Marc Behrens

Security vs. Freedom

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AllMusic Review by

Count on the edition ellipsis label to release its albums in sleek, original packaging. Marc Behrens' full-length release Security vs. Freedom comes in the form of two 3" CD's accompanied by six cards featuring the composer's photographs (mostly close-ups of rough surfaces, evoking his textural, microsonic music) packaged in a double-flap polyvinyl sleeve. Disc One presents two tracks titled "Compressed Location." These were originally composed in 1995 and given a face-lift in 2000 ("Compressed Location 1" was shortly available in 1996 on the tape compilation Locations). More dynamic and busy than Behrens' later works, they crackle and hum with more warmth than usual. Disc Two presents four short pieces forming an extended and re-edited version of the audio component of Behrens' 2001 sound installation "The Unknown." Here the music is significantly colder and quieter. Often hovering on the threshold of audibility, it consists of insistent high-pitched tones and fragile digital clicks. It is attuned to and representative of Behrens' other works from the same period, although the fourth of these tracks takes a surprising turn. It features unstable radio transmissions and finger cymbals, first presented "raw" before going through a series of transformations that are extremely well arranged, preserving a sense of drama and expectation unusual in Behrens' music. For its beautiful packaging and interesting two-sided presentation of the composer's sound art, Security vs. Freedom deserves a high place in his discography. Recommended.

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