Australian artist Todd Anderson-Kunert slows everything down and reduces it to only the essential on his latest album for Room40. There’s an overwhelming feeling of stillness and serenity. The gestures, the volume, the oscillations, the heart rate the breathing are all pared back, so what is here registers and resonates with increased significance.
Promises is the third and final in his Truth trilogy and its his most gentle, most welcoming. It’s actually quite ironic as the album is a rumination on promises made in relation to love, with Anderson-Kunert acknowledging the anxiety producing element of what happens if promises are not kept. I don’t hear this in the music. What I hear is a remarkable commitment, control and rigour towards reductive synthesis, a celebration of the miniature, of space, silence and stillness.
At times Anderson-Kunert flirts on the horizon line of audibility, his music coming as a series of slow waves, gentle rumbles, contemplative notes or even relatively high pitched synthetic drones. The ability for his music to offer such a calming experience but simultaneously tune our ears into hyper-awareness is quite fascinating, and your now highly attuned mind (and ears) plays tricks on you hearing things that may or may not be there. The space he provides between the waves, the silence, or apparent silence can actually be deceptive. Are we actually hearing something in there or is it our own internal reverberations.
Promises is a gorgeously restrained subtly rewarding work. You would perhaps call it ambient, but it feels like so much more is going on. And as for promises, if the unwavering intent of this album is any indication, my guess is that if Anderson-Kunert makes one to you – he’s good for it.