Evol. Punani Shell. CD

First tangible release from Evol since their 3"CD "Principio", (Mego 1999). This is hard-edge chinchilla audio, both beautiful and brutal.
Keywords: algorythmic composition, rodents, noise, nasty mathematics

01. Punani Shell

Done 8/2002 Roc, Anna, Perkele.
Edited 8/2003 in Barcelona.
Mastered by Cristian Vogel at Erutufon BCN.
Play Loud!!!!

Cover picture: "Fire" by Scott Draves, 1993.
Used by kind permission.


The first time I put this CD into my Cd player I heard the opening bars of what I thought was my stereo having a total complete meltdown - it sounded like digital feedback/thunder - electric needles across the chalkboard scratches - & total raging insanity compu-hell!! But then I listened further and realized this was the new Evol CD playing and I thought to myself - "it’s breathtaking" and "the horror....!" - all at the same time. Definitely music that pushes the envelope.
This 21 minute piece of music entitled Punani Shell - one track - was recorded in August 2002 and edited in August 2003 and the result is a computer music/algorithmic composition/fractal fanatic’s wet dream. There’s some heavy theory at play in the "raison d’etre" (reason for being) of this piece, but beneath all the jargon, and mathematical posturing there’s beautiful stuff happening inside these squawky squelches. The music on Punani Shell sounds glistening, hard-edge and almost beautiful in its technological ferocity and abuse. There’s no doubt this is a challenging listen, but I urge you to sit through this entire sound experience. To quote the back cover of this disc, "Play Loud!!!" - I dare you.
review by L Pounds. Earshot-Online

The press material that comes with this release describes it as "hard-edge chinchilla audio, both beautiful and brutal". What in gods name is chinchilla audio? Hey, if even my bizarre mind can't visualize what that could be, it must be interesting. From the famed Mego label, Evol specialize in a very insular style of laptop noise/electroacoustic. The sound itself is unmanageable, flanging twitters and fades, stark, playful oscillations and small periods of silence. At time sit feels like watching a cartoon with the sound all wrong, sped up, slowed down, destroyed, distorted. Voices garbled and scattering. There is no way to get a peg on this, it is total mind-fuckery and technical violence. Like Jazzkammer or a voiceless People Like Us. For fans of the Mille Plateaux label, Goem, John Duncan
Manifold Catalog

This little gem was already recorded and released in 2003, but the “Play Loud!”-advise on the backcover made me do just that and the results – my eardrums still swerving from the heavy massage – is my recommendation. A 22-minute backflip through various dimensions of sound in a single-layered, atonal accumulation of noises, interferences, jumps, sprites that might all come from organic sources and where distorted heavily by whatever was at hand. The first impression is of no logical structure, no melody, brutality and inhumanity. A life between fractals and algorithms that build up chaos rather than form. Then a new view arises. One of, gasp, beauty? You think Kid606 fucks up laptops? Think again.
What do you think does the communication between bits and bytes sound like, as they run through processors and relays while you daddle away on your Playstation? At times they’ll go completely apeshit, when you’ve lost yet another life in a screaming rage of explosions, fire and evil troops coming in at you. At other times they’ll rest and have a little sigh, while you try to sneak around those evil opposing forces to kick their butts a few minutes later. Most of the time though, you’ll be stuck in midfight, trying to defend yourself as best as you can on a medium ability scale. The bits and bytes within your playstation still go apeshit, because to them your pleasure is hard work.
The sonic freakouts of Evol – a pair from Barcelona who also run the Alku label – are a hard piece to swallow. (In comparison to other releases on Scarcelight, like Psychon or Accelera Deck, this one is definitely among the heaviest to digest.) It is definitely a runner-up to Pita’s whole work as well as the Gameboy-symphonies of Matt Wand. Both sound like easy listening in comparison at times. Maybe Scarcelight just wanted to test the stereo-equipment as well as the minds of their listeners. The sound is definitely digital but the analogue sources still remain audible.
At times the clatter, shouting and chaotic shrieking of these sounds reminds me of the shrill communication within a herd of apes, especially chimps. I’ll admit, I saw “Planet of the Apes” on TV a few days ago, and then “Twelve Monkeys” yesterday. (I like every movie in which Bruce Willis wakes up completely desolated and destroyed only to take on the biggest task in his life yet, like “Last Boy Scout”. Do what you like, that is the way it is.) So I am kind of tuned into apes right now. Which means, also being tuned into trying to find forms and figures, coherence and structure within otherwise chaotic and cataclysmic objects or combinations of objects. Maybe I should be looking for chinchillas, right?
The funny thing is, here and there discernible pieces of tonality emerge from the ruckus, but you’ll only hear them after the fourth or fifth run through. Like the military signal played on a kid’s flute at the end of minute thirteen or the distorted birdsong somewhere in the beginning. Most of it is the hint of an instrument with strings here and there. At the first instance of this recognition of well-known sounds, you’ll think your brain has just melted away. But it is your mind, that has wonderfully managed to adapt to the input you administered.
“Punani Shell” won’t find a home in most homes, and for those it does, I am completely unable to give any guess at what the people in their would be like.

If you tried you wouldn't possibly be able to illustrate the sounds on Evol's (Roc and Anna) newest Punani Shell more precisely as Scott Draves' 1993 "Fire" - a completely fractalized ice spike floating in the dark which becomes the disc's cover art. Taking their love for computer sciences to the nth degree Evol, who have previously recorded for the cerebral imprints Mego,, Alku use the rubbery faculties of bouncy noise to encrypt Punani Shell with a razor sharp atonalism that follows its own sense of abandoned humor. Whether they are referencing Close Encounters or freebasing the innards of some of the best work by Squarepusher, it is a given that this record is a downright serious 22-minute interpretation of experimental molecular-sized galaxies. When what you hear sounds like a stampede of GameBoy characters who've jumped from the flat realm to that of the fourth dimension and attempting to pierce through a series of talc dusted dental dams, you know Evol's inherent philosophy is dedicated to the field of imaginative psychedelia. Get lost!
TJ Norris. Igloo Mag, Microview Volume 5

Created in 2002 and edited a year later, Punani Shell is the first release from Evol (Barcelona-based Alku label-heads Roc, Anna, and, apparently, their chinchilla Perkele) since the group's 3-inch 1999 Principio. That the latter was issued by Mego is telling as the new EP (though issued on Scarcelight) distills the Mego sound into a single 22-minute piece of seething, convulsive splatter. In what can only be a classic example of humour at its driest, a liner note instructs the listener to “Play Loud!!!” but even a lowered volume won't contain the ferocious brutality of its blistering shards and blasts, fractured pinprick clatter, and grinding noise. Cold and merciless, Evol allows merciful moments of silence to sunder the music's fractal fury.
Ron Schepper - textura

Now, prepare to meet the evil Evol. Or maybe you already know them from their Principio EP on Mego released in 1999? Here they are again, with another EP release on Scarcelight, their first release since the Mego EP. OK well, the first longer release, because they also have a track on the Full compilation released by Antifrost. That track is like a smaller part of this almost 22-min EP which completely fulfills the idea of 'full music'. It's very different from their Mego release. Evol are Roc, Anna and their chinchilla ( pet Perkele. They also run the nice label Alku from Barcelona. The chinchilla info page says: "Loud voices and sudden noises will also disturb chinchilla's, so keep them out of busy hallways, and the clicking sound normally made to budgies will only worry and confuse them, so always talk to them using a soft and soothing tone." Anna, Roc, do you know this? What Evol offer here is furious, loud and mad music, and I like it! Constantly shifting fragments of sound, fractured all the time. That's good, the noise is broken and there are many short moments of silence that allow some rest in this fully present music, total opposite of Ronnie Sundin's music for example.
Boban Ristevski. Vital Weekly 413

You prefer your music as extreme as possible? Totally fucked-up, loud, dense and seemingly random sounds? Then Evol is the thing for you. This act had a release on Mego already a few years ago. This new release contains one long track, 'Punani Shell'. In the infosheet I received from the label the music is described as 'hard-edge chinchilla, both beautiful and brutal'. I have no clue what chinchilla audio means, it sounds rather sweet, but that certainly doesn't apply to this cd. Brutal yes, but beautiful? Loud and furious, contantly broken and distorted, no logical building up of sounds, no audible melody. Some laptops must have been abused to get this violent result. I could not handle it, perhaps you can?
HD. Funprox

“Hard-edged Chinchilla Audio” - an intriguing enigma that most of you would like to have solved before your finger pushes the “play” button of your CD player. Would it be hot, and fast rhythms of Kid 606, or latino music inspired Calexico? How about mathematics? Well, the Evol trio - Anna, Roc, and Perkele (if I am not wrong this is Finnish for “fuck”) have a strong itch for “nasty mathematics”, algorithmic compositions and fractals (which adorn the record cover, by the way). Clinically cold and preciously programmed computer music. Fast in generating twists, algorithmic series of sound waves. Nasty and noisy! 22 minutes at only one track that should be played loud, or not at all, as it fail to work as background music! Well, to be honest, I cannot say “Punani Shell” impressed me in any way. You're likely to achieve a similar effect playing any electro CD, keeping the “fast forward” button pressed all the time! Evol sounds just like that! Sure, there must have been some sound manipulation and tinkering with the speed, and they must have spent some time to program their computers, but for God's sake, why am I feeling a bit duped whenever I listen to this? Evol's records can be found the catalogues of such respectable distro's like Mego, (yes, you can download them!), or Antifrost, so maybe I am wrong?
krzysztof sadza, Eld Rich Palmer

Apparemment Scarcelight semblait inquiet du devenir d?Evol suite à leur 3" ep publié chez Mego en 1999, et souhaiterait que nous le fussions aussi. Ce couple barcelonais, teneurs du label Alku (le nom de leur chat), nous l?avions croisé sur la compilation hautement décourageante Void/Full. Evol aime le harsh noise digital, quand tous les sons semblent se tordre et hurler de douleur, et aime les déconstructions. Voilà, ceci étant dit, les fans de Pita pourront être intéressés ; et trouveront dans Punani Shell une longue pièce de plus de 21 minutes dont l?humour joue sur les nerfs et l?attention (vous imaginez bien). Pour ceux qui veulent en savoir plus sur ces fractures musicales, sachez que le fanzine avait consacré une interview à Evol en 2001.
Autres Directions

Punani Shell is is No. 9 for March, & No. 35 for April (2004) on free103point9