Steev Hise's Original represents four years of digital audio manipulation. Though it is built almost exclusively from the recorded works of others (everyone from The Beatles to Martin Denny to Kurt Cobain), Original bears the distinctive mark of its creator. From the gentle whirring drone of "Softly Ultra" to breakneck cutup songs like "Frustr8ed" and "Tentacle of Cannibal", Hise deftly razors his digital cursor across the throat of mass culture.
The opening track, "Ferrante, Zeppelin & Teicher", is a good introduction to Hise's artistic methods. Juxtaposing easily spotted Led Zeppelin samples against the lounge orchestrations of piano duo Ferrante & Teicher, a bit of role reversal happens as Zeppelin later reverberates into its own ambient soundscape. Recontextualizing cultural artifacts with cut-and-paste, abstract sound processing and social commentary, Hise is one of the finest practicioners of what is often referred to as recombinant sound art or plunderphonics.
Creating new originals from copies, eroding the already slippery slope of "authoship", calling into question the concept of intellectual property… these are all activities Hise would call fun.
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