Reto from Sum of R provided me with a few reviews of the CD that mention the artwork itself.
The artwork of SUM Of R (Utech Records, URCD025) – a eerie female nude, silver on black – corresponds to the breathtaking Utech-Standard. In addition to this Vanitas motive “Death and Girl” (or “as girl”) Reto Mäder (RM74) composed toghether with Christoph Hess and Roger Ziegler (Herpes Ö Deluxe) - based on bass guitar, strings, electronics, piano, turntable, harmonium and effects - not a morbid, but a creepy dreamscape consisting of gloomy sounds, dismal and dark beats and ominous hallucinatory voices. If you allready know Excursion and other works of RM74 or Havarie (2003) and Kielholen (2007) of Herpes Ö Deluxe, you are listening with SUM OF R to something completely different. The clock goes crazy, the sounds seem to flow forward and backwards at the same time. The sound sources merge into one another and silver vibrations create black whirls.
’Our Karma is broken' consists of only one four-tone-motive, moving around in a circle. Throughout ’Bones Beer and Muscles' lead intense ritual drum sounds and lash guitar storms. At the beginning of ’Eleventh Rib' you should be enough adjusted to the light conditions to discover wiry string arpeggios which are run through percussive scratches. Guitarlike riffs boom also in ‘Requiem for a Liar’ and descend – defined through bass sounds – in ‘Pack Mule’. Here the feedbacks and rustling sound clouds superimpose every single word that is declaimed somewhere in the background. ’Unlisted Desasters' drags along like covered up sound of flourish of trumpets and ends in the dream trap of ’Basics of Sleep' (13:21). This starts with a stagnating blubber which changes into an sublime impetus. Dark roaring harmonies alike to rumbling tubes and trombones arch about a woven pattern of guitar and muffled pulse beat. Here SUM OF R takes the same way as KTL does, especially on IV, with its fantastic surges into the grandeur. Finally ’Good Night Francine' (8:00) is a single tremble, like of raging hammered gongs or cymbals, pierced of the dark shine of standing waves like the black sun of the imaginary may send out.
The three Swiss complete the dreamscapes of her congenial label collegues Dead Air of Final (Justin K. Broadrick), Shivers & Voids of The Stargazer’s Assistant (David J. Smith of Guapo and Miasma & The Carousel Of Dead Horses), Schwarzhagel of Klangmutationen of Kuala Lumpur or Trembled of Nadja as just new Böcklins and Füsslis in a time flown through X–rays and gamma rays would be able to, if they had not already enough to do as setdesigners for Hollywood gothic movies. [ba 61 rbd]
This new Sum of R thing on Utech comes in probably the best designed digipak I've ever handled. I actually can't stop looking at it. I'm a horrible vinyl snob but after opening this I think I might go home, sell all my records and re-buy all my collection on CD.. Basically living my life up until now in reverse. I can't stop looking at it but I really should write something about the music, I'll do my best to avert my gaze.. In common with much of the label's output that I've heard up until now, this self-titled album is gloomy, experimental stuff that I suppose you could tag 'dark ambient' if you really must. There's a fair bit of drone that often crosses over into weird ambient noise sort of territory, with distant slow-motion riffs and lovely controlled feedback. Very dramatic and evocative. Plus the secret goth in you will probably lap up the titles ('Physically Deformed', 'Requiem for a Liar') without ever dreaming of admitting to it. Looking at the inlay I'm assuming this lot are Swiss and the music is a pretty good answer to Orson Welles' cuckoo clock jibe in A Touch of Evil. And look at that thick, untreated card they've used on the packaging.. Yum. Oh, and there's a tit on the cover - WAAHEEEY LADS EH LOL!!!
The Sound Projector
SUM OF R is a side project of RM74, for which he is joined by two members of Herpes Ö DeLuxe – both of these are Swiss noise, drone and electro-acoustic projects which have managed to summon up and portray vast fields of unknowable, metaphysical murk in their slow-moving scapes of sludge. On their eponymous CD (UTECH RECORDS URCD025), Reto Mäder, Roger Ziegler and Christoph Hess use some conventional instrumentation (bass guitar, piano) alongside a turntable, a harmonium and lots of electronic studio effects to create ten substantial episodes of vaguely morbid, doomy and perplexing musics. Well not always doomy maybe, but always strange and compelling. Their ideas about layering and slowly-shifting dynamics could teach a few lessons to many of our American stoner-rock brethren! A fine record whose black digipack and grainy photographs printed with silver ink enhances the flinty atmosphere. By Ed Pinsent.