Australian born Berlin based double bassist Mike Majkowski makes music with plenty of space, that often tends to feature extended techniques and highlights resonance and decay. Over the years he seems to have been increasingly drawn towards electronic sounds, with 2017’s Days and Other Days finding him sharing the double bass with analog synthesizer, percussion, piano, vibraphone, samples & field recordings. With Between the Seasons he has left the bass and the conventional instrumentation behind and is focussing instead on electronics.
Despite the progression it still feels like an abrupt departure for Majkowski who is difficult not to always associate with his double bass. His electronics are long-form, a relentless modulating drone, whose timbre slowly, barely perceptively alters throughout, with subtle variations in pitch and the odd, on the verge of (almost) challenging frequency. Occasionally there’s a rhythmic throb that develops beneath the drone, or an accompanying differently pitched drone will appear alongside, but in the main everything remains very understated and pretty stark. Even on the more complex Hover (Side B), its an incredibly slow build with a lot of repetition. Ultimately he’s not operating at all with familiar tropes of electronic, or even experimental electronic music, rather his music is something else, something durational and minimal.
There’s also something hypnotic about the music, even calming. He establishes the pacing early and doesn’t deviate. There are no rude shocks or surprises. Regardless it still feels performative, like it was developed live as opposed to edited together on a computer.
Released on Polish label Endless Happiness on cassette in a limited edition of 100, Between Seasons is an album that feels less about approach or technique and more about what the sounds do to you.