“It's a big Berlin School album with a clear penchant for progressive and experimental, like the Belgian School”
1 Ohmage 21:10
2 AlphaGo Beats Sodol 7:22
3 Muziek Uit De Kosmos 14:42
4 Dead Channel 10:15
5 Niks Anders As Geraas Nie 5:48
(CD/DDL 59:17) (V.F.)
(Belgian & Berlin Schools, Prog EM)
Although MUSIC FOR MUTATED TV 5 is not a Nothing But Noise album, it looks like it. It's big Berlin School with a clear penchant for progressive and experimental, like the Belgian School, and it's done by the tandem Daniel B. and Dirk Bergen. We are therefore not far from Nothing But Noise! But it isn't NBN, it's db2!
The long Ohmage begins with a bed of reverberations floating on a sound field, like these deadly clouds of dust on a battlefield. Tears of a synth with tones of Theremin pierce these radioactive clouds with the meditative grace of a Tibetan shadow, creating an anesthetic cosmic song. A ringing note emerges from this neurasthenic field, awakening the first stage of the sequencer which pairs its keys with the shimmering arpeggios and the tears of Theremin as well as of its vampiric solos. An ascending march, always under the tone of music for somnambulism, takes a delicious form of psybient with these sound effects which are grafted to the steps of the sequencer. A phantom melody wanders in this setting which little by little crumbles in dark breaths coming from the volutes of this slow upward spiral. It's after the 13 minutes mark that a rhythm is formed with heavy sequences which seem to trace a path for a more agile and nervous sequencer which releases a scintillating line. A line that knits in its echo effect, creating lively jolts that break into a universe of Space Art. This rhythmic mass is based on these jerky effects which make the cadence nervous and quivering in its dimension which has become stroboscopic. This rhythmic creativity is exhausted too soon, leaving the elements of ambiences guided the destiny of Ohmage which drifts until one last jolt before extinguishing his spasmodic life. But Ohmage had time to chart a course for the next 31 minutes of MUSIC FOR MUTATED TV 5.
Do I hear a harmonica at the start of AlphaGo Beats Sodol? A mouth-organ which turns in a violin texture whose sharp jerks intersect with the morphic slowness of the cellos which succeed in cementing their presence in slow anesthetic movements but sculpted in tension. Refusing any stigmatization of the art of composition, those who sometimes wear the clothes of Nothing But Noise dare a purely anti-musical structure but which returns in a nobility with the ephemeral presences of snakes with fluid rhythmic colors that thread their way through the sheafs of ambiences around AlphaGo Beats Sodol. It's then that our ears notice a clamor woven into the rage of the staccatos of stringed instruments, painfully pushing the rhythmic carcass to dance in a heavy spiral which, in cycles, puts all its weight on the upstream part of its rotation. Heavy and magnetizing, the rhythm succeeds in its worthy exit in favor of these staccato lines which are also worn out in an orchestral vision created by the imagination for a more abstract EM. It's a rise of dark breezes blowing with peaks of intensity that opens Muziek Uit De Kosmos. In a musical current where chamber music and that of the Milky Way oppose their divergences, this opening also gives birth to a timid Berlin School which increases its presence with big 8 mechanically choreographed which has the particularity of trampled in the last semi -circle which closes its digital choreography. This splendid flickering movement accelerates the pace in what looks like a loss of control whose debris becomes an industrial thin line. Suspended to our listening, this line restructures the rhythm of Muziek Uit De Kosmos with a slew of short sequences which make kicking between the loops of a heavy, slow and resonating rhythm like a good old sequenced Berlin School in an area industrialized by manufacturers of violins and other stringed instruments. A huge title!
We reach Dead Channel and its march of swaggering conqueror. The rhythm starts slowly, but the envelope is more electronic with its nest of pulsations which pop and go in a nice chaos in order to structure a kind of Funk, if not Hip-Hop, for a gang of obeses jumping with their fascinating bodily sounds. The movement goes there with a few accelerations, including one that is more sustained from minute 4 to 6, making our neurons dance with overactivity in terms of sound effects. And at this level, you must have your ears on the lookout. And they are, believe me, because the tonal flora is more developed on this title hobbling and hopping of excitement which is rich of its echo effects and of its rubbery reverberations. Niks Anders As Geraas Nie is the slow moon landing of MUSIC FOR MUTATED TV 5. The gravitational force makes vibrate the space shuttle which crumbles little by little in an intense descent. A descent which plays on our nerves with sound effects that are sometimes quiet and sometimes trying for the invisible cosmonauts, because it's MUSIC FOR MUTATED TV 5. An excellent album from Nothing But… No! From db2 which is and which isn't Nothing But Noise, both in musical material here and in creativity. Excellent! There is nothing more to say!
Sylvain Lupari (September 22nd, 2020) ****¼*
Available at db2fluctuation Bandcamp