back to releases-overview

short info:

  • Cat.No.: US006
  • Title: Sticks For Bits Ep
  • Artist: Onethema
  • Type: 12" (lim.500)

Sticks For Bits Ep

download pdf

Simon Petre is a genius in sculpting together complex rhythmic elements, combined with distant piano sounds and everchanging atmospheres.
His blissfully programmed dynamic layers of sound, shift and fit into place perfectly, whilst his rapidly mutating tracks prevent the listener from divining what will come next.
Although not particularly computer literate, Simon believes in experimentation and freedom from programming manuals and past musical conventions, and has developed his own independant style as a result. He readily admits that large parts of his music develop from the mistakes made whilst tracking and processing sounds, providing new ideas and avenues to follow. Other parts of his music are based around visual themes, images and contexts developed in tandem with the tracks, framing the type of sounds and atmosphears used.


Reviews


Published in: XLR8R

Another music revolution is being ushered in by producers like 20-year-old London resident Simon Petre (Onethema) who've grown up using downloaded music software (shareware). Creating radical electronic sounds outside the confines of traditional sequencing programs, manuals or interfaces. Petre incorporates processing mistakes in his neo-classical, minimalist, splattering ambient sound explosions. Thorny listening for sure, but revolution is never comfortable.
Derek Grey


Published in: absorb.org

route-veen 26 is spooked: every few bars anxious pauses overtake the raspy, busy, rhythm that clicks and glitches like a child prodigy keen to show off how many quadratic s/he can do in five minutes, twenty-five seconds while a lovely, melancholic and spooked keyboard refrain picks its uncertain way over the rubble. rutaceae comes on more determined, but ends up no less riddled with doubt - like a metal-hulled trawler become inexplicably rusted on its maiden voyage. windon arrives on a nursery melody round which chill breezes blow. splanchic comes wreathed in fog, sounds like those of ships' horns in a distant port barely reach the ear at first then draw closer. for a first release sticks for bits is impressively detailed, varied and engaging. where next: expand this sound, increase the abstraction or add something figurative or?
colin buttimer


Published in: cut-up.com

Microsound is de term die een paar jaar geleden alweer werd “uitgevonden” voor deze muziek en lijkt ook nu nog een verklaringswaarde te bezitten. Wervelwinden op de vierkante millimeter. Als genreaanduiding is de term zinloos, maar het beschrijft die vormen van elektronische muziek waar de vorm niet gezocht wordt in de tot nummers uitgesponnen beats en melodieën, maar eerder in de individuele soundelementen. Die interesse kan natuurlijk alle richtingen inslaan: van het minimale modernisme van een Kim Cascone tot de hyperactieve struikelende beats van een Autechre. Plat geformuleerd: Onethema zit hier met zijn twintig minuten EP zeer gemoedelijk tussen. Ergens heb ik het gevoel dat hij het beide kan – zowel het nauwelijks hoorbare minimalisme als de nieuwe complexiteit – maar dat hem deze extremen niet werkelijk interesseren. Ritmische elementen worden heerlijk open en losjes met pianogeluiden vermengd. Geen radicale aanpak, maar gewoon pop. Muziek voor de namiddag. Soms een beetje saai, maar wel lekker.
By: bas van heur


Published in: De:Bug

Nach der fluffy gehaltenen Menu:Exit-EP schalten Underscan Records wieder auf den minimal-abstrakten Kanal: Onethemas 'Sticks for Bits'-EP fackelt so wenig wie möglich mit Flächen rum und droppt lieber Beatscience -virtuos, sensibel abgedämpft und keinerlei Richtungszwang unterworfen, fusseln die Drums zwischen den Boxen hin und her, manchmal mit ein paar Piano-Tupfern akzentuiert, oft sich selbst überlassen im Garn, das sie spinnen. In Track 3 von ingesamt 4 kommt es zu einer kleinen Kulmination der Ebenen, ansonsten ist das fast schon Kammermusik, so sorgsam ist alles gesetzt. Hatte Simon Petre von seinem letztjährigen Berlin-Gig etwas wilder in Erinnerung, aber in den Genuss von unaufgeregten, wie mit Bleistift gezeichneten Breaks kommt man ja auch nicht allzuoft.
Ö **** - *****


Published in: etherreal.com

Sticks For Bits est la sixième référence à sortir en 12" chez Underscan, avec ici le travail du londonien Simon Petre, étudiant en anthropologie. Amateur de musique classique, il découvre l'electronica et tente d'imbriquer les deux en composant dans sa chambre. Le résultat de ses expérimentations, il le met à disposition sur internet jusqu'à se faire remarquer par le label allemand.
Les deux faces de ce vinyl sont bien différentes, la première privilégiant les expérimentations rythmiques, tandis que la face B laisse les mélodies s'exprimer. Retrouvez les chroniques que vous avez pu lire un peu partout à propos de l'album Confield d'Autechre, et vous aurez une petite idée de ce à quoi peut ressembler la face A de ce Ep. Route-Veen 26 est un véritable imbroglio rythmique, concassé, syncopé, d'où s'échappe quelques notes de piano d'abord abstraites, puis de plus en plus construites. L'idée est poussée un peu plus loin encore sur Rutaceae, où la rythmique tarabiscotée côtoie des bleeps glissants. Ca fourmille de brefs sons électroniques, et ces expérimentations qui s'étalent sur plus de 5mn paraissent longues, même si l'ensemble est au final plutôt ludique.
Au contraire Windon qui ouvre la face B débute par une jolie mélodie épurée, quelques nappes au second plan, et ce n'est qu'un peu plus tard qu'une rythmique complexe fait son apparition. Le mélange est plus équilibré, mais petit à petit la mélodie langoureuse se calque sur la rythmique et devient elle aussi saccadée. Sur le dernier morceau, l'anglais fait preuve d'une plus grande recherche sonore avec un son assez particulier qui sert à construire la mélodie en nous donnant l'impression que les machines sont désaccordées. Ce son évolue lentement et se transforme en notes de cordes frappées pour un final doux et mélodique.
On reste ici un peu sur notre faim, peut-être parce que l'on a un peu de mal à bien cerner l'artiste avec ces deux faces relativement différentes, tout en ne trouvant pas ici un morceau véritablement fort, ou une véritable personnalité derrière ces pièces. On cerne pourtant un gros potentiel, mais on attendra qu'Onethema trouve son propre chemin.
Fabrice Allard


Published in: igloomag.com

“Route-Veen 26” bubbles to the bridge with a sideline percussive beat that moves like a spider under siege. Ticking, backing up, popping and cocooning. Onethema creates an almost dance record with start/stops and sci-fi bellows that are serious fun. Well, a bit more serious than fun, actually, but not quite didactic. It’s more like you lost a quarter in a machine and you are trying to wrench it from the evil beast so you can make that almighty purchase behind the glass of the vending system. Granted, there is a tad bit of the old skool Squarepusher stuck in its craw, it doesn’t succumb to the faults of the carbon copy, no residue, just a faded memory chip. Sticks for Bits should be out on shelves soon, but most likely won’t last too too long as Mr. Simon Petre has concocted a true original, something that is as imaginative as anatomical, especially on the sumptuously playful “Rutaceae” (What does that mean? Is that a fungus?). It’s childlike at times (“Windon”) and can also act as a electronic decoder slash scanning system for treated sound diagrams that are only secretly unlocked via infrared (“Splanchnic”). Whatever the guise – this is more a heady trip through new electronica tongues on fire than something to get your ya yas out to. Save the high kicks for later, you’ll need the boost.
review by TJ Norris


Published in: logo-magazine.com

Simon Petre is currently studying anthropology at Goldsmith’s in London, an apt course for one so taken with the effects of sound on the human condition. Though his early love for classical music quickly morphed into an obsession (his word) for electronica, experimental music and beat-driven sound, his own brand of experimental, beat-driven electronica is as studied and precise as anything by Bach or Mozart. In fact, had either of those two been around today this, arguably, is where they would be operating: piecing together complex, convoluted arrhythmic pieces that alternately shock, haunt and excite. It’s what all music should do, what electronica so rarely does.
**** Fela Lewis


Published in: sector2000.com

Latest Underscan signing Simon Petre blew us away with his fresh sound when we first stumbled across his tracks on the internet. There was no other choice but to present this work to a wider audience. Simon is a genius in sculpting together complex rhythmic elements, combined with distant piano sounds and everchanging atmospheres. His blissfully programmed dynamic layers of sound, shift and fit into place perfectly, whilst his rapidly mutating tracks prevent the listener from divining what will come next. A 20 year old student of anthropology in London's Goldsmith's University, Simon began listening to Classical music at an early age, solidifying his love for music. In his mid teens he became obsessed with listening to and collecting large amounts of beat-orientated, electronica and experimental music. Whilst recording music off the radio, he would cut and paste bits together to make random compositions of sound for his own enjoyment. It was during this time Simon began experimenting with free synthesis software of the internet, to create the sounds which would come to be his first songs. Although not particularly computer literate, Simon believes in experimentation and freedom from programming manuals and past musical conventions, and has developed his own independant style as a result. He readily admits that large parts of his music develop from the mistakes made whilst tracking and processing sounds, providing new ideas and avenues to follow. Other parts of his music are based around visual themes, images and contexts developed in tandem with the tracks, framing the type of sounds and atmosphears used.


Published in: sodapop.it

Mai sentiti Onethema e neppure la Underscan Records, ma se il buon giorno si vede dal mattino potrebbe essere un nome di quelli da appuntare sull'agenda. Simon Petre potrebbe lasciare qualche perla notevole sul suo cammino se consideriamo che ha solo vent'anni. Ritmiche complesse, anche se non zoppe come quelle degli Autechre o degli ultimi Mouse On Mars. Melodie rarefatte filo-ambient che forse fanno vedere un po' di quella passione che in adolescenza Simon sembra aver dimostrato nei confronti della musica classica contemporanea, anzi azzarderei il solito nome che in ambito elettronico ogni tanto riemerge da patron Richard D. James in poi: ovviamente lui, il buon vecchio Satie. Il giovane è iscritto alla facoltà di Antropologia, per cui viene da chiedersi se si tratti di un Darwin in erba o di un "powerbook nerd" in acido; sporca ritmiche di classe con qualche rumore di fondo, colori ambientali senza eccessivo uso di glitch, ma soprattutto una bella dose di gusto che non fa mai male. Sorprendente, davvero. L'unico difetto di questo disco è quello di essere un mini; non ci resta che aspettare un lavoro sulla lunga distanza.


Published in: somamag.de

Das Berliner Underscan Label mit einem weiteren Schmankerl. Vorhang auf für Onethema.
Simon Petre aka Onethema ist angehender Anthropologe. Wie wir wissen, sind diese Zeitgenossen unter anderem dafür bekannt, aus kleinsten Knochenfragmenten komplette menschliche Schädel bzw. Skelette zu rekonstruieren. Genau diese Fähigkeit findet sich auch in Simon Petres Musik wieder. Aus kleinteiligen, kantigen Beats, stolpernden Drum-Breaks und haufenweise hyperaktiven Soundpartikeln setzt er komplexe rhythmische Strukturen zusammen. Für Athmosphäre in seinen vertrackten Konstruktionen sorgen dezent eingestreute Piano bzw. Synthesizer-Sounds. Perfektion und Feinschliff bleiben dabei eher aussen vor. Simon Petre zeigt sich sehr experimentierfreudig und setzt auf unkonventionelle Programmiermethoden. Der Zufall spielt in seiner Musik eine grosse Rolle, ebenso wie auch gelegentliche Programmierfehler wohlwollend hingenommen werden. Onethema-Tracks sind unvorhersehbar, voller Brüche und wissen immer wieder aufs neue zu überraschen. Mehr davon!
(Falk, 04.05.04)


Published in: stylusmagazine.com

Apparently Simon Petre (aka Onethema) studies anthropology at Goldsmith’s University in London when he’s not trolling the internet for free synthesis software and assembling sounds into random compositions. Petre embraces experiment and accident as key catalysts in the development of his sonic mutations, four of which are heard on Sticks For Bits. Certainly the standard arsenal of electronic sounds is here—prickly static emissions, morphing splatter, scratchy beats—but, reminiscent of Confield in general style as well as fractured spirit, the pieces seldom cohere into distinguished compositions. They meander, much like wayward electronic jams, and, not surprisingly, Onethema’s music impresses most (the delicate “Windon,” for example, with its melancholy keyboard melody and clattering rhythms) when it emphasizes memorable melodies and clearly defined compositional structures.
[Ron Schepper]


Published in: Trax Magazine

Broderies fragiles électronica, « Route-Veen 26 » prend rapidement le chemaind de traverse pour nous emmener dans un paysage assez proche de Richard Devine, sans pour autant être aussi sombre. Car à l'image de Lexaunculpt, Simon Petre préfère le calme d'une dune que les profondeurs d'une mer malade. Là où Richard recherche la tension, Simon y dépose des grains de sable et de la lumière. Une musique intime qui ne demande qu'à se propager dans de grands espaces baignées de soleil en compagnie des productions de Music Aus Ström


Published in: Vital Weekly

One Simon Petre is behind Onethema. He's twenty years old and studies anthropology in London. After listening to classical music he turned over to beat oriented music and used to record music of the radio, which he used to chop up in order to make his own random compositions. Of course a small step from there to computers and internet, where he lifted free software synthesis and upload his own music. Overall I can't be too enthusiastic about his music. Inspired by Warp and Skam, his music uses broken beats and synthesized sounds, but the four compositions on this 12" are a bit too weak to be very interesting. His influences are clear, and it's no problem for me that they are obvious, but I'd require in that case that the music and compositions are really, and unfortunally that's not the case here. (FdW)

listen to tracks:

Route-Veen 26 buy
Rutaceae buy
Windon buy
Splanchnic buy