Italian electronic producer Andrea Taeggi is likely known to many readers for his releases under his Gondwana alias, as well as his explorations as one half of the duo Lumisokea alongside Koenraad Ecker. Three years from his debut album on Type ‘Mama Matrix Most Mysterious’ and just few months on the heels of his limited edition ‘Noméri—Tere’ collection, this third album under his given name ‘Zimní Král’ takes its title from the Czech for ‘winter king’, apparently the the epithet given to Frederick V Elector Palatine (king of Bohemia), the last of a legacy to actively support alchemy as a means of studying reality, the self and their inter-reflections.
What’s particularly interesting is the unconventional technology used by Taeggi to create the six tracks collected here, with most of the percussive elements being generated by a Cold War-era Analogue Computer located at Holland’s Willem-Twee synthesis studio that was originally designed for military flight simulation purposes. Perhaps befitting the stark origins of the equipment involved, there’s a unifying feeling of minimalism and austerity at work here.
‘Dinergy’ opens this album with its most expansive offering, spending its nine minutes sending bleeping sonar-like doppler pulses floating against a backdrop of fluttering percussive tones, while ominous sub-bass pressure casts a shadow-like presence. While there isn’t much in the way of thematic development over the track’s running length, the overall effect is more geared towards setting up an ecosystem of interlocking textures immersing the listener that generates a feeling of restless itchiness as much as it lulls.
‘Zeitlupe’ meanwhile traverses the boundary between ambient and noise as buzzing electronic tones waver and swell like distorted bowed instruments, their metallic scrapes arcing against fluttering glitchy textures, before ‘Hygieia’ wanders off in a direction that calls to mind Mille Plateaux’s ‘Clicks N’ Cuts’ series, as digital clicks and pops get the subaquatic dub-treatment against ringing bell-like tones and phase-treated noise bursts that suddenly lurch out of the mix, adding a compelling sense of looseness. If you like your electronics stark and pared back, along the lines of SND and Mark Fell, ‘Zimní Král’ is well worth investigation.