Charles Rice Goff III - "Panaramania" (Taped Rug Productions 2004, MPEG1 Animations & Music)
Charles Rice Goff III - "Visuals & Sonics" (Taped Rug Productions 2004, CD/DVD)

From Aural Innovations #30 (February 2005)

Ooooooh..... here's a couple of fun ones. Panaramania is a set of 28 Mpeg 1 Animations that can be played on Windows Media Player (and some DVD players, but not mine). The musical accompaniment is primarily by Charles but he gets help throughout by such usual suspect types as Buzzsaw, Mikadams, Eric Matchett, Killr Kaswan, Bret Hart, Hal McGee and Don Campau. The movies range in length from several seconds to not quite 2 minutes. We get artwork, photography and computer graphics presented, distorted and juxtaposed in a variety of ways. Some of these reminded me of the old Graeme Whifler Ralph Records videos. And political statements are exactly the kind of avant garde collage fun one might expect to visually represent Charles' audio work. Oh, and let's not forget the nude soccer.

Charles has a real flair in his use of bright colors, a good example being "Ohio Street", which stands out all the more given its depiction of anytown USA. And I really dig the RIO'ish music that accompanies it. It was fun seeing visuals added to Charles' Gerd piece, which I'd heard on a previous album. In fact, watching these movies really hits home how amenable Charles' audio work is to visual accompaniment. Similarly, "Mister Clean" got a chuckle out of me, as Charles has run more than a couple commercials through the Goff morphogrinder and the visuals are just what the doctor ordered. Honorable mention has to go to one of my favorites - "Bring Your Own Bug Powder" - on which Charles plays the William Castle horror movie theater experience showman. I got a kick out of that one. I haven't said much about the audio content, but this is an audio-visual presentation and I experienced it as such, with the music and sounds including a little bit of everything that Charles is about (look him up in the "G" page of our alpha index and read everything I've written about him to get a feel for what that is).

Visuals & Sonics is a 2 disc set, one being a DVD of images and the other a CD of music. The liner note instructions are to insert both the CD & DVD, set both to random or shuffle play, and listen and watch until bored. I ended up exchanging a couple emails with Charles after having difficulty at first figuring out how to play a DVD of jpg images. But I got it sorted out he and elaborated on his intent to see things differently each time it's viewed and heard. As he says, the idea is to get a different experience from every observation when it works as designed, so you may see new and different things every time. My instruction to observe until bored is meant to enhance the variation with every observation as well.

The result is a similar experience to Panaramania, the difference of course being instead of animations we've got a slideshow of graphics. Each successive image is completely different than the previous, and Charles does lots of fun and creative things with political themes, jabs at the advertising world, surreal and trippy psychedelic imagery, lots of cats, and I think I counted 3 images of Peter Gabriel. Oh, and did you know that Charles is one of the Power Puff Girls? I recently watched a DVD of the Beatles' Yellow Submarine and some of the succession of imagery on Visuals & Sonics reminded me of that film. Another difference from Panaramania is the more powerful role the music played for me. It's darkly atmospheric, spacey, quirky, sometimes somber, and sometimes intense. I'd recommend both of these releases to sound art fans who would like some visual accompaniment for a change, and pretty much anyone who would appreciate a creative visual and audio art experience.

For more information you can visit the Taped Rug Productions web site at:
Contact via snail mail c/o C. Goff III; PO Box 146; Lawrence, KS 66044.

Reviewed by Jerry Kranitz

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