Since the release of his first CD Advanced Environmental Control in 1995, Marc Behrens has been at the forefront of the post-minimalist artistic current alternately referred to as lowercase or microsound -- music that inhabits a very quiet region between electroacoustics and sound art. One of the major artists in the field (together with Francisco López, Bernhard Günter, Steve Roden, and John Hudak), Behrens is also very active as a sound installation artist and a graphic designer. He has albums scattered around the world, on Trente Oiseaux, Raster-Noton, Edition..., Intransitive, and CMR, among other labels.
Few people know that Behrens began his career in the industrial cassette underground around 1989. Aged 19 at the time, and after three years of playing in jazz-rock groups in his native Darmstadt (Germany), he started his own D.I.Y. label Animal Art, which was also the name of a project with Gregor v. Sivers. Much more maximalist and collage-based, his music received very little recognition, but it represented only one aspect of the artist's multi-faceted talent. He exhibited his first photographs around the same time and began to collaborate with Ho. Turner on video art and installations.
1993 was a watershed. Behrens began to experiment with acoustic feedback, making a series of recordings that would serve as the basis for a number of new pieces (released on Lecture Feedback/Source Feedback/The Aesthetics of Censorship). Discovering unsuspected beauty and purity in the near inaudible, he turned his music around, now focusing on field recording and sound-producing machines. This marked the end of his label (and persona) Animal Art -- after seven tapes -- and the beginning of studies in design, a discipline that would become almost inseparable from his sound output.
Advanced Environmental Control (1995) introduced his new approach. Released on Günter's label Trente Oiseaux, it helped establish the shockingly new esthetic of the then very young company (Behrens also designed its first album covers). In 1996 the made his first tour as a sound artist together with Günter, López and John Duncan. His reputation grew steadily in avant-garde circles and so did his discography. To his European releases he soon added a Japanese CD (Contraction, 1999) and another released in the US (Elapsed Time, 2001), where he also presented installations. All the while he also kept a low profile on the minimal techno scene as Eyephone, with releases on Hypnotism and a collaboration with Atom Heart (Micropossessed, 1997). In 2001-2002 Behrens was scavenging his old tapes to find material to use as sound source, as featured on Elapsed Time and Transition.