the solo project of one half of the defunct and sorely missed duo Contrastate,
I certainly had high expectations for this release. Where Contrastate
forged some amazingly distinctive experimental, electro-acoustic soundscapes,
inter-dispersed with poetic spoken word segments, srmeixner follows a
logical progression of such a sound (except lacking the spoken vocal elements).
For srmiexner’s sophomore album, both title and inspiration are
borrowed from an art instillation in Venice 2003, whilst the recording
itself features the input of both Stephen Meixner and collaborator Adrain
Morris. Of the single 55 minute title track, this has been cut up into
18 short to medium length sub sections, where the listener is invited
to listen to the album in the CD’s programmed order, or re-programmed
to an alternative order by the listener, or left to a random selection
of the CD player’s shuffle function. Having listened to this both
in programmed order and on random shuffle functions, via either means
I have found this to be a fantastic album.
Spring boarding from a general sphere of what could be coined dark ambience,
it is the album’s remarkable buzzing, kinetic energy and digitized
tone that pushes the sound well beyond any generic tags, to create an
electronic soundscape of an album straddles the spheres of experimental,
electronic and dark ambient. The energy of the multi layered textures
cannot be done justice with words alone, given they are forever morphing
and evolving, never sitting still or becoming generic. Clearly such results
are the product of an extremely skilled experimental/ electronic composer
who is pushing beyond past achievements into totally new realms.
If you are unaware of Contrastate, this would be a great place to start
before delving into that particular group’s back catalogue, and
similarly if Contrastate is an appreciated quantity, you should be checking
this album out without hesitation.