Janek Schaefer – Migration (Bip-Hop)


I first heard “Migration’ sitting in a small summer shed, enjoying the onset of autumn in Janek Schaefer’ back garden. Being played for me through a set of laptop speakers, there was little doubt that I was missing a great deal from this first introduction. Listening back over the record (on studio monitors), which was created to accompany a contemporary work piece by the Liz Gerring Dance Company, there’ a great deal of detail clustered around the burst of treated turntable crackle and tempered cloud-like drones. It takes almost 5 minutes for any sense of rhythm to come into the piece and you can’ help but wonder how this performance took place around the score. As with much of Schaefer’ work there are moments of great beauty and gritty, sand paper like agitation. This kind of interplay seems to be the heart of this piece – “To Oval To Cologne’ for instance pulses along with a classically minimal delay line, whilst waves of sound pulse in and out amid burst of harsher frequencies and textures. The results are strong and the diversity of sounds over the 4 tracks no doubt offered good inspiration to the dancers and choreographers involved.

Lawrence English