In a Haze
It was time for something different. After eight years and thirteen releases, Scott Sturgis (Converter) decided it was time to try something new, something novel, and yet still something undeniably Sturgis. The opportunity to do just that presented itself when he was invited to open for local friends euphondisson at the Rendezvous in Seattle, WA on January 8th 2004. With music written specifically for this special event, Sturgis introduced a more sonorous persona, performing his laid-back set to distinctive abstract visuals. As someone who has always shown an exceptional creative edge (as exemplified by his conceptual notime project), he recorded the audio portion of the event, capturing not only the music, but the experience of being in a haze. Featuring the six extraordinary tracks from his performance, in a haze encompasses a cross-section of genres, with excursions into textural ambience, down tempo beats, dub-influenced fragments, tribal rhythms, spaced-out psychedelic hues and a touch of industrial flavor. ----- Scott Sturgis has released thirteen CDs and LPs under various monikers including Converter (Ant-Zen), Pain Station (Cop Int.) and notime, a conceptual project released by his own label, Auricle Media. He has done remixes for artists such as Suicide Commando, Manufactura, and Haujobb, collaborated with Ant-Zen label mates Asche and Morgenstern, and has toured the US and Europe extensively as converter, including multiple appearances at the annual Maschinenfest in Germany. ---------- REVIEWS ---------- Industrial Nation Scott Sturgis probably gained the most recognition from his Converter and Pain Station projects -- both of which would be classified in different industrial subgenres. Converter was the rhythmic noise powerhouse, while Pain Station appealed to fans of more traditional EBM. Other side projects, like Notime or d.b.s., showed a more laid-back ambient side of Mr. Sturgis. All of the elements of these previous projects have been melted down in to one new form, released simply as s.sturgis. Don't pick up this disc with any preconceptions, any expectations that this is the next big thing in rhythmic noise. s.sturgis leaves behind the aggression and over-distortion for a more groove oriented, almost tribal feel. These six tracks were created as a (possibly one-off) chance to open for a local band. This unique performance featured both abstract visuals and the resulting audio recorded live that night. Any of these tracks could be thrown at a dancefloor for a tempo change, for a chance to watch some bump-and-grind action, but that wasn't the original intent. The downtempo, sometimes IDM-feeling tracks are more suited for a chill-out lounge, or a relaxing night of... well, anything relaxing, including visits to the magic pipe. This release showcases the breadth of Mr. Sturgis' talent and should find it's way in to every electronic music fan's collection - Brian Clarkson Morbid Outlook Electronic soundscape paintings that H.R. Geiger's 'Alien' probably dances to at the Acid Blood Club. Well done, hypnotic, and very, very dark. I am listening to it now and finding it difficult to write, since the sounds occupy the imagination to such a degree. The one thing I find annoying, though, is that the tracks sometimes do not conclude, they just stop dead in their tracks. The effect is like falling off something very high without knowing where you'll land. Hmmmmmmmmmmm... maybe that isn't annoying after all. The final track, 'Euphondisson', breaks from the hard-edged tonality of the previous pieces and leads the listener instead through blissful emotional panoramas. Okay, I am repeating this track for the third time right now and it just gets better. This sort of sensitive beauty where it is unexpected is stunning. - Andrew Fenner Igloo Magazine Known for his noise assaults as Converter, Scott Sturgis has opted for something a little different with in a haze. Composed as an aural experiment, the six tracks of his first record released under his own name were performed live back in 2004 at a club in Seattle, WA, where Sturgis put aside the flesh-rending power electronics and rhythmic noise of Converter for something a bit more laid-back. Clearly intended to be heard as a singular experience, in a haze flows from ambient psychedelia to tribal rhythms to industrial-inflected downtempo beats to aural soundtracks for lost motion pictures. It was a short performance that night -- just over thirty minutes -- but by preserving it on CD, Sturgis has made it easy to enjoy his experimental work over and over again. In a haze shows off his softer side, and there is nothing like multi-dimensionality to make an artist more interesting. I hope he found this experiment successful and does more of them in the future. - Mark Teppo Smother.net You've probably heard Scott Sturgis' work with Ant-Zen Records favorites Converter so you should be accustomed to his eccentric side. But nothing will fully prepare you for the journey you're about to embark on with his Positron Records latest under his own name. Heck, you might have heard some remixes he's done for the likes of Haujobb, Suicide Commando, and his collaborations with Asche and Morgenstern. But still this is light years ahead of all that with it's atmospheric bubble that encases you from head to toe bursting your musical hymen with essential experimental IDM bliss. Everything's twisted into downtempo beats with psychedelic soundscapes swirling about in the higher echelons all linked together with pseudo German industrial precision. Amazing. - J-Sin ReGen Magazine For those not 'in the know,' Scott Sturgis is the mind behind Pain Station and Converter, as well as other projects, such as this one. This is a CD of a live performance recorded early last year. It speaks more so to the electronic side of Mr. Sturgis' work, forgoing the experimental side of Converter in favor of a more loopy electronic soundscape of glitchy noise, drums, and droning squeals of sound, providing an excellent internal soundtrack. It is not a catchy or fun listen, by any means, but rather interesting and complex way in which Mr. Sturgis goes about his creations leave you interested in the proceedings without it blurring into a monotonous haze. Over the six tracks, you are led quickly through a world of ever-changing, engrossing material. This is suitable background music that tantalizes the mind instead of just providing noise to fill the empty space...Scott Sturgis seems to set the bar in most areas he places his creative foot into. With the ingenuity of this project as well as the one-upping of powernoise by Converter, you are left to wonder what will spring next from his mind. - ssmodk.