Holes / Tract. COPPICE
(Consumer Waste 2012)

‘Holes / Tract’ is the latest release from Chicago artists Coppice (Joseph Kramer and Noé Cuéllar); this work is published by british label Consumer Waste one of the very interesting young labels in the concrete and acousmatic composition line of work.


The first piece of the release is a work where the sound textures, scales and shapes present strong emotional content. Here the listener is already exposed to a work that could emotionally move and affect him while still establishing a quotidian and incidental aura.

Through almost 49 minutes ‘Holes / Tract’ slowly reveals a delicate narrative character that compellingly evolves rewarding the listener with a very powerful experience.

Mild Grey Lustre

Something that I find quite compelling in regard of this piece is the fact that the incidental and the human action are merged creating some sort of parallel reality, a construction that formally evokes the relationship between the subject and an observer.


Scour, the third piece, presents some sort of harsh character that is dealt with on a very austere and compelling way. Scour goes from phonographic moments of hard sound textures to moments of extreme focus on the detail where the tiny incidental sound events help constructing this continuos sense of narrative. Through the last third of the piece, a series of treated mechanical sounds create a new layer, a new texture that helps building some sort of micro-emotional environment of great formal aesthetic value.


This is probably the more ‘musical’ piece of the release, at least through its first half. Through the middle the more musical sonorities fade away to this beautiful sounds where this emotional harshness is brought back, again dealt with on a very delicate and austere way which only helps making this harsh character stronger.

‘Holes / Tract’ is a work that should be kept in mind for those who are interested on the more formal aspect of the concrete line of work in particular on the emotional content that can be found on the phonographic capture via treatment and montage.


‘Coppicing is a traditional method of woodland management which takes advantage of the fact that many trees make new growth from the stump or roots if cut down. In a coppiced wood, young tree stems are repeatedly cut down to near ground level. In subsequent growth years, many new shoots will emerge, and, after a number of years the coppiced tree, or stool, is ready to be harvested, and the cycle begins again.’

‘…comprising four compositions that explore the widely dimensional sonic range of a strictly narrow instrumentation: shruti box/acoustic filters and modified boombox/tape loops’
-‘Holes / Tract’ liner notes

[Joseph Kramer: left,  Noé Cuéllar: right.
Photograph © Nathan Keay, 2011 from Coppice’s website]

-John McEnroe

Coppice website
Consumer Waste website