I’m very pleased to have completed the first release phase of some Violence and the Sacred music recorded between 1985 and 1993. Viosac performed many concerts during this period and spent significant time in the studio. Some of this material was released on cassette and vinyl, but the majority was not. I’ve been selecting, mixing, and (significantly) editing these works into a series of powerful and focused CDR releases, each different from the other, but all expressing those myriad of characteristics and influences that informed our music at the time.

The best way I can think of to describe the emotional character of the music on these CDs is: an absolute acknowledgement of our despair-inducing world, mixed with a gleeful, confrontational sarcasm and humour, mixed with an uncompromising, but often hidden politics, mixed with a thorough understanding of the cultural and artistic history of the 20th century, mixed with an intense desire to entertain and draw attention to ourselves.

The CDs are available as free digital downloads (payment is optional) and as full physical purchases ($6, including shipping) on Bandcamp. The Viosac website sells them as well, and is offering two special deals: all five for $20 including shipping and all five + our three other recent CDs for $25 including shipping. All the music is licensed under the Creative Commons: attribution, share-alike.

John Whyte has done wonderful work on the CD design and strategy.

The first release phase consists of these five releases:

1. Scarcely a pause in the process of butchering
Scarcely a Pause cover
The first performance by the small, intense, and fanatical improv group. As close as we ever got to pure noise / industrial music, but we can’t sit still long enough for the industrial mood to entirely settle in, and instead inject tapes, spoken text, classical instrumentation, and humour as much as possible. Small close crowd, equipment problems, lots of feedback. The CD’s Cover painting is by Stephen Campbell, 2007.

2. The True Poison
True Poison cover
A combination of two concerts and some studio work. The end of a not so subtle phase, there is more attitude on these recordings than the others: the closest we ever came to making specific statements. The music is harsh and bold, and in places tries to fit into existing forms. The CD ends with Scott Kerr’s excellent piece ‘Sincerity’ which points the way to the aesthetic of confrontational sarcasm that follows in most later recordings.

3. Teddy Bear Stinks Real Bad Now
Teddy Bear cover
The first performance that freed itself from existing expectations and proceeded with confidence in its own methods, characterized by liberal use of tape and stolen sound, more atmospheric and coordinated performance, texts from literary rather than political sources, and a greater effort to entertain. Graham made frequent use of his MS-20 (bought for $150) in this and later concerts. Don McKellar, part of the Viosac entourage at the time, provided us with a wonderful Teddy Bear painting to adorn the private cassette release.

4. Arkinoid
Arkinoid cover
This became a classic of 1980s cassette culture, released by Sound of Pig music. Arkinoid feels dark and blue to me, highly atmospheric and sparse, the first bits of depression and introspection in Viosac. Texts by Samuel Beckett and Alfred Jarry. Moments of searing guitar and Burl Ives. Ted played his fabulous, tiny, travel guitar. The concert was videotaped by two people and video postings of it are pending, pending. The cover marks the first appearance of Viosac’s mascot and determined brand image, Tubby.

5. Lost Horizons
Lost Horizons cover
This was an ambitious two hour concert, featuring 2 televisions, one full screen video projector, and hundreds of slides. Very well attended, quite confrontational and assaultive. The music ranged from harsh to beautiful, partly influenced by a Ensonic sampler loaned to Scott by Gary Roscoe Johnson. St. Deborah’s readings came entirely from Lautreamont’s Les Chants de Maldorer. There is maybe more anger in this concert that others; I remember being in a bad mood.

Ten more releases are planned in this series. The next five will be available before the end of the summer.

1 response so far ...

August 15, 2010: Last week, two very nice reviews of were published:

1. Wonderful Wooden Reasons … quoting:

“I love this sort of vintage sci-fi soundworld that old tech just oozes so well and couple with some truly delightful and restrained musicianship this album is an absolute dream.”

The full review is here, near the bottom of the page.

2. Massimo Ricci’s Temporary Fault. This is actually a review of all three recent Viosac releases. I really appreciated his serious and considered approach. Quoting:

“Hey you, people who spent a fortune for NWW’s Chance Meeting On A Dissecting Table: there’s more attractive substance herein.”

The review is here.

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May 21, 2010: This is a Google Translate interpretation of Kulturterrorismus‘ review of Dawning Luminosity:

Into three “acts” VioSac celebrates “Dawning Luminosity” a world full of sadness and determination that is reminiscent only in terms of sound (analog instrumentation) to previous works and otherwise a return or further disclosed to deep drones, which certainly new listeners layers opens up, if this performance is no “flash in the pan is.

Actually, there should be no problem to find a suitable label for VioSac, but somehow seems the Canadians on high-quality products (made in press) abzufahren & self-distribution, probably to keep all the reins in his hands (to be).

Content immerses the artist in a mysterious matter that is derived from the images, between the Middle Ages and a modern winter moves and the horned lark is dedicated, which somehow does not fit in the majors overall context “Understand, and be free!”, But in the end the mass of lunatics VioSac shows what this project became known. If you are looking madness comes to actually VioSac not over – point!

In contrast to the previously very experimental ideas VioSac delivers on “Dawning Luminosity from” a simple, almost monotonous soundscapes, which can be described best with minimalist drones that have a lot of atmosphere but also monotony and quickly burn in my memory “. Persons who wish Draught & hypnosis also should approve these three overly long tracks on “Dawning Luminosity” and dive in head relaxing cinema. Especially like the very clear structures like the individual songs that never make the music themselves, but their effect in the foreground, so the Konsumentenschaft here expecting a phenomenal listening experience, which gives freedom of thought, when one enters it.

All the individuals, which was previously too VioSac rather queer and turned to with “Dawning Luminosity” risk a new attempt, the result of the lighter (sound should) succeed fare! VioSac real fans should, however, a little missing from the experimental spirit of bygone days, hopefully on future albums is growing again!


VioSac revealed with “Dawning Luminosity” an almost catchy release, the ambient & drone fetishists necessarily have to call their own, however VioSac followers of earlier days could be a little disappointed. Although the absolute change my recommendation, based on the high (almost overwhelming) expression of the plays, which invite to a beautiful mind movie that, under the motto “Understand, and be free!” Runs out!

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May 19, 2010: Dawning LuminosityA nice little review of Dawning Luminosity was published today in the Vital Weekly newsletter. Quoted here:

Back in Vital Weekly 656 we were re-introduced to Violence And The Sacred performing as Viosac, the new name of what was once known as just Violence And The Sacred. Still I have no idea why they hold on to the addition ‘Performing As Viosac’, and not just simply return to the old name. ‘Rusty Pile’ wasn’t a convincing come-back album I thought. Perhaps a bit too much of an unedited jam-session. The CD after that ‘You Are PLanning To Enjoy The Apocalypse’ wasn’t received here. The new work ‘Dawing Luminosity’ is however a great work. Viosac move into a more ambient territory here, which not necessarily adds much to the world of ambient and drones, but the quality is great. Its one piece in three parts and I’m told its all analogue synthesizers and analogue processing. Very slow moves around here, this an almost perfect piece of surround sound, ambient in the very most true sense of the word. An excellent disc of some heavenly music. As said, it doesn’t add much, if anything at all, to what we already know about this kind of music, but its very rare that it unfolds into such a beauty. (FdW)

The original context will be here in a day or two. It is also here, near the middle of the page.

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Marcb 30, 2010: Seven months is far too long between posts. Viosac has been busy and not busy, completely dedicated to music and thoroughly distracted, alive with a unique and fresh vigour and on the verge of death.

Under those circumstances an improbable and atypical CD has been released. I’ve been using the phrase Dawning Luminosity for a personal blog I keep, but is a very appropriate title for this new CD, describing as it does: death, rebirth, and the cycling and closing a very old ellipsis.

Dawning Luminosity

The music is best described as ambient drone, with an emphasis on stasis and insistence. A single 53 minute piece. Instrumentation is entirely a Moog Voyager OS, modified with a Vermona Retroverb and a Roland SBF-325. The mix was post-processed through two Tascam 32 half tracks: Frippertronicy as best I can. As with Rusty Pile and You are planning to enjoy the apocalypse, the sound remained in analogue form until mastering.

We have not done music quite like this before …

Excerpts are available here and here. Dawning Luminosity can be purchased here.

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