The Wire Magazine

This latest cross-pollination of tapes between Seattle musician Joseph Dierker and New York engineer Tim Donovan is their most fulfilling sound experiment to date. Amongst the sparl of electronic shapeshifting, Ambient blur and surreal sampling lurks what could easily be 310's greatest hit: "After All" is a looped, slo-mo pop song (of sorts) with apocolyptic lyrics, given extra ballast by a heavy drum track over which a lazy banjo lick occasionally flits into action. The result is an effective and infectious example of latter-day man-machine music.

- Edwin Pouncey


XLR8R

Lots of academic ink has been given to guitar bands pushing the limits of texture - for example, Radiohead - but it's taken an elctronic band to use guitar for more emotional purposes. On After All, the second album by bi-coastal collective 310 for the Leaf label, fragile guitar is just one of the odds and sods sprinkled over jumbled beats. Hip-hop, horns, hiccupping vocals and plinking pianos are just some of the other obvious inclusions on 310's hazy, heady, wholly approachable album, which manages to touch on the avant garde without becoming a soundscape mired in too much experimentalism.

- Tony Ware


Jockey Slut

Opening with the rumble of distant trains, a solid break and wistful guitar runs, 'After All' starts as it means to go on. 310 are, effectively, fusers of post-rock and melodic, but still edgy, electronica. Gloriously fleshy, saturated drum sounds are to the fore at all times, bolstered by asian-tinged percussion and heavily processed vocal samples. On the first track, 'Takamous', you could be forgiven for taking 310's efforts as little more than precise break-beat manipulation with a layer of atmosphereics plasterd on top.

But as the disc runs on, the group are clearly using their drum-heavy framework as a means of exploring disjointed rhythms and, on standout track 'UNTidal', the possibilities opened up by subtely shifting the emphasis of seemingly repetitious loops. As an album, 'After All' is a wonderfully manipulative slice of music, executing hand-brake turns from lullaby somnambulance into strident breakbeat territory without missing a beat. This killer combination of in-your-face, polyrhythmic workouts and the sophisticated subtelties that emerge over repeated listens make it hard not to lose yourself in 310's head-nod soundscapes.


DJ Magazine

The criminally underrated pairing of Joseph Dierker and Tim Donovan return to Leaf to dispatch what will probably be another criminally underrated LP. Their sound is not an easy one to pin down you see.

There's a bit of everything in there. An unclasssifiable and truly edgy mellee of soundtracks, hip hop, breakbeat, ambient texturing, unpredictable electronics, personalised field recordings and befitting vocal samples. The same can be said of the glorious madness that is 'After All', a random place where, to put it bluntly, anything goes.

Where sounds leave as quietly as they've arrived or stick around in unsettling moods to confuse or tease. Where you'll find thundering drums and intense sci-fi whir aside mutilated jazz and booming gunshots. All things considered that probably explains why 310's sound could be deemed as being so confusing or awkward. Maybe so, but you can be sure of one thing, it'll always hit you slap bang between the ears.


The Face Magazine

NYC's 310 slip nervously between Van Morrison and the avant-vanguard with a sound not a million miles from 4 Tet, collaging esoterica and hip hop with obtuse field recordings. When not doodling folky techno, they've also been working with Phife Dawg and Britney.

Now that's what we call panoramic.


State51 Motion

310 is a long-distance collaboration between Tim Donovan and Joseph Dierker, two musicians at either end of the American landscape - one in New York, the other in Seattle - who send tapes of their material back and forth for each to build and layer upon. Listening to 'After All', however, makes one wonder whether the two are actually exchanging snippets of film rescued from editing room trash bins to be spliced into compositions.

The disc encompasses a range of genres, such as hip hop, blues, film noir jazz, and ambient, but 310 integrates them so fluidly that the tracks flow like a complete piece, with each song demarcating a shift in expression and tone.

The opening 'Takamous' starts with a cyclical hiss resembling the sound of old record vinyl or a receding ocean wave, then easing into a duo of drum and echoing, plucked guitar that would be at home on either the American prairie or outside a sand-blasted mosque. Later, this interchange between archaic sizzle and remote beats merges and blossoms into the quiet Middle Eastern funk of the following track.

Film dialogue also peppers the music, but the samples are random and obscure and sound as if they came from lost '50s movies. For example, 'UNTidal' offers a futuristic history lesson, built from possible 20th-century anti-Communist propaganda, recounting the obliteration of the United Nations; explosions, a drunken horn, and mechanistic chugging provide the audio equivalent of the destruction. There are also quick bits revolving around the number 310 - talk of running people out of town on the 3:10 train or a surreptitious audio journal entry being made at 3:10, stating that the coast is clear.

The overall feel of 'After All' is that of a cryptic, conspiratorial jigsaw puzzle disguised as a soundtrack. The pieces are already placed together, but the pleasure of the game comes from figuring out the meaning behind their connections and uncovering and experiencing the puzzle's greater, underlying significance.


Digital Artifact Magazine

This is a very impressive display of the fusion of genres and techniques that doesn't suck. That may seem flippant, but hybrids are very often the worst - and most ridiculous - combination of both parents (Limp Bizkit immediately comes to mind). This joining of electronic music and tweaked acoustic instruments (with the occasional vocals) results in songs that don't quite feel like either. The arrangements are very strong and song-oriented, almost to a fault. Hints of dub influences on most of the drums combines nicely with the instrumentation, which ranges from gangs of echoing guitars and traffic sounds on "Takamous" to plunderphonic chops of mangled, stuttering funk on "UNTidal." The strong transistions between each song build nicely to the album's closer, "After All." In the album's strongest piece, raspy vocals sputter across an amazing banjo/drum arrangement, a great end to a very good collection.


The Milk Factory

Joseph Dierker and Tim Donovan, aka 310, have a particular way to work together. They've been friends for years, and used to both live in New York. However, Dierker now lives in Seattle, and the only way they can carry on recording is by exchanging tapes. This might be one of the reasons behind the disparate sound of their project. But disparate doesn't necessarily means weak, and the diversity of influences and inspirations is the backbone of their productions. 310 is one of these bands for who it would be necessary to invent a new tag to pigeonhole them. And, it is quite obvious that it is the last thing the duo wants.

Drawing inspiration from hip-hop, post-rock, electronica, jazz or field recordings, Dierker and Donovan create intriguing soundtracks for unlikely movies, playing with atmospheres, building an apparently very homogenous record as they piece together the multitude of off-beat patterns and sounds particles that they both spent months collecting.

310 compose a slow-moving piece of work, fluid and evolutive, built around ever-changing song structures, interweaving Eastern beats, street attitude, environmental noises, ambient guitars and decomposed vocal samples, supported by the claustrophobic lyrics provided by Fire/Fly on The Claw Is Forming and After All. Despite the eclectism of the compositions, or maybe because of it, the duo manages to keep a firm grip on the direction of the record, incorporating the diverse sources into one simple format.

Dierker and Donovan emulate their ambiences with atmospheric melodies (An Seanachi, Street Level, Aural Exiter), pushing forward the emotional character of their music. At times, After All haunts the neighbourhood of Four Tet's Pause or Manitoba's Start Breaking My Heart, but, at the same time, 310 seem to avoid any collision courses by retreating to the comfort of their trans-continental sonic table tennis. After All probably won't make any more waves than its predecessors in the effervescent world of IDM, but 310 have far much more to offer than most, and After All prove to be an enchanting record for those who take the time to appreciate it.


from china

Hi, this mail is from CHINA.Today, I bought a CD-310 (after all ). I think this CD is different from normal electronic. I have't listened to such heart-stirring music for a long time. I thought electronic stopped until today I found 310.

- Liu Yan


Uzine

310 (pronounced 'three ten') are Joseph Dierker and Tim Donovan, two old friends from New York of whom JD went to live in Seattle, meaning that this album was recorded 'long distance' by relaying tapes or exchanging sound files, each building on the other's contributions: a difficult process but one which led to a result 'after all' - hence the album's title. Tim, the NYC-half of the duo ((sometimes augmented by third party Fire/Fly aka vocalist & samplist Andrew Sigler, e.g. on the title track)) has also been working for Angie Stone, Busta Rhymes & Tameka Holmes, Steps and Britney Spears... but that does not imply that "After All" sounds commercial - not at all. "The sense of mystery. Mistaken memories. Something familiar in a strange way. Tapping into something subconscious. Nostalgia. That's been a theme running through all of our records." says Tim Donovan.

Probably because of that, it's taken a long time for this album to open up. At times, I'm still annoyed by it and might even call it gratuitous or unsatisfying, but by now I'm also gradually starting to see its merits. It's dense and somehow reminds me of "Digitaria" by TAGC (Anti-Group) gone Meat Beat Manifesto, with less messages and less dated beats however, or of a 23 Skidoo (without that combat funk side to it) on Chocolate Industries, or of an "Unacceptable Face Of Freedom" era Test Department gone hip ànd Hitchcock at the same time. "After all" isn't post-industrial sounding, nor is it funky or overtly jazzy, but on the other hand I'm pretty sure that many labels are a bit jealous of Leaf for releasing it. (It's impressive indeed how Leaf fills gaps that other labels leave open; Warp, Mo Wax, Ninja Tune and Ubiquity, for instance, take less risks.)

"After All" isn't a set of s(l)ickly clever grooves, quite the contrary, nor has it any of FSOL's quirkiness or Consolidated's agression. Its compositional methods may be a teeny bit dated (some distant fifties or forties B-movie voice, some moaning, some ethno samples and horns and beats - all looped) and it may sound way too cerebral at first, but it's worth discovering in the end. It's not extraordinary, but it's probably more rewarding than anything Fun-Da-Mental ever did, musically. Note: the cd features one extra track ("Imaginary families") and two hidden tracks: a 5 min. one which explains the band's name, and a 4 min. one which sounds like a present-day C Cat Trance (scat whispered through the phone over some enticing ethno-arabic rhythmicity).

- PV


TRM Magazine

'Sinister!' ...that's the first word that popped into my head when I heard the rumblings of 'Takamous', the opening to my new prezzie from 310, alias Americans Joseph Dierker and Tim Donovan, with accomplice Andrew Sigler. But then eerie, languid, glorious hip hop beats that come through, followed by a nod in the direction of prog rock. All this happens in just the opening track. 310 are samplers and beat-meisters after my own heart, and 'After All' is their best album to date. Simple as that.

- Andrez Bergen


Echoes

It's really not easy reviewing an album like 310's After All because you know words just won't do it justice. So vast are the influences and sounds that, well... sorry if this is bad journalism but, you just have to hear it. And hearing it is a must as, once again, 310 have delivered one of the freshest works you're likely to hear all year.

Moving on from their previous album, their sound has mutated into a somehow natural blend of acoustic instruments and digital obscenity. Yes, you'll find hip hop, classical, prog rock, musique concrete and god knows what else in the mix, but the way these elements are blended together is starkly original and jaw-droppingly unique. Wierd? That all depends on your point of view, but this is music, real music. For everyone.

Beautiful.

Elia Rulli


College Music Update

As the press release says, its difficult to describe this music without resorting to cliches. But then cliches and cliches precisely because they need to be said and are often the truth. Ambience, minimalist hiphop, beats and post rock work-outs mark the territory which many of the other three 310 albums laid the groundwork for, but none of them were quite as coherent as this one which is a sonic eye opener that refreshes as it entertains.

Tim Donovan (one half of 310) has recently been in the studio with Angie Stone and Busta Rhymes new protegee, and is the fuel for the hiphop mix here. However, ultimately, its all about gently funky ambience and techno weirdness with just enough beats to keep heads nodding DJ Shadow style....


Wax Magazine

This is everything that the UKO album isn't. It uses many of the same styles, jazz, electronica, Eastern Percussion and vocals, but somehow finds that indefinable something that manages to set it apart and make it fascinating. It's grab bag of musical styles is probably explained by the fact that 310's magpie members live on different continents, and seperately work on tapes sent to each other, but again, somehow it all hangs together, with the thinly veiled threat of surprise. If you tried doing the washing up to this, you'd not have many one-piece plates left.

Steve Nickolls


Grooves Magazine

Although they are largely unknown in their own country, Seattle-based Joe Dierker and New Yorker, Tim Donovan, have been developing their unique blend of hip-hop/art-rock beats, ethnic percussion, ambient drones, found sounds, weird vocal samples, and live instrumentation (guitars,bass, banjo,etc) since 1997 and were the first American act to be signed to the esteemed UK electronic/ambient label, Leaf.

On the duo's fourth album, After All, 310 display an uncanny sense of drama and narrative that prevents their music from ever falling into a rut. Ambient bits like "Imaginary Families" and "Aural Exiter" never drift into meaninglessness, and beat oriented tracks like "An Seanchi" and "Off-Track Betty" would almost work in a club setting if their grooves weren't constantly morphing themselves from funky to off-kilter and back at a moments notice. Listening to After All is a bit like falling asleep listening to college/freeform radio while the sounds of your roommate channel surfing at 3am bleeds through the walls. Tablas, synths, gamelan, drum machines and guitars work their way into your subconscious while everyday sounds and voices appear, transform into the fantastic, and disappear with a twisted dreamlike logic.

If you're jonesing for musical signposts one could say that 310 pick up the ambient dance torch lit by The Orb and KLF's Chill Out in the early 90s and use it to shed light on undiscovered territories, allowing music to move forward into a century where borders have less meaning rather than use it to illuminate the dark cave of musical nostalgia.

Howard Shih


Leaf

Sometimes, it's good to remember that clichés are clichés for a reason: because they're true. So when we tell you that 310's second full-length album for The Leaf Label distils a jumble sale of unlikely influences (hip hop, minimalist classicism, prog rock, collage esoterica, field recordings) and decants them into tracks that don't fit into a neat pigeonhole, it does read like a cliché. But it is true. We've never managed to find an adequate way to describe what they do, and judging by some of the reviews we've quoted below, neither has anyone else. Which is how we like it.

On After All, 310 incrementally climax a widescreen of sonic information in erratic time signatures, leading to an epic cinematic restlessness where woozy memories of childhood feverdreams and scratchy home reels fade in and out of focus... or are they just half-remembered images from a TV screen? "That's been our running theme throughout all of our records," says Tim. "The sense of mystery. Mistaken memories. Something familiar in a strange way. Tapping into something subconscious. Nostalgia." So, perhaps not such a cliché, after all?

Conversely, 310's recording methods are precise and considered. 310 are two old friends from New York: Joseph Dierker (DJ and "inventor" currently gone to ground in Seattle) and Tim Donovan (engineer at some of NYC's top studios); now augmented in the studio and on stage by vocalist and samplist Andrew Sigler (aka fire/fly) who appeared at the 310 performances in Europe last October. Tim and Joe collaborate by relaying tapes of material across the continent, each building on the other's contributions. The result on this, their fourth album (The Dirty Rope was their first for Leaf in 1999), is quite an emotionally troubled work that coaxes and wheedles a response from the listener, so unobtrusively but effectively, it leaves an unsettled atmosphere behind. "I think we all had a pretty emotionally trying year last year in our own ways," Tim admits. "The pieces on this record were pretty therapeutic in a lot of ways. 'After all' we went through."

The 310 live show (including live guitars and vocals) will return for more shows in the US and Europe this summer.

In addition to his work with 310, Tim has recently been working with Angie Stone and Busta Rhymes' new protegée, Tameka Holmes. "Busta is there on the mix sessions, which is cool cause he's diggin' my mixes," Tim says. "Ali Shaheed Muhammed is producing a few tracks as well. One night we had Busta, Ali and Phife Dog up in there. All we needed was Q-Tip and we could of had a 'here we go yo, here we go yo, so what's da, so what's da scenerio' reunion!" To ensure he keeps his feet firmly on the ground, he's also been working with Britney Spears and Steps...

[FYI: 310 is pronounced 'three-ten']


Leaf

Sometimes, it's good to remember that clichés are clichés for a reason: because they're true. So when we tell you that 310's second full-length album for The Leaf Label distils a jumble sale of unlikely influences (hip hop, minimalist classicism, prog rock, collage esoterica, field recordings) and decants them into tracks that don't fit into a neat pigeonhole, it does read like a cliché. But it is true. We've never managed to find an adequate way to describe what they do, and judging by some of the reviews we've quoted below, neither has anyone else. Which is how we like it.

On After All, 310 incrementally climax a widescreen of sonic information in erratic time signatures, leading to an epic cinematic restlessness where woozy memories of childhood feverdreams and scratchy home reels fade in and out of focus... or are they just half-remembered images from a TV screen? "That's been our running theme throughout all of our records," says Tim. "The sense of mystery. Mistaken memories. Something familiar in a strange way. Tapping into something subconscious. Nostalgia." So, perhaps not such a cliché, after all?

Conversely, 310's recording methods are precise and considered. 310 are two old friends from New York: Joseph Dierker (DJ and "inventor" currently gone to ground in Seattle) and Tim Donovan (engineer at some of NYC's top studios); now augmented in the studio and on stage by vocalist and samplist Andrew Sigler (aka fire/fly) who appeared at the 310 performances in Europe last October. Tim and Joe collaborate by relaying tapes of material across the continent, each building on the other's contributions. The result on this, their fourth album (The Dirty Rope was their first for Leaf in 1999), is quite an emotionally troubled work that coaxes and wheedles a response from the listener, so unobtrusively but effectively, it leaves an unsettled atmosphere behind. "I think we all had a pretty emotionally trying year last year in our own ways," Tim admits. "The pieces on this record were pretty therapeutic in a lot of ways. 'After all' we went through."

The 310 live show (including live guitars and vocals) will return for more shows in the US and Europe this summer.

In addition to his work with 310, Tim has recently been working with Angie Stone and Busta Rhymes' new protegée, Tameka Holmes. "Busta is there on the mix sessions, which is cool cause he's diggin' my mixes," Tim says. "Ali Shaheed Muhammed is producing a few tracks as well. One night we had Busta, Ali and Phife Dog up in there. All we needed was Q-Tip and we could of had a 'here we go yo, here we go yo, so what's da, so what's da scenerio' reunion!" To ensure he keeps his feet firmly on the ground, he's also been working with Britney Spears and Steps...

[FYI: 310 is pronounced 'three-ten']

 
AFTER ALL
AFTER ALL