Josh Russell | Music For Geiger Counters
Josh Russell takes up the ultra-minimalist aesthetic as laid down by the genre’s master, Bernhard Gunter in his Monochrome/Polychrome series recently revisited by the USA’s L-NE label. Three short-form tracks, neatly labelled ALPHA, BETA, and GAMMA , after their putative radioactive source material , contain a sustained and rotary heterodyne ticking, clicking and pulsing, that traverses the particulate, and almost inaudible. Opening piece, ALPHA is almost a definitive interpretation of Gunther’s Monochrome White piece, as it hovers between fine, granular synthesis, exquisitely formed, and technically precise. Beta is a more defined piece, bringing the clicking into sharp relief, more monotone, and less layered, creating a distinct textural fabric, not unlike a telephone left unhooked, or the indiscriminate 55Hz hum of mains electricity. Gamma is perhaps the sum of the conjoining of the previous two tracks, a more densely packed, layered tonal piece that uses shifts and swells of EQ to create interest, with almost sub-bass presences juxtaposing with the main theme. This is an intense, intelligent, and beautifully rendered piece of audio art of the very finest order, from a small label that is rapidly establishing itself for its precision of presentation, and with a roster of artists that deserve wider attention. Highly recommended.
Luigi Turra | Texture vitra
In sharp contrast to his recent “Enso” release, Luigi Turra explores a more restrained pallete of sounds. Texture Vita is essentially a tone-work, a thought-provoking, deeply meditative piece opening with a shifting, tonal bass layer, that sounds like the lower notes of a piano, caught in a timeless loop, topped off with a slender, granular skrim. The whole piece is an interpretative field recording, gleaned from two omni-directional microphones, inside and outside architect Tadao Ando’s project, Vitra Seminar House. This is a hugely atmospheric condensation of elements of the immediate area, where scrapings and creakings billow with muscular reverb, slowly descending into darker, and virtually inaudible realms, with a characteristic “barely there” aesthetic. Something drum-like here is being gently rolled around, engendering deeply resonant tonalities, whilst high above, and in the more treble sound register, there are various metallic movements, encapsulated within a rotating bass layer. Texture Vitra is a masterful slab of evocative minimalism, and once again, Koyuki Sound have firmly established themselves as a minimalist label of considerable stature. A full length release beckons? BGN