CD: Fin De Siècle Media FDS15 [2005]

The Dictatorship Of The Viewer

Being 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.


[srmeixner] / [Fin De Siècle Media]

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