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Thomas Köner, "Daikan"

Mille Plateaux
After my first listen to this album at a low volume level, I was a little worried because there didn't seem to be much going on; but luckily, subsequent listens on a decent system revealed a great level of detail, much of it buried under immense low end. The focal point is the periodic repetition of a low-pass-filtered percussive sound, stretched out to such an extent that its booming decay lingers long enough to reveal the slow fluctuations of a vibrating membrane. This is accompanied by a harmonically rich, but somewhat muted, midrange drone that very slowly fades from complete silence to full volume and then back again to nothingness, bringing new layers of sound with each iteration. The tonal elements resemble Köner's more recent Unerforschtes Gebiet recording in their texture and evocation of abandoned places. Here they are softer. The percussion and gradual variations in amplitude lend a mysterious—and somewhat human—element to an otherwise uninhabited landscape. Midway through the piece, the drone descends rather conspicuously through four closely-spaced notes, in what is reminiscent of a threateningly futuristic movie soundtrack. After this big event, some quiet, almost mechanical, filtered noise emerges, along with repeated bass-rich volume swells that sound like more stretched out percussion, this time played backwards. The slight hissing and patient rise and fall in volume are like breathing; and the middle part of this recording is really quite beautiful, despite the abundance of low-end making it almost claustrophobic and morose. Shades of the descending melody are audible as the original sounds return, and the drum sound re-enters and grows more and more extended throughout the remainder of the piece. It finally ends with a sustained rumble. Even with the limited range of sound that Köner seems to have confined himself to, Daikan is quite stunning and is a fine addition to the Köner collection. 

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The Eye: Video of the Day

Wolf Eyes

YouTube Video


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Review of the Day

Dedekind Cut, "Tahoe"

cover imageI cannot think of many other projects that have been quite as instantly revered as Fred Welton Warmsley III's Dedekind Cut, nor can I think of any other artists who could comfortably fit in at both Hospital Productions and Kranky.  Tahoe, Warmsley's first album for the latter, admittedly focuses primarily on Dedekind Cut's more meditative, drone-based side, but there are still some moments ("Spiral," for example) that would not seem out of place on a Raime or Haxan Cloak album.  That shifting and elusive aesthetic sometimes leads to some unusual sequencing choices and disorienting mood shifts, but any potential grumblings I may have about Dedekind Cut's fitfully focused vision are silenced by how gorgeous these pieces can be when Warmsley hits the mark (which he does with truly impressive frequency).  This is one of the best albums that Kranky has released in a long time.


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