Shifts

Vertonen

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AllMusic Review by

Vertonen is credited to Shifts, another avatar of Dutch electronic artist Frans De Waard. Recorded in 1995, "released (or not) by Freedom From" and "properly released" by Humbug in 2003 (according to the release notes), this album features Vertonen working out drones from very limited sonic material, for example, a guitar note in "1," a piano note in "2," a short synthesizer sample in "6." These materials are transformed and augmented by electronics to create short pieces that sound more like vignettes, miniature landscapes of a region of the artist's imagination. Not particularly endearing, the music is nevertheless empowered with a sharp sense of esthetics, akin to Carsten Nicolai or Ryoji Ikeda. And in "6," Vertonen gets more visceral, treating the listener to a thrilling crescendo of pulses that reaches a frantic climax. The music gets this close to transcending its clinical sound-searching nature and reaching a human existence. The other pieces offer interesting studies in sound, but they remain, well, studious, as if the artist had the intention to later use these seven pieces as building blocks for a bigger work.

Track Listing

Title/Composer Performer Time
1
7:43
2
6:36
3
5:55
4
5:22
5
3:01
6
7:26
7
5:28
blue highlight denotes track pick