2VIEW :: Mind over MIDI / Submersion (diametric.)

The permeation into experimental electronica of noise as ‘instrument’—be it clicks’n’cuts or static wash—may be traced back two decades—to Pole‘s early re-cons of Basic Channel studio detritus and sundry Mille Plateaux. Evidence the tradition is still going strong comes in two releases from diametric., whose curator, Arne Weinberg, might have purpose picked Mind Over MIDI and Submersion as exhibits of the scope for artists operating in ostensibly similar sub-genre territory.

20 years on from his Mind over MIDI debut, Helge Tømmervåg is still high on crackle, his pop not yet pooped. Monolog, his previous, might have come on ‘like Tangerine Dream’s ‘Phaedra’ and some early Basic Channel locked in a BIG room…’ to some, but, to these ears the Norwegian’s third album for diametric.Deep Map, places MOM in a referential frame as a kind of chalk to bvdub‘s cheese. A series of tracts of hissing, texture-clad drone compositions, classically leaning ambience, takes on the flickering torch, this spatial glacial explorer continuing pursuit of a strain of environmental ambient under twin influence of Detroit’s sci-fi tech-futurism and Berlin’s bleaker visions. Chilly synths slowly shift, striated with a patina of dubby crepitus, Kosmische sweeps soundtracking scenes from a Nordic landscape with murky cloud pads, found sounds of cold ambience, and slow soupy upwellings. Reverb, echo, and drone devices deeply map an inner-scape of twilight freight and dawn weight. Overall, Deep Map presents as a kind of enviro-cinematic epic, all minimal downtempo dubbed-out atmo, consonant pads offsetting dissonant FX, glitches and melody shards, into which MOM embeds affective resonance.

Originally a ltd. tape self-released in 2012, Abrade gets a CD reissue from diametric., facilitating fidelity to its glorious gruzz to fuzz and fizz through in its full smeared splendor. Ohio-based producer Submersion‘s compositions are based on an approach to dub techno that privileges sound design, immediately identifiable from the sheer weight of ‘noise,’ aka layered field recordings (here ‘Eerie Shore Winter, Storms, treated cassette, radio’) slathered over delay-drenched chords and exponential reverb. Drawn out over two long-form tracks, Abrade‘s fabric of droning chords is torn eponymously, field recording flesh grazed, with a heavily effected dub haze, a thick compression glaze, remotely riven with a kick pulse plumbing its expansive depths. The music’s derivation from processed field recordings, the atmospherics’ distillation within its hermetic composition, is ineffable, making for a suggestive sonic and perceptual experience. A bonus comes in additional remixes by Mon0, Optical Frameworks and Valanx, covering a spectrum of styles, while retaining the sonic attributes of the original material. One for the more outlier ambient-dub-techno cognoscenti.

Both releases are on diametric.Deep Map now, Abrade in March 2016.

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