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

Oneohtrix Point Never – Seething out of the lost signal

Kritik June 19 2018 1127962-opn_6_dsc01917_3000jpg

Oneohtrix Point Never “Age Of” (Warp, 2018) – review by Mikkel Rørbo, photo: Blake Wood

If you search for Oneohtrix Point Never on your favorite search engine or hegemonic digital platform, you’ll be told that Daniel Lopatin has been at it for quite a while, “Age Of” is (approximately) the 10th studio album from his hand and it is put out on seminal electronic label Warp. He has been busy doing a number of collaborations recently as well as scoring the movie “Good Time”. It shows on “Age Of”. There is a cinematic, narrative quality here for sure – I will get to that – and a number of the collaborators feature on the album, notably ANOHNI, but furthermore with contributions from percussionist Eli Keszler, noise superstar Prurient, keyboardist Kelsey Lu and producer James Blake.

“Age Of” is undeniably a great, albeit complicated, pop album. In my opinion it is in fact the best material from Lopatin to date, in turns extremely satisfying and challenging. It is great music, but that’s not why you keep coming back, as I’m sure many familiar with his previous work will recognize. OPN as a project has always been meticulous and extremely self-conscious about its inner workings and reference points, to me at least this has always been part of its appeal, but on “Age Of” this has been pronounced to an extreme degree, made into a conceptual point in itself. His previous album, “Garden of Delete”, also followed a conceptual story, so this conceptuality is hardly new for Oneohtrix Point Never – and indeed “Age Of” and “Myriad”, his current touring ‘concertscape’, follow a rough sci-fi narrative of omniscient AIs that want nothing more than to be dumb as humanity currently is. Fun stuff. Læs resten