Austrian electroacoustic trio Radian (keyboardist Stefan Nemeth, bassist John Norman, drummer/vibraphonist Martin Brandlmayr)
documented the studio technique of the "fin de siecle" on the mini-album
and on their
instrumental tour de force TG11 (Rhiz, 2000).
Their compositions vivisect
glitch electronica, post-rock and digital processing
with surgical precision. The most original aspect of their compendium is
perhaps the way they both de-emphasizing and re-contextualize the dissonant
and polyrhythmic components of an abstract soundscape.
The rhythm section displayed an uncanny ear for molding bodily counterparts
to ethereal, ghostly music (in a manner frequently reminiscent of both jazz and atonal music).
Sinus 440 5:06
Okazaki Fragment 5:03
Rec.extern (Thrill Jockey, 2002) was equally cerebral and microscopic,
but Juxtaposition (Thrill Jockey, 2004) sounded, by comparison,
trivial and indulgent.
Brandlmayr is also active in Trapist.
Radian's Stefan Nemeth formed Lokai, a duo with Superlooper's guitarist Florian Kmet that debuted with the instrumental pieces of 7 Million (Mosz, 2005).
The album catalogs free-form sonatas like
Histoire DS for guitar tones and electronic glitches,
34:35 for bells and distortion,
and Mikrostekon for electrocuted drone and radio interference (that converge onto a gentle ambient drift),
as well as the
mysterious inconspicuous sustained sounds of Taora Atoll,
Hellen and of the 13-minute Chuuk (the bleakest but also
Stefan Nemeth, who had already recorded the solo album
Die Instabilitat Der Symmetrie (Doc, 2003), also released
Film (Thrill Jockey, 2008).
The austere soundsculpting of Lokai's first album turned into more humane
song-sculpting on Transition (Thrill Jockey, 2009).
Its compositions are immersed in a
discreet and ephemeral atmosphere and wrapped into opulent arrangements
of sound effects in what now appears to be highly sophisticated musique
The chewing, rattling and bubbling sounds of Roads are attacked by a
swarm of bells, shifting the focus towards a gamelan-like tinkling trance.
The electroacoustic chamber music of Salvador evolves towards
another polyrhythmic trance.
The art of subliminal ambient drones of the first album is represided in
The work on timbres is now almost baroque, yielding both the
delicate hypnotic shuffle with jazz and folk overtones of Volver,
and the almost inaudible cacophony Glimmer.
Chimeric (2009 -
Thrill Jockey, 2010)
is fundamentally an album of electro-acoustic chamber music and digital musique concrete. One just wishes they had the courage to focus on
the hypnotic ten-minute odyssey Feedback Mikro / City Lights and the
jazzy Subcolors and give up on ill-advised attempts to craft songs.
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