Thomas Koner


(Copyright © 1999 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions )

Thomas Koner: Nunatak Gongamour , 6/10
Thomas Koner: Teimo , 6.5/10
Thomas Koner: Permafrost , 7/10
Thomas Koner: Aubrite , 5/10
Porter Ricks: Biokinetics , 6/10
Porter Ricks: Porter Ricks , 6/10
Thomas Koner: Kaamos , 5/10
Thomas Koner: Kontakt Der Junglinge, 5/10
The Koner Experiment , 6/10
Thomas Koner: Daikan , 6/10
Thomas Koner: Unerforschtes Gebiet , 6/10
Thomas Koner: Zyklop (2003), 6/10
Thomas Koner: La Barca (2009), 5/10
Thomas Koner: Novaya Zemlya (2012), 5/10
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German electronic musician Thomas Koner (or, better, Koener) penned drone-based ambient music that followed Brian Eno's Discreet Music commandments. The dark glacial ambient music of Nunatak Gongamour (Barooni, 1991 - Type, 2010) came out of improvising with the drones and overtones of lightly touched gongs. Most of the pieces sketch a trajectory, although it is not always obvious. 2, for example, morphs from deep ghostly rumbles into vivid astral signals. In rare cases he indulges in counterpoint of timbres. 6, for example, is a duet for agonizing seal call and industrial burble. Several of them are hardly audible, as Koner toys with ultradeep listening. He already displayed an uncanny proficiency at disorienting the listener with the simplest of means.

Teimo (Barooni, 1992 - Type, 2010) focused on soft, slow-decaying gong drones in a more elegant and humane manner. The centerpiece, Andenes, is translucent turbulence that unfolds like the flight of a butterfly. The modulations of Teimo almost originate a melody, and the ominous wall of (booming) sound Teimo (Schluss) complements it with pure psychology with no melody.

Permafrost (Barooni, 1993 - Type, 2010) is his most austere work and perhaps his masterpiece. The drones are much stronger and thicker. Koner is no longer merely hypnotized by the timbres of his music. The sounds are at the same time more abstract and more organic. The horrible dark nebula of Nival is a prelude to the terrifying tidal wave of Serac. The centerpiece, the ten-minute Permafrost, juxtaposes a burbling magma with a supersonic hiss until the two seem to erase each other. Even more powerful is the slowly swirling galaxy of Meta Incognita, that emerges out of an ugly bass vibration to permeate every corner of the univese.

Kanon (1994) appeared on a compilation.

Aubrite (Barooni, 1996) continues the experiment with less imagination, having abandoned the the more ominous edges of the previous albums and indulging in more static and mellow ambient music.

Porter Ricks, a duo with Andi Mellweg, is Koner's techno project, although his techno is brainy and ghostly, predating German minimal techno. Biokinetics (Chain Reaction, 1996) and Porter Ricks (Mille Plateaux, 1997), with Redundance, are their albums.

The Koner Experiment (Revolver, 1997) documents a collaboration with Experimental Audio Research.

Thomas Koner's Kaamos (Mille Plateaux, 1998), that contains the three-movement suite and a 25-minute live performance, and Kontakt Der Junglinge (Die Stadt, 2001), a collaboration with Asmus Tietchens, actually a live recording of a 1999 performance, are a little tedious. Like most prolific artists, Koner was indulging in too many recordings without investing the time to properly scope out his ideas.

Daikan (Mille Plateaux, 2001), a hour-long composition first performed in 1999, returned him to his favorite icy, granitic atmospheres, a far more comfortable environment for his inspiration.

Kontakt Der Junglinge, the collaboration between Thomas Koner and Asmus Tietchens, continued with the live -1 (Die Stadt, 2002) and N (Die Stadt, 2003).

Unerforschtes Gebiet (Die Stadt, 2002), recorded between 1997 and 2001, contains two lengthy, calm and slow-moving drones.

The first disc of Zyklop (Mille Plateaux, 2003) contains only one (live) 60-minute composition, Une Topographie Sonore - Col de Vence, that obsessively explores a magical and ethereal soundscape of natural sounds and eerie drones. Too bad the second disc (also collecting live performances) is so confused and pointless.

(Translation by/ Tradotto da Ascanio Borga)

Thomas Koner (o, meglio, Koener) e' un musicista elettronico tedesco dalla doppia vita. Come solista, compone musica ambient per droni, seguendo i dettami di Discreet Music di Brian Eno. Nunatak Gongamour (Barooni, 1991) e Teimo (Barooni, 1992) si concentrano su lievi gong-drones in lento decadimento (Andenes). Permafrost (Barooni, 1993) rappresenta il suo lavoro piu' austero e forse il suo capolavoro. Il brano Kanon e' apparso nella compilation "Ambient 4: Isolationism" curata da Kevin Martin. Aubrite (Barooni, 1996) continua l'esperimento con meno immaginazione.

Porter Ricks, un duo con Andy Mellwig, e' il progetto "techno" di Koner, ma la sua "techno" e' spettrale e cervellotica. Biokinetics (Chain Reaction, 1996) e Porter Ricks (Mille Plateaux, 1997) con Redundance, sono i loro album.

The Koner Experiment (Revolver, 1997) e' una collaborazione con Experimental Audio Research.

Kaamos (Mille Plateaux, 1998) e Kontakt Der Junglinge (Die Stadt, 2001), una collaborazione con Asmus Tietchens, registrazione live di una performance del 1999, sono un po' noiosi. Come la maggior parte degli artisti prolifici, Koner indulge in troppe registrazioni senza investire il tempo per organizzare adeguatamente le proprie idee.

Daikan (Mille Plateaux, 2001), una composizione di un'ora eseguita per la prima volta nel 1999, lo riporta alle sue atmosfere preferite, glaciali e granitiche, un'ambientazione di gran lunga piu' adeguata alla sua ispirazione.

(Translation by/ Tradotto da Ascanio Borga)

Thomas Koner (o, meglio, Koener) e' un musicista elettronico tedesco dalla doppia vita. Come solista, compone musica ambient per droni, seguendo i dettami di Discreet Music di Brian Eno. Nunatak Gongamour (Barooni, 1991) e Teimo (Barooni, 1992) si concentrano su lievi gong-drones in lento decadimento (Andenes). Permafrost (Barooni, 1993) rappresenta il suo lavoro piu' austero e forse il suo capolavoro. Il brano Kanon e' apparso nella compilation "Ambient 4: Isolationism" curata da Kevin Martin. Aubrite (Barooni, 1996) continua l'esperimento con meno immaginazione.

Porter Ricks, un duo con Andy Mellwig, e' il progetto "techno" di Koner, ma la sua "techno" e' spettrale e cervellotica. Biokinetics (Chain Reaction, 1996) e Porter Ricks (Mille Plateaux, 1997) con Redundance, sono i loro album.

The Koner Experiment (Revolver, 1997) e' una collaborazione con Experimental Audio Research.

Kaamos (Mille Plateaux, 1998) e Kontakt Der Junglinge (Die Stadt, 2001), una collaborazione con Asmus Tietchens, registrazione live di una performance del 1999, sono un po' noiosi. Come la maggior parte degli artisti prolifici, Koner indulge in troppe registrazioni senza investire il tempo per organizzare adeguatamente le proprie idee.

Daikan (Mille Plateaux, 2001), una composizione di un'ora eseguita per la prima volta nel 1999, lo riporta alle sue atmosfere preferite, glaciali e granitiche, un'ambientazione di gran lunga piu' adeguata alla sua ispirazione.

Unerforschtes Gebeit (Die Stadt, 2002), registrato tra il 1997 e il 2001, contiene due lunghi droni, calmi e suonati al rallentatore.

Il primo disco di Zyklop (Mille Plateaux, 2003) contiene soltanto una composizione (live), Une Topographie Sonore - Col de Vence, che esplora ossessivamente un paesaggio sonoro magico ed etereo. Peggiore il secondo disco (che anche contiene delle performance live), cosi' confuso e senza senso.

After a seven-year hiatus, Koner delivered the mediocre La Barca (Fario, 2009).

Novaya Zemlya (Touch, 2012) is more than a concept album because, besides being entirely devoted to one theme (a vast piece of tundra that became Soviet Union's nuclear test site and then experienced the largest nuclear detonation in history) it is also an apocalyptic vision of an ecological catastrophe about to happen (global warming may release the radioactivity that has been trapped in the ice for decades).

(Translation by/ Tradotto da xxx)

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