downloaded from the web on feb 11 1996 Manifold is a label that specializes in the darker, obscured underside of ambience. P.O. BOX 12266, MPHS. TN. 38182, USA copyright 870w


Crawl Unit are best known for works of noise- oriented experimental sound, having played live with acts such as Merzbow and Trance among others. Vs. Silence explores starker, softer, more minimalistic areas of slowly evolving sound and sound constructions. Sheets of dense, low volume sonics billow out into infinite space, a horizon recedes as you run towards it, the landscape expanding and resonating around you. The zones and images created during this full-length are limitless. Vs Silence recalls the work of artists such as Aube or Thomas Koner...but even these are only general comparisons as Crawl Unit have clearly staked out their own universe, the Vs Silence disc being only one experiment in many. $12 US ppd/ $15 Overseas/Canada

CRAWL UNIT - "Aftermusic" - cd

The first compact disc release from Crawl Unit comes in a basic, full-color fold-out booklet (not jewel box), and packs a variety of tracks created through baffling tape manipulations and location pieces. The sound is hypnotic, occasionally noisy but always inspiring. $13 US ppd/$14 Overseas

Interview with Joe Colley of Crawl Unit

How long has Crawl Unit existed?

It's been about five years of semi-serious work.

What were some of the first works you did?

I spent a lot of time just experimenting with sounds, loops, primitive thrift store and garage sale tech. I'm not very good at understanding the basics of electricity and such, so i choose to manipulate the way that systems are arranged, and how they work together. I have hours of horrible repetitive sounds on old tapes, the kind of things that are interesting when you first discover them but lose their charm. I think the real trick is to understand how important it is to choose what is being heard, edit yourself ruthlessly. Make sure there is a reason for what is happening. I don't want to ever get to the point of releasing things just because i can.

You are known for extreme noise as well as softer, atmospheric sounds, and even pieces that cant be classified - what is your approach to Crawl Unit? Do you just work with whatever sounds catch your ear? Or do you set out with a goal in mind?

Well i don't know who knows my work really, or what they think it's about but i try not to classify any of it if i can help it. it all stems from the same source, but it's quality is changed by situations along the way. Extremity is's just a facet of a larger whole. You need the extreme things to be able to see the subtler and quieter details. All the work is the culmination of some particular idea for an audible situation, and some situations are harsher than others.

What does the creative process entail for you? Do you actually go and record certain locations, environments?

I have worked with field recordings many times, but i don't invest them with the importance that many composers do. I think it's important to understand my role, as a human or "artist" or's my task to change the raw material in front of me. It's impossible to have an involvement with any material without changing it in some way, so why not just construct your own situation? To make a recording of a place and expect it to be a true picture of the place isn't really sensible to me.

Some of your source sounds are impossible to identify - if you don't mind me asking, what equipment do you work with in the studio?

Most of the sounds come from events on tape that have been processed and reprocessed many many times. My equipment is basic: multi-speed tape decks, effects, microphones, 4 track recorder, assorted electronics...

You seem to have a desire to destroy sounds and then rebuild them, for instance, the material that makes up the Vs. Silence cd is almost unrecognizable - where did the sounds for the record come from?

The idea i'm working with on the "vs. silence" cd is to focus on what ISN'T there...what you are NOT hearing. Leaving spaces in the sound for the listener's brain to fill in with worries, hallucinations, questions, boredom or whatever. There are subtleties within the recording that are purposely inaudible at most volume levels, so it's hard to tell at points if there is really something going on or not. I'm trying to shift the attention away from the "musical" element of playing an album and listening to it. The point is to accentuate what is occurring outside of that...what's happening in the room? What happens in the space between the sounds? For this disc i started with a tape of improvised processing of sounds and ended up taking much of it away. It's not really important where the sounds for "vs. silence" came from. I'm not sure i could remember anyway.

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