Kendra Steiner Editions (Bill Shute)

October 14, 2012

Vanessa Rossetto, “Exotic Exit” (Kye LP)

Filed under: Uncategorized — kendrasteinereditions @ 7:51 am




Side One:

exotic exit


Side Two:

de trop

With Vanessa Rossetto’s background as a string player and as a visual artist, you might expect her new LP “Exotic Exit” (her second for Graham Lambkin’s “Kye” label, after the much-acclaimed “Mineral Orange”) to have an emphasis on texture, and you would be correct in that assumption. However, these are textures of place, which Ms. Rossetto has somehow transposed into sound–and the place is Central Texas.

For me, EXOTIC EXIT is a kind of “core sample in sound.” The beautiful  bleached-out astringent orange cover, with its depiction of  a sun-baked abandoned shopping mall and rows of cars parked next to a bridge on the interstate, roots the album deeply in PLACE, the kind of place that few would take the time to investigate or ponder. The kind of place that most people spend time in while heading to another place that they feel is more significant. The kind of post-industrial, post economic-crash exit on the interstate that one can find almost anywhere on the periphery of Austin (except in the neighborhoods with money), where Ms. Rossetto lives. It’s a kind of disposable place in the eyes of many, but it’s where we are at here in Central Texas, where we live, and this album strikes me as Vanessa Rossetto’s taking such a place and not just investigating it as an artist (taking what most pass by unnoticed and viewing it with new eyes, making it fresh and exciting and rich), but somehow RECREATING it, or perhaps I should say creating an alternate version of the reality, something that someone in Massachusetts or Scotland or Russia can bathe in and get the FEEL of this Central Texas place.

By affixing a numbered sticker to the top corner of the album (the number also appears in one of the field recordings woven into the fabric of the album, its original context being an auction, I’m guessing), the artwork is also being consigned to a functional status, like a sound library album tucked into some musty stack in the back room of a radio station or commercial production house. And like the abandoned mall on the front cover, with its cracks in the asphalt, that sound library album is taken for granted and forgotten, not on anyone’s top 40 or in regular rotation.

If ever an album cried out for a vinyl release, this is it. Not just for the reason stated above, but because this haunting assemblage of musique concrete, electronics, and instrumental work needs the depth and solidity and sound-weight that only vinyl can provide. This is music that takes the listener to a place, and all of our senses are engaged here: smell, touch, taste, sight, sound, and that mysterious sixth sense that we get when in an abandoned or semi-abandoned place. You can live in and live with this album. And the end result, if Vanessa Rossetto is successful, is that the listener will open his/her eyes and ears and view his/her own environment—probably a bleak urban-suburban area full of grungy fast-food restaurants and seedy payday-loan stores and gun stores with bars on the window—and will perhaps “see” it and “experience” it for the first time, with the same eye one would view an artwork, with the sense of smell and taste one would bring to fine wine, with the kind of hyper-realism one might get temporarily during an acid trip. The rich tapestry of decontexturalized human voices and environmental sounds on offer here can’t help but ground the album in the stuff of daily life. And as a musical creation, EXOTIC EXIT is full of enough compositional technique to keep one occupied for a long time.

I’ve heard about 10 of Vanessa Rossetto’s releases, and each one is special and has the emphasis on texture one would expect from a string player and visual artist, as mentioned above, but EXOTIC EXIT is truly a unique work, and a work with a cultural specificity that one is often used to finding more in the worlds of film-making and poetry and photography than in music. Vanessa’s last album, MINERAL ORANGE, sold out quickly. Don’t let this one get past you…

Vanessa Rossetto Discography (taken from the artist’s website):
current or previous releases (in order of release):
* tmaog split cassette with apple snails (2007 dnt)
* tmaog dark lowland yields on worm comp(ost) cdr comp (2007 echo curio)
* catrider self-titled cdr (2007 mymwly)
* tmaog we could fail under the stars cdr (2007 mymwly)
* tmaog your window right, your tree duty on trees in the attics cdr comp (2007 akoustic desease)
* tmaog cdr joy of the mountain (2007 ruralfaune)
* vanessa rossetto it gets even with us on ihm 2 – olives & pancakes net comp (2007 i hate music)
* tmaog revenez a la demoiselle qui est delegue du roi du ciel on frannce 3cdr comp (2007 ruralfaune)
* tmaog fruiting bodies on the crests of the avians dance to our vibes cdr comp (2007 celestial jars)
* pulga pulga loves you cd (2007 fire museum)
* tmaog enormous gold soul on cris et chuchotements cdr comp (2007 crier dans les musees)
* vanessa rossetto misafridal cdr (2008 music appreciation)
* vanessa rossetto imperial brick cdr (2008 music appreciation)
* vanessa rossetto whoreson in the wilderness cdr (2008 music appreciation)
* wondrous horse cavallo meraviglioso cd (2008 fire museum)
* hwaet peiohr on ihm 3 net comp (2008 i hate music)
* vanessa rossetto they’re not there on ihm 3 – building & butte net comp (2008 i hate music)
* donato epiro/vanessa rossetto track on vinyl beards lp (2008 bsbta/beard of snails)
* vanessa rossetto for quiet room at compost and height (2008 compost and height)
* tmaog arnold school #1 on hand-rolled oblivion 3cdr comp (2008 mymwly)
* catrider from mirrors are oceans on hand-rolled oblivion 3cdr comp (2008 mymwly)
* vanessa rossetto gloria tejana at homophoni (2008 homophoni)
* vanessa rossetto fall at bagatellen (2008 bagatellen)
* bright duplex feigned whir on menhir double 7″ lathe (2009 root don lonie for cash)
* vanessa rossetto string quartet & lawnmower on cdr portion of second mind publication
* vanessa rossetto century oaks as part of the recreating the domain project (2009)
* bright duplex strawberry trust cdr (2009 thor’s rubber hammer)
* vanessa rossetto dogs in english porcelain cdr (2009 music appreciation)
* bright duplex a system of worlds on vinyl snails bonus cdr (2009 beard of snails)
* vanessa rossetto quoits on ihm 4 net comp (2009 i hate music)
* vanessa rossetto harmony no. 17 on only [harmony series 17] (2009 compost and height)
* vanessa rossetto without fear i go now to god on wobbling roof net publication (2009 wobbling roof)
* vanessa rossetto pdd-nos c-30 cassette (2010 period.tapes)
* vanessa rossetto bookpacking 2 at compost and height (2010 compost and height)
* vanessa rossetto mineral orange 12″ lp (2010 kye)
* hwaet self-titled cdr (2010 abrash/music appreciation)
* vanessa rossetto exotic exit 12″ lp (2012 kye)

other people’s releases that VR has played on:
* uton radio olio metaphysica (2008 om ha sva ha ksha ma la va ra yam)
* book of shadows 777 (2008 ikuisuus)
* book of shadows isadora shadow (2008 mymwly)

hmmm, I’ve got about 10 of those, but I’ve got a lot of catching up to do!!!!

Vanessa performed at the Kendra Steiner Editions 5th Anniversary Concert in July 2011  (she’s 2nd on left, standing)


The artist’s website is at

note: Vanessa’s next album is a collaboration with Manchester(UK)-based artist Lee Patterson…it’s called TEMPERAMENT AS WAVEFORM and will be appearing on the Another Timbre label in January of 2013

I remember once decades ago driving through Western Kansas with a friend. My friend commented, “there’s nothing out here.” I replied, “no, there’s nothing to get in the way.”

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