Conundrum from 1987, is a music LP and video release, about the nature of London’s urban environment. The Conundrum Video made in 1987 is 30 mins long and is available for screening on DVD and VHS. The video is shot in South London and edited in extensive post production. This is a series of continually edited and re-processed urban images and forms containing isolated fragments of our city experience.
The LP Conundrum The State By Stanza uses found sounds mixed together into a heavy industrial landscape and was released on Dossier Records Germany in 1987
THE STATE "Searches for naked forms" (sound sound) CD
From the very beginning "Searches..." throws you into the land full of pricisely constucted sounds creating gloomy atmospheres aimed to provoke listener's vision about urbanistic landscapes. If this album was a futuristic description of the big cities I really wouldn't like to live there. Mechanical pulsations in form of heavy drum beats weaved with dense everchanging eerie electro manipulations being frequently injured by metal scratches, altogether build up aforementioned subltle atmospheres. The music is constantly changing and no vocals are used here although sometimes they are replaced by voice samples which fit the whole musical obscurity just fine. Trying to cover quite different mucic stles Steve made this album a real winner and even without being accessible to wider audience, "Searches..." could easily turn on a few more people go into deeper contact with Industrial Avant-Garde music. At least I was much impressed by these original sound sculptures, why just don't forget your mainstream shit and try something really ORIGINAL!
Industial Nation, Issue #4. Sonic Reviews The State.
The music of The State is an hour of incredible electic swamp music. All of the sounds blend together creating a pulsating labyrinth of sounds from which sometimes voices cry out. Heavy murky beats resonate through out. Some sounds mechanical and syncopated but just when you think the music is in a repetitive grind something changes. Saxophones appear and disappear throughout, other sirens and whistles blow through to conjure the wind of this swamp like music. The stereoscopic and placement of various instrument voices change and move sporadically to create a changing texture that is the base of this definitely experimental approach creating a unique enviroment which becomes more and more defined through subsequent listenings. Definitely head phone music to shut one's eyes to and perceive this incredibly variable conjuring of sound!
Suffer Part 1Sound Magazine "Control" THE STATE
This release is excellent; Stanza has been helped by other guests/musicians, and unlike some other nowdays bands they don't use very much digital samplers of lotsa noise; the group balances different musical forms using sax,oboe, flute and real drums, plus of course keyboards, guitars etc. 17 tracks, the music is various, it entertains without it being an easy-listening; some tracks are more into ambient-experimentation, "free" but with...... control. It's very difficult to review this release....well, The CD version includes a beautiful full colour booklet, but get a copy into the K7 format, too....it features a brilliant hand painted cover. One of the best releases of 1991. Sound Sound
State Arts Project. Stanza by Paul Oldfield
You could call Stanza, the winner of Wolfson College's recent art competition, clearly believes (like many who emerged from the art school/pop interface of the eighties) that new technologies can release repressed or forgotten knowledge, and help us to recover our primal powers of creation. The earlier work in his one-man retrospective at Wolfson is still preoccupied with an 'industrial culture' of surveillance, control and repression: brutal, monochrome, low-definition architectural perspectives, street-plan grids, high rise elevations defaced by heavy imprints, or grainy, propagandist collages like Haves and Have Nots.
But now the emphasis is on the emancipation promised by the new media. The laser copier and computer graghics go hand-in-hand with the rediscovery of pre-scientific ritual and magic, as titles Icon, Earthly Delight, and Alchemy suggest. That alchemy is both literal - matt black gives way to gold, white or translucence - and figuraive. Stanza is concerned more with the way images are formed and transformed than with content, more concerned with the copy than the original. Increasingly unidentifiable, mutilated grids are copied, degraded, reproduced on plexigrass screens or mirror. There is no message, as one title says, just the medium.
One of the founding members of British electro-deconstructioneers Boubonese Qualk, Stanza's previous solo outing, 'Control', delved somewhat deeper into his parent band's darker Caberet Voltaire influences, but it is a mere introduction to the sound scapes found on this amazing follow up. Stanza has somehow reconstituted disparate Euro-experimenters (Cluster, Schnitzler, Thomasius, Chris Carter) and added splashes of edgy, modern techno-rhythns here and there to yield one of the most original and wide-ranging electronic records of the year. This is one of those recordings which by its intangible nature is difficult to describe: even the titles, despite their vivid imagery ("Small worlds", "War in the Machine", "Subliminal Orbits", "Too narrow a name", "The Armchair Universe") do not entirely represent the sounds that spring from them. By taking elements of post-industrial music, Teutonicism, contemporary British ambience and samplerese, Tanza's managed to create what few can do - innovative music that's discared aging molds for recasting in shapes that are truly new.