I had been riding Daniel Burke for probably eight years about this release. For some time, it had been finished, and it was said that Z’ev had a label who was releasing it. It came to be that Z’ev had sent a lot of things to a lot of labels, and this one fell through the cracks somehow.
Since then, of course, Z’ev has passed on (2017, R.I.P.), and Illusion of Safety had ceased operations (2014), at least under that moniker. Daniel Burke now operates under the name “Soundoferror”, and has reinvigorated Illusion of Safety after a (nother) 7+ year hiatus, and a 30+ year long run and a rotating cast of talented contributors. Through this process of evolution, Illusion of Safety helped shape the various nondenominational movements within the annals of 1980s cassette culture, as well as industrial / experimental / noise / ambient music on the whole. This is to say, releases under the name “Illusion of Safety” have been scarce for some time, and it is never known how scarce they will continue to be.
As for Z’ev, it’s hard to imagine anyone reading this to fall short of knowing how immense his influence was. Active since the 70s, and highly instrumental in the development of metal percussion within the context of industrial, experimental, & noise music, and later to some extent, hardcore/gabber music, Z’ev created instruments out of discarded industrial materials, and that process evolved into structures that can be swung back and forth like marionettes, or in some cases were self-operable devices. Later on, he grew to embrace drone and ambient music in addition to continuing his works for percussion until his passing in 2017.
What we have here is a potent cocktail of scrap metal, processed field recordings, modular synthesis, and plenty of aptly placed intermittent percussive clatter. The overall impression I’m left with is a very calculated sound collage that still feels like the sonic equivalent of a deep epiphany, or maybe a catalyst for one. What seems like a casual interweaving of a wide range of unexpected elements slowly becomes sewn together into a journey that makes perfect sense, but leaves the listener wanting more at the same time. Both of these intensely driven characters continued to evolve and change creatively over decades, into new and challenging directions, while others have come and gone, and still more continue to be one-trick-ponies. That Daniel Burke and Z’ev did collude during our short tenure on this earth is certainly a matter worthy of applause, and simply could not sit on the shelf any longer.
The art for the jacket, labels, and insert is by Bradley Kokay, who does xerox collage work in real time, but sometimes also in public, in addition to other styles of art with gel transfers and things. The insert image is taken from an 8 foot collage created live.
From Daniel Burke:
“All sound by Daniel Burke & Z’EV.
A mail collaboration begun in 2008 finalized in 2012.
At the conclusion of the Z’EV & Illusion of Safety performance at Enemy in Chicago in 2007, Z’EV approached me to work together on a release. In 2008 he provided me with a number of short recordings (half of which are yet to be used) of acoustic sources which like his live performance sounded very rich and surprisingly electronic. To his source material I structured the album sides adding field recordings, sampling, electro-acoustics, and Eurorack modular synth, before returning to him for additional treatments.” -D.b.