die Reihe – Sitting in a room with a Vocoder

English Kritik October 11 2018 die-reihe

die Reihe – Vocoder (Anòmia, 2018), review by Mikkel Rørbo.

“Vocoder” is Jack Callahan’s new EP under the die Reihe moniker. We are told that much in the first few seconds listening to said record. All of “Vocoder” is focused around the reading of a text by Callahan explaining e.g. the history of the vocoder and the components of the EP’s sections; there is a stroke of inspiration in carrying something demanding and abstracted like this via something as concrete as the voice.

On “Vocoder”, Callahan persistently focuses on a specific compositional technique, in this case vocal processing with “a specific type of vocoder called a phase-vocoder” (“Section VI”), with an exaggerating effect which, I believe, activates the listener and makes one aware of one’s situation of listening. These layers of awareness, on Callahan’s side as composer, the contents of the piece and the listener, lead to a formalist expression – something which is surprisingly easy to follow, with distinct sections separated by silence, a logical progression and a definable set of methodologies. Listening to this piece is almost like reading the abstract of a dissertation; a statement of intent, methodology, perspectivation and expected results. It’s honestly very, very pleasant in its formal simplicity. Læs resten