Henrik Rylander

Traditional Arrangements of Feedback

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Feedback, for many the antithesis of organized sound, has been a source of fascination in experimental circles for ages. But 40 years after Max Neuhaus' devastating live pieces and over 200 Merzbow albums later, is there really something new to draw from putting a microphone in front of a loudspeaker? Judging from Henrik Rylander's album, the answer is no. He knows how to sculpt feedback, even how to turn it into something danceable, but Traditional Arrangements of Feedback contains not a single new idea. The key to Rylander's art is in the word "arrangements." Each piece uses only feedback as its sound source, but the artist shapes it into various beats, textures, and layers to create pulsing harsh techno anthems -- electronica, not noise. The constructions are quite simple and their titles often reveal the modus operandi ("Repetition," "Flange"). One thinks of Pan Sonic (or even better: Angel, Pan Sonic's Ilpo Väisänen's collaboration with Schneider TM), of COH (similar humor and warped conception of dance music), or of Vladislav Delay on a really tough day. Despite its duration (13 minutes, the longest piece by far) and obvious title, "Repetition" provides a highlight. Its Krautrock-like insistence evokes Merzbow remixing Can. "Danceable Solution II," "Transmission," and "Carnivore," a string of short tracks (under three minutes) found halfway through the album, illustrate how Rylander can make a full revolution around his concept in very little time. There is artistry at play in Traditional Arrangements of Feedback, but there is nothing radical about it.

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