In anticipation and commemoration of the start of the 21st century, German sister labels Rastermusic and Noton launched the magazine-like 20 To 2000 series. Between January and December of 1999, the labels released a monthly 20 To 2000 "volume"--a limited, specially packaged three-inch CD featuring 20 minutes of exclusive minimal electronic music. 20 To 2000 participants represent the international elite of microsound artists, and each volume is intended as a unique impression of the last 20 minutes of 1999.
Ester Brinkmann is an alias of prolific techno conceptualist Thomas Brinkmann, whose physical means of rhythm manipulation involve modified turntables, hand-cut vinyl grooves, and telegraphic loops. Brinkmann's 20 To 2000 contribution, a 19:52 track, begins with a hesitant rhythmic figure, breaks into a loping tech-house groove gradually knocked off-beat by small sonic disruptions, and evolves into an undulating multi-limbed construct of whispers, looped birdsong, and electronic sounds. Monochromatic but trembling with forward momentum, the piece suggests a smooth, almost imperceptible Y2K transition--and a world of strange-yet-welcoming wonders waiting on the other side of the millennial divide.