To coincide with the release of The Last Few Seconds Before Sleep, I decided to put together a little companion mix traveling through the psychic landscape of some of my favourite corners of cinema. Obviously you can take the list of films and directors as a recommendations list also.

Get it free here but I’d recommend subscribing to the BK20 podcast via iTunes or whichever delivery system you use. Here’s the spraff on it.

Erstlaub – BrokenCinema

When he’s not forging mystical drone behemoths out of the void as Erstlaub, Dave Fyans is also the Art Director here at Broken20 and something of a cinema obsessive. He’s put together a mix in the form of BrokenCinema, an 80 minute collection of soundtrack music based around films, directors and musicians that have particular resonance within the context of the basis for the label, summed up perfectly by his favourite director Andrei Tarkovsky in the following quote.

“The Japanese therefore see a particular charm in the evidence of old age. They are attracted to the darkened tone of an old tree, the ruggedness of a stone, or even the scruffy look of a picture whose edges have been handled by a great many people. To all these signs of age they give the name, saba, which literally means “rust”. Saba, then, is a natural rustiness, the charm of olden days, the stamp of time. Saba, as an element of beauty, embodies the link between art and nature.”

(Andrei Tarkovsky, Sculpting In Time).

Track – Artist (Film – Director)

1. Valuska – Mihaly Vig (The Werckmeister Harmonies – Bela Tarr)
2. Paris, Texas – Ry Cooder (Paris, Texas – Wim Wenders)
3. Guitar Solo 1 – Neil Young (Dead Man – Jim Jarmusch)
4. Once Upon A Time In The West – Ennio Morricone (Once Upon A Time In The West – Sergio Leone)
5. Camille – Georges Delerue (Le Mepris – Jean-Luc Goddard)
6. Fratres – Arvo Part (There Will Be Blood – PT Anderson)
7. Die Nacht Der Himmel – Popol Vuh (Nosferatu – Werner Herzog)
8. ANS 01 – Coil (Enter The Void – Casper Noe)
9. In The Summer – Terry Riley (Lifespan – Sandy Whitelaw)
10. La Valse De Marienbad – Francis Seyrig (Last Year At Mariendbad – Alain Resnais)
11. Bach 1 – Eduard Artemiev (Solyaris – Andrei Tarkovsky)
12. Into The Night – Julee Cruise (Twin Peaks S01E05 – Lynch/Frost/dir. Lesli Linka Glatter)
13. Willow’s Song – Paul Giovanni (The Wickerman – Robin Hardy)
14. Ghost Of Love – David Lynch (Inland Empire – David Lynch)
15. Clockwork Orange Theme – Wendy Carlos (Clockwork Orange – Stanley Kubrik)
16. Op – Gil Melle (The Andromeda Strain – Robert Wise)
17. Air – Delia Derbyshire (Enter The Void – Gasper Noe)
18. Sycamore Trees – Angelo Badalamenti (Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With me – David Lynch)
19. I Only Have Eyes For You – The Flamingoes (Rabbit In The Moon – Kenneth Anger)
20. Over and Done – Mihaly Vig (Damnation – Bela Tarr)



The Dreamer Is Still Sleeping…

A couple of reviews surfaced over the weekend for The Last Few Seconds Before Sleep. Annoyingly due to a vague technical distro issue, the running time is being reported/referenced a few places at 28:46 although the album definitely has a running time of 42.55. Just one of these things.

The Last Few Seconds Before Sleep (Excerpt) by Erstlaub

First up, Resident Advisor who gave it a 3.5/5.

“By means of modular synthesis”—that’s how Scottish drone artist Erstlaub describes the providence of his work, and it’s hard to think of a string of words that signifies more in this context. They speak to literal process, of course, but maybe even more so to the kind of granular attention—to texture, timbre, tone, etc.—that gets paid by those who get really, really, really into sound. For just a little less than 30 minutes, “The Last Few Seconds Before Sleep” stays static and evolves, planting a pole in ambient stillness but following a through-line that moves in minute ways. It sounds a bit like Gas with rusty water towers in place of trees, or even more so like the product of a lot of listening to Eliane Radigue. The title doesn’t fit especially well: there’s too much tension suggested here, or at least implied, to fall into slumber.”

Then a nicely fuzzy and glowing review from Boomkat. Pretty pleased to be mentioned in the same breath as Jeck/Kirby/Koner.

“The latest transmission from Ruaridh TVO’s Broken20 imprint is an extended workout from drone specialist Dave Fyans AKA Erstlaub. The album is apparently is inspired by the sound that enters Fyans’ mind in the brief moment between wakefulness and sleep. “Aware of this clarion call but powerless to act”, he says. “I know this sound inside out, a minute piece of sonic cartography that contains all the information in the universe, like the whirring of a vast organic hard-drive as the processor performs a memory dump between logic and something much bigger…much weirder. Delay lines feed back to Omega Point; choirs of particles stream towards event horizons. Perceived time holds no sway here; this vast but tiny sound contains all of time and space and possibility.” Though in truth we have no freaking idea what this sound he’s banging on about is, the music that it seems to have inspired is wonderful, and yes, it vividly evokes the liminal space opened up as unconsciousness beckons. There’s real grace and poise to this half-hour piece, dubbed-out percussion rubbing against drones of near-liturgical heaviness, its richly detailed but somehow very pure atmospherics carrying the listener from dank underground interrogation chambers to celestial heights and back. Inner space investigations rarely come as deep or as absorbing as this, and Erstlaub’s real talent is in coaxing big emotion out of subtle, miasmic drift. A hearty recommendation for fans of Leyland Kirby, Thomas Koner and Philip Jeck.”

You can purchase it for the really almost too good to be true price of £4.99!! from the Boomkat link above. Thanks for the ongoing support.


ps. I just realised after copying over the RA review that I’ve never actually heard Radigue although I’ve seen her name around quite a lot. It’s a pretty good comparison, I’ll probably check out more of her stuff but, alas, it will always be Delia that rules my heart when it comes to amazing temptresses of sound.

pps. after a wee bit more research on Radigue, the whole thing seems to resonate entirely to my theory of post-cultural premonition. Despite having not actually heard her before yesterday, I can REALLY see the connection, even down to her method of working (all modular, one continuous take, etc) So if anyone out there fancies buying me a Buchla and an ARP2600 then I’ll be more than happy to test out the continuity.

The Breath Between Marks: Score

Since Thursday I’ve been collating the elements I collected from the Centre for Artists’ Books at the DCA for use in a score to be performed at the opening/closing event for the Cabin: Codex exhibition (which one it is is still TBC). Today saw the manifestation of the score itself. Quite interestingly, when laying out the elements, I’ve started to mentally build the piece and be able to hear certain parts. I’m really looking forward to actually getting in about the interpretation of the score. It reads in three sections, from top left to bottom right, equal visual space devoted to urban/threshold/rural although the duration of each movement is at the performer’s discretion. The sound reads from the bottom to the top in terms of frequency, bass components at the bottom, higher frequencies at the top of each section.

TBBM A4 Score

(click the image for a larger view)

The credits for the original elements are below although I’ve yet to get the final list of full titles/references so apologies for any inconsistencies, all images are the property of their respective artists (although I’ve re-interpreted/altered some in the name of artistic license).



JACQUELINE DONACHIE     3,832 Miles     D111

SARA MACKILLOP     50 Envelope Windows M109

PAVEL BUCHLER    Travelogue/Between B.233

ANE HORT GUTTU Modernistisk Reise     G116


BERNARD BORGEAUD     Parc Saint Leger     OS.103

?? W.133


SARAH MACKILLOP     32 Photocopied Pages     M108

PAVEL BUCHLER     2200th Anniversary of The Great Wall     OS104


THOMAS A CLARK From Alder Roots

THOMAS A CLARK Three Troilets


PROJECT Style Substance

JIM HAMLYN Shorthand Basho

ZOË IRVINE     By Air & Sea     I.101


TELFER STOKES     Water on the Border     S.139


RICHARD LONG     Selected Walks 1979 – 1996    L114

RICHARD LONG     No Where   L116


ERIK WESSEN     Forest Time    OS.121

JIM HAROLD Empty Quarter H107




JORN EBNER Mobile Settlement

Time to get building the sounds I guess.



I’ve recently become quite engrossed in the idea of all the disparate information hanging in the ether of the Troposphere and have embarked on a series of improvised performances using radio receivers as source material.

This piece uses a small, battery powered 8 band shortwave radio, spirit folio notepad mixer, bugbrand microcrusher, big muff, holiest grail, re20, dd20 and RC20 pedals to layer and treat the incoming signals.

It’s an interesting departure from the usually obscenely tightly controlled modular constructs employed in my Erstlaub work, replacing purposefully built elements with pure chance.

Séance by D.Fyans

In other news, I spent an afternoon in the Artist Book archive down at the DCA on Thursday collecting source material to be used in the score for The Breath Between Marks. It’s really an amazing collection and I’m honoured to be given the opportunity to access such a rich resource of publications by so many fantastic artists. I’m in the process of breaking down material into score elements via a combination of processing and vectorising images so that I can lay them down. I’ll post up progress as is relevant.


Cabin: Codex – The Breath Between Marks

A few weeks ago I was invited to submit a proposal to Duncan of Jordanstone Exhibitions Department for a new piece to be performed at their upcoming Cabin:Codex exhibition. I’m really happy to say that it got the greenlight today!

Here’s the abstract of the exhibition: “Co-curated by Exhibitions at DJCAD and artist David Faithfull, the exhibition showcases over 100 Artists’ Books and multiples selected from the collection of Centre for Artists’ Books at VRC. The exhibition considers two inter-related but opposing ‘landscape’ themes: the Urban and the Feral, and is presented as an open display available for handling by visitors. The exhibition includes a newly commissioned book, TENT, by Paul Noble. There will also be a programme of live works responding to the notions of book and reading.”

On consideration, I came up with the piece The Breath Between Marks, the proposal as follows:

DFyans - TBBM Prop

I should start work in earnest on it on Thursday with a visit to the CAB to start working through the archive to collect source material to be repurposed into the score. It’s going to be a pretty massive project but I’m really looking forward to pushing myself into a different sphere of influence from my usual soundworks in the construction of the score and the piece itself.

Updates and info will be forthcoming as and when.