Black Swan

Cristian Vogel

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Black Swan Review

by Rick Anderson

Cristian Vogel has lived several musical lives: avant-garde composition student under the tutelage of Martin Butler and Jonathan Harvey; techno producer and remixer; founding father of the No Future collective; singer and guitarist with Night of the Brain. Black Swan finds him working in a mode than combines most of those influences. His background in musique concrète informs his choice of sound sources for this three-track program; those sources include a recording of traditional Japanese music, an electric guitar played in the reverberant environment of a Swiss mountain pass, a sample of noises from a pachinko hall, and looped-up synthesizers. But it is his work as a techno producer that seems to have wielded the most influence over his treatments of his sound sources; although steady rhythm rarely makes an appearance, there is a strong element of ambient dubbiness to the shimmering textures of "Sora Tobu Black Swan," while "Rocks in Motion" sounds like a small avalanche of computer glitches followed by echoing near-silence in an enormous subterranean cavern filled with napping robots. "Basecamp Beasts" begins at a nearly subliminal volume and gradually grows in foreboding and dread; squeaks and cries eventually give way to electronic mutters and microscopic titters and whines. Toward the end, a rhythm emerges, but it's nothing like a groove. For fans of avant-electro and abstract sound sculpture.

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