Marc Behrens

Selected Minimalist Concerns

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This album has been released on CDR as part of Absurd's "Research Center for the Definition of Happiness" series. Selected Minimalist Concerns culls tracks from the early to mid-'90s. During that period, Marc Behrens began to use the computer as a composing tool and experimented with the idea of focusing on ever-more tiny sound events, which would eventually lead him (and everyone else) into microsound. These pieces still balance macro and microscopic sound worlds, occasionally hitting decibel levels that may surprise those familiar only with his later works. The album begins with "Intermatter," the only piece previously released (on an Ash International compilation in 1996). It introduces this tension between the ample gestures of academic electro-acoustics and the minute constructions that would rise up from the cross pollination of electronica and turn-of-the-century visual arts. "C64 Voice" (1990) and "Six Metal Samples" are pretty much self-explanatory and take the form of busy, noisy pieces. The latter holds interesting moments among its tableaux, although it doesn't break out of a certain "study" mood. The two "untitled fdbk" tracks are more closely related to the Behrens of 2002 (when the disc came out). Here the artist goes a long way with simple feedback sounds transformed into soft tones. The first piece, from 1995, uses creative spatialization as its dynamic ground. The second one, completed or revised in 2001, runs the transformations deeper. This album offers a good listen, but it is not an essential in this artist's discography, even though many may find it easier to approach (but harder to find, since it came out in a very limited edition). It can be compared to Architectural Commentaries (CMR, 2002), which also unearthed some earlier material.

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