Richard Francis, bio, discography, bandcamp, contact

 


Jason Kahn & Richard Francis
s/t CD
MV28
Released by Monochrome Vision, Russia, 2009

Liner notes:
"Tracks 1 & 2 recorded 22.09.07 at Gus Fisher Gallery, Auckland. Track 3 recorded 17.06.08 at Werkstatt für Improvisierte Musik, Zürich. Track 4 recorded 19.06.08 at Le 102, Grenoble. Richard Francis: Computer, electronics, Jason Kahn: Percussion, synthesizer."

Reviews

“These four tracks are the outcome of a restricted number of live meetings between two artists residing in opposite parts of the globe (Switzerland and New Zealand). Yet, by merging the essences of their search for the interior development of a particular sound, Kahn and Francis manufacture a worthy set of increasingly tense soundscapes for percussion, analogue synthesizer, computer and electronics. The opening pair of segments was recorded at the University of Auckland in 2007. The first is firmly entrenched in a semi-regular, unforgiving ringing mainly deriving from incisive synthetic timbres, which after circa six minutes turns into a quaking pulse scarred by various interferences. The second (also the record’s longest) is even sharper – intelligent racket and unsympathetic frequencies dominating for a while – then shifts to a pseudo-static phantasmagoria of clatter and crackle enriched by metallic rattling and a mixture of virtual firecrackers and gunshots, ending with resonant humming tones that change with your head’s motion. We go on with a segment from 2008, captured on tape in Zurich, which exalts the typical escalation – verging on an explosion that never happens – of Kahn’s classic works, enhanced by Francis’ knowledgeable use of his laptop to enforce different gravitational pulls on the whole, under the guise of ripping and slashing discharges of white noise. The last episode (Grenoble, same year) is quite intoxicating, roaring skins and flexible wickedness alimenting a darkish soundscape that leaves no chance for serene openings, closing a practically perfect release in style: the harmony of menace, the incontrollable pressure of an only apparent frozenness, inquietude defined by oscillating daydreams. One can’t avoid being caught up and completely allured.”
Touching Extremes, Italy, 2010

“Here Richard Francis is presenting a collaborative body of work in collusion with a man who is nothing but prolific, the Swiss-based sound artist Jason Kahn. Given Kahn’s studious use of particular noises (white, pink, blue, brown, etc.), Francis has certainly proven to be one of the more complementary musicians that Kahn has worked with over his lengthy career. The eponymous record presents four extracts from live performances the two managed in both Switzerland and New Zealand in 2007 and 2008. Kahn’s set-up often involves pushing particular, restrained noises and synthesized frequencies through the body of a floor tom, and controlling the feedback that can accumulate within that small architectural space; and Francis goes for the virtual systems through the computer interface. But the two can achieve rather similar results with different tools. These gravely, tactile sounds percolate, scrape, and vibrate their way into shifting sedimentary layers which ultimately form a meditative set of broken minimalism. The opening track features a gong-like set of metallic reverberations that billow against an agitated data-stream, which builds through accreted layers of deep low-end drones. Elsewhere, similarly subterranean tones softly rupture with a low-impact distortion grating clouds of grey static. Like on Kahn’s groundbreaking album Vanishing Point, fragmented melodies quietly ripple well below the surfaces of noises, occasionally breaking through the hiss in oceanic swells of drone. Very nicely done!“
Aquarius Records, USA, 2009

“Just how many CDs did Jason Kahn release by now? Hard to say, but quite a fair bunch. He doesn’t surprise me with his music that much anymore, but that has nothing to do with the quality of the music as such. Here he teams up with Richard Francis, once known as Eso Steel and running the CMR label, and these working under his own name. The two met for the first time in Auckland where they played together and then, a year later, again in Switzerland. Kahn plays percussion and analogue synthesizer, while Francis is on computer and electronics. Four pieces (between ten and sixteen minutes each) of great lo-fi humming sounds. A very special kind of drone music that sounds both electronic and acoustic. It seems to me that these are microphone recordings, which capture the atmosphere from the space they play their music in, and which adds a nice textured quality to the music. Minimalist in approach, but very fine in execution. Like said, Kahn doesn’t surprise me with his music, but he sure knows how to please me.”
Vital Weekly, The Netherlands, 2009

“These guys have bridged the gap between spooky ambient and noisey music. There is a heavy atmosphere to this music, perfect for a dark wet night in the Fall. I feel like there is a mechanical fly buzzing around my head, oppressing me and making me turn to look over my should all of the time. Machinery has been turned into spies for the enemy. Drones and whirs writhe on the floor like a dying serpent. Relatively minimal in the sense that there is a dense piece of action to follow, but it isn’t over produced and full spectrum noise. Instead it is a crafted machine that has been recorded as it chews up all the good memories of your childhood. interesting stuff, drones with richness, or very focused dying industries.“
Ear Rational, USA, 2011