutch
It is nice to see new labels arise, especially when found by someone who doesn't do it for the money or only to promote his own music, but because he just loves music and wants others to find out about it. Triple Bath is one of such. First up on Triple Bath is (((stereofect))), or Steve Burr as the man is called. He has been busy with music for quite some time. On this release of him, we find three tracks, coming close to one hour of playing time. Dark ambient that was recorded during a live-improvisation on two instruments. What does it bring us? A very nice start of the first track, loads of resonance and noise but music that does tend to be a bit too rough around the edges at times. A nice piece of music but not truly special. A nice starter-release for a label, good music, experimental without becoming unreachable for the listener.
Michael Chocholak | Artist Server Forums | November 2006
Much of these three compositions is built upon a broad spectrum of noise - including distortion and clipping (both of which I can be a big fan of if used to reach an aesthetic goal) but intelligently sculpted. All three compositions have the same tangibility as Steve's previous work with, perhaps, a more assertive edge overall. The sound is well contained yet manages to achieve an implied immensity; the hum, rumble and growl of huge magnetic fields - the sun blasting against the Van Allen belt - a Kali-esque dance of rejuvenative destruction. Tides of static wash over deep wells of resonance replicating themselves from an open chaos into ever thickening, tightening outwardly reaching web of sonic permutations or is honed into slow motion cascades of serrated blades or simmers and percolates into recombinant tremors or distills into rhythmic wave pulses and then moves on to its next incarnation. From one perspective these pieces, particularly the last two, could certainly fit the description of abstract ambience, but they all contain a character that is dynamic and resonant with their own internal energy; evolutionary. This is the natural advantage of "live" improvisation. Yet at the same time they hold together like a collection of preconceived studio pieces. I have no idea how much structural overlay there is here but if there is no conscious roadmap then there is certainly a gestalt that succeeds. And to my way of thinking it does have an innovative quality realized through the simplicity of execution. I really like the idea of taking some fairly basic pieces of hardware and stretching their potentials to create vast intriguing canvasses. Obviously this is by no means the first time this has been done but in my opinion each time anyone succeeds in creating something provoking from minimal beginnings, it is innovative.
Frans de Waard | Vital Weekly | issue 552 | November 2006
On a new label from Greece, called Triple Bath, we encounter Steve Burr, who calls himself (((stereofect))), which is nicely written as such. In 1989 he got his first music computer, an Atari 1040st, but he also played in rock bands. Since 1988 is his primary work lies in working in the studio and currently dark ambient is his main big interest. On "Ping" he uses two of hybrid instruments, the MFB Synth-Lite and the Frostwave Resonator. I never heard of these things, but Burr crafts three pieces of dark ambient industrial music together, following the best traditions of Lustmord, but more rhythmic. Loaded with reverb to emphasize the menacing character of the music, and which sometimes works against, sounds sizzle, hissle, trissle from the darkest corners of the sound spectrum, something like a rusty chain, sometimes like air being carved into a statue and overall, make a solid (hey, heavy) impression on the listener, although occasionally a bit distorted. Music wise perhaps not the strongest example of musical innovation, but nice enough.