Metamusik – Con7 (Einnicken)

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Swedish improvisational electronic duo Metamusik aka Johannes Rytzler and Daniel Carlson had previously played in various different configurations of the Memento musician’s collective, prior to the formation of their creative partnership in 2005, which was the result of two discussing ways in which they could make improvised electronic music that didn’t just sound like ‘random sound experiments.’ Following several live appearances, this debut album ‘Con7’ on Einnicken sees Rytzler and Carlson crafting seven different variations on a ‘meta-concept’s utilising both electronic processing and acoustic instrumentation, the end result being a intriguing conceptual piece that gradually shifts from almost harsh austerity towards more melodic and almost dancefloor-friendly territory. Opening chapter ‘Con 7.1’ begins things in stripped-back and forbidding territory, placing unpredictable, broken rhythmic textures beneath a sinister backdrop of gong-like ringing tones and distant metallic crashes.

While it certainly represents this collection’s least accessible entry point, ‘Con 7.2’s following permutation sees elegant yet eerie piano motifs filling the spaces between increasingly florid rhythms, with ‘Con 7.3’s slide down into rich, glitch-strewn digi-dub much in the vein of Pole signalling the arrival of more lustrous textural elements into the comparatively sparse mix. ‘Con 7.5’ meanwhile sees tentative, burbling electronic tones treading a path against clicking, Deru meets Prefuse 73 minimalist hiphop rhythms and ghostly synthetic harmonium melodies in what’s easily the most warm and approachable chapter to be found here, before ‘Con 7.6’ takes things out into a glittering ambient wash of chirping, laser-like zaps, machine bleeps and opaque synth pads swell beneath crackling, digitally-treated scraping sounds. In the end, after traversing some fairly warm and serene dub landscapes, the listener is more or less left back exactly where they started – back out in the sparse, frigid surroundings that the original ‘meta-concept’s emerged out of. Fans of stripped-back, post-IDM electronics along the lines of Mille Plateaux should find much to enjoy on this impressive debut from Metamusik.

Chris Downton

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A dastardly man with too much music and too little time on his hands

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