Electrotherapy is a collection of sound pieces based on studio recordings of early 20th-century electrical devices, including induction coils, a diathermy machine, an ultra violet ray oscillator, and a sectorless wimshurst machine. These devices were recorded at close range, and form the basic source material for all tracks on the CD. Thanks to Pete Barvoets, who kindly allowed me to record the devices that are part of his private collection. Scott Smallwood was born in Dallas, Texas, and grew up at 10,000 feet in elevation in the Colorado Rockies. Smallwood is a sound artist who enjoys working with a wide variety of electronic and acoustic materials, particularly real-world sound and field recordings. His work has involved creating electronic music in the studio; and improvising as a percussionist, a laptop performer, and a performer of the Trinidadian steel drum. He is one half of the laptop duo Evidence, performs dance music under the name sCAUGHT, and enjoys writing structured improvisations for traditional and non-traditional instrumental ensembles. He has released recordings on the Deep Listening and Televaw Records imprints, and his work has been presented internationally in festivals, conferences, museums, clubs, coffee shops, swimming pools, rooftops, and dive bars. He is currently a doctoral student in sound and composition at Princeton University.
"If you ever heard the sound of lightbulb that is near the end of its life, you may have any idea how this release sounds: the sound static electricity. That may sound simple, but Smallwood knows how to craft a very fine piece of music. Some of these pieces are downright ‘industrial’ – and I mean industrial in the sense of industry, not the musical term – and ‘noise coming from a factory’ like in ‘Energex’, but in other instances the statics are cut up into rhythms and even music, like in ‘Sunkraft’ or in ‘Ropiquet’. Here Smallwood creates zombie-like techno music, more electric than Pan Sonic. Especially in these two tracks, Smallwood shows us the potential of creating ‘music’ out of ‘noise’ – and I see even possibilities of a remix project there." –Frans de Waard, Vital Newsletter.
"Electrotherapy is not easy listening. Its sound palette is bleak and abrasive (although other artists could have produced much harsher music out of this material), but Smallwood has brilliantly succeeded in bringing these devices into the 21st century, if only for three quarters of an hour." -François Couture, All Music Guide
47 minute Audio CD. (Deep Listening DL29).