Peter Brandlmayr

Apparartur Zu den Grundlagen der Physik 1

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This release has several trappings of an arcane science experiment, not the least of which is the music itself. The title translates roughly to "Equipment for a Grounding in Physics I" and many of the rhythmic pulses of static noise and the metallic clankings that accompany them certainly summon up aural images of the laboratory. The "spookiness" factor is hard to ignore, but Brandlmayr succeeds in injecting more than enough elements of pure sonic fascination to serve as powerful guides through what might otherwise have been an overly forbidding landscape. The third track (or "experiment") introduces a range of low, mutedly chiming tones as though from some massive, underground foundry that provide a deep and resonant bed for the thin, crackling bursts in the foreground. It sometimes sounds as though he's limned off the more sinister aspects of industrial rock and brought them center stage, allowing them to glow with their own, special luster. When the final cut's hazy, echoing scrapes and drones escalate into brief explosions, as though the sonic energy suddenly arced between two nodes, the effect is stunning and visceral. By generally employing one rhythmic element or another (though never overtly or slavishly), Brandlmayr provides just enough forward propulsion to keep the works from languishing in purely ambient space. Fans of contemporary experimental electronic improvisation will greatly enjoy this fine disc, as may more adventurous listeners from rock's trance and isolationist fringes.

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