Green Stump (C30 / CD-R)
Unread 2004

1) 10-key travelogue
2) silent hula
3) a fast weepy
4) lda is celluloid, ldy
5) zinc cross

Eloine: Bryan Day


(Foxy Digitalis) Bryan Day's Eloine project appears to have replaced his previous solo efforts as Sistrum. Sistrum was one of my favorites coming out of Omaha. Now that he's moved on to Eloine, I can safely say that Eloine has topped Sistrum in just about every way. This new release, a short tape on the Unread imprint, is an ethnically charged exploration of new sounds and atmospheric moods. The five tracks on "Green Stumps" are like a journey through time and space. It's an experiment in compressing physical distance through music, and as such is executed perfectly. "A Fast Weepy" opens the second side of this tape. With huanted screechings and tattered strums of an unidentifiable instrument, you feel like you're floating down the Yellow River in China or are isolated somewhere in Tibet. It's fantastic. Bone-like rattles grace "LDA is Celluloid, Ldy," and kalimba is used throughout this cassette. Jews harps, droning organs, and various percussive and stringed instruments all make their presence felt. Day's ability to combine such diverse sounds from various places in the world is nothing short of impressive. The overt organic nature of these recordings only adds to their power and impact. Sistrum may be dead or on hiatus, but I am more than happy to have Eloine in its place. I can honestly say this is the best cassette release I've heard in 2004. Highly recommended. 9/10 - Brad Rose

(Touching Extremes) Recorded in 2004, "Green stump" is another short and sweet presentation by one of Bryan Day's many aliases. Five genderless improvisations, all of them sounding as if they were mostly played on homemade instruments, or cheap ones in any case. There are strings, blown tubes (I am a little hesitant in calling them "flutes", although that might be the case), various kinds of percussion and whatever we can imagine in terms of "get what you want if you're going to have fun while improvising". The nice part of this is that the CD - similarly to every Eloine record that I've heard - doesn't really sound like "fun", at least not in the commonly intended meaning. A distinct scent of ritualistic gesture, facilitated by reiterative rhythms, is often perceptible amidst the apparent chaos; and even that mess seems to be born with an intrinsic logic. Music that meshes acoustic and electric purity in equal doses, perfectly acceptable as it is without tricks or elaborations. The brief duration makes the whole all the more welcome, pushing us to immediately restart the listening session as soon as the disc has finished its spinning. - Massimo Ricci

(Vital Weekly) Eloine, Bryan Day's solo project, sent me also an older release, which falls out of the six minute period, but 'Green Stump' is worth mentioning in spirit of the Shelf Life release. Here the band is reduced to one person, who plays his solo music spread out over a four track machine and mix the whole in a similar way as he does later on with Shelf Life. Day plays rhythm, flutes and guitar, with no particular emphasis on one of them. As such this is an interesting forecast in the future sound of the band. - Frans de Waard

(Unread) Eerie otherworldly sounds emit from stereo speakers. plunk and pluck from various acoustic instruments. oddly compeling recording from post-sistrum project. - Chris Fischer

(Sea of Tranquilty) While it's unlikely Vivian Stanshall ever met Bryan Day, or heard his work as Eloine, Mr. Stanshall nevertheless provided an apt enough description: "Changing yet changeless as canal water..." These three handmade releases contain uniformly remarkable work, the covers of which might make Motherwell shed a tear, and music of which might make Cage crack that smile of his. All the pieces manage to move along and stand still just enough for the listener to consider whether or not time is actually passing, or whether it is instead suspended in a grainy and crystal clear, formicated soundstage. Drawing together a seemingly vast number of sources, the pieces are generally formless and completely preoccupied with sound. Sometimes it is the sound of small things, like a button, a Jew's Harp or a Thumb Piano or the glissando of a sliding whistle; others a found object struck by another found object, all toybox free of clockwork and alarming in their specific presence. In some cases, like the suite-ishness of green stump, slow halos of grit accrete or entropically overcome varied disjunctive systems of chance, staccato interactions. short community offers a more legato solidity, with air. Other pieces incorporate traditional instruments played non-traditionally as a part of an ensemble determined simply by the fact that a sound may originate when some thing or other is stroked, plucked or struck. In every case, the niceties of Music are set aside, intimating that "Eloine" may or may not derive from "eloin", to operate outside the law, or at least in this case, outside the rules. An alternative to alternative musics, Eloine resides as part of the artist colonies of work available through publiceyesore, digitalis industries or stentorian tapes, fitting if nothing else the outlier sound artist category perfectly. Cage once said that if an idea seemed weak across just a few minutes, one should repeat it even longer and notice that it will inevitably get better: a comment that says more about human perception than about evaluating creative work. Eloine gets the lengths just about right, and seems subversive in doing so. Bryan must also take some small glee in the vaporous cover credits which provide an odd reminder of Duchamp's "Fountain" by identifying the artist himself only as "b.day". - Kerry Leimer