“Objects in the mirror are closer than they appear”..so say the brief, enigmatic sleeve notes that accompany this release. Occupying similar sonic territory to Steinbruchel on his “Skizzen” release some years back, The View Underneath traverses polar extremes, from rich deep, warm, tonal backgrounds, to the upper limits of audibility, subtly woven into one unifying form. Each track is numbered in sequence, a perfunctory cataloguing of experiments and diagnostic explorations that slowly unfold over eight pieces. These pieces limit themselves to enveloping textural swatches, with neither harmony, nor tunefulness being apparent, save for occasional, minor incursions provided by any one of a number of objects, or maybe a slowly dissolving sound captured in the laptop alone, a piano perhaps, or remnants of a guitar sample. Unlike Steinbruchel, Schick and Szcezesny rarely lapse into anything resembling formal musical structure, preferring to dissect and exploit the sonorous minutiae at the extremes of the auditory spectrum, engendering a uniform, diaphanous fabric, populated with oddly off-world sequences provided by an unknown inventory of found sounds, or strange, resonant segments of high frequency that shift in and out of focus.
This is sonic art in every meaning and ramification of the phrase, and further adds to NVO’s now comprehensive remit of exploring “aspects of minimalism”, being at the almost imperceptible end of the audible spectrum, yet retaining a mature and elegant stance that has far reaching possibilities for the imagination. Essential. BGN