Driftmachine – Eis Heauton

Posted: 3 February 2016 in Albums

Hallow Ground – HG1601 – 26th February 2016

James Wells

Understanding and appreciating this album benefits from knowledge of the context and methodology of its origins. The title translates – more or less – from the Greek, meaning ‘a conversation with oneself.’

To quote, ‘the album was constructed from self-generating patches, with Florian Zimmer (Saroos) and Andreas Gerth (Tied & Tickled Trio) providing technical parameters and letting their modular system talk in its own musical language. The self-generating patches recorded here can be understood as a transcript of those machine-produced monologues, and as artistic research. By evoking a ghostly presence of modular synthesis, the duo find traces of individuality inside their machines.’

Now, I’m not entirely sure what a self-generating patch is, but it seems to carry a certain connotation of ‘the machines taking over’. Music that evolves by itself. Something created by means of randomised algorithms – somehow simultaneously programmatic and random. Certainly, this is the feel of Eis Heauton. The form of the tracks do not conform to any overt or explicit structure, order or sequence, but instead assail the listener unexpectedly, almost a kind of sonic ambush.

Dark, murky blasts of thick bass thunder in deep caverns while low, stealthy beats pulse. Shrieking metallic and mechanical scrapes and clanks combine to forge shadowy atmospheres. Sonar bleeps probe underwater and dense sonorous drones resonate. ‘Sunlit Reverie’ creeps around ominously, evoking quite the opposite scene in the mind’s eye from the one the title implies.



Driftmachine on Soundcloud

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