Matt Rösner – Empty, Expanding, Collapsing (Room40)


Australian sound artist Matt Rösner offers some of the most unique evocative music you could ever hope to hear. He seems to effortlessly tap into or perhaps evoke the Australian landscape. I’m not necessarily sure if that’s what he’s trying to do, but in his music I hear a great expanse with plenty of space, a shimmering heat that you can see, horizon lines that blur and sizzle in the distance.

This album is based around an upright piano, built in 1898, and his tentative notes marry with guitars, electronics, synthesisers, percussion and field recordings. There is a stillness here, a subdued contemplation. He uses minimal ingredients, each element is quite stark and present – it doesn’t feel like this is music created with dense layers of sound. He’s interested in resonance and decay, in sounds that occupy the space for a moment before slowly evaporating. His music is highly textural, in fact his compositional decisions seem to be based as much around frequency and texture as anything else.

Tempo is virtually non existent, the pace is languid, the approach is atmospheric, filmic even. He favours electric strings/ drones alongside his tentative piano or guitar explorations, which offers a feeling of gravity to proceedings. It’s hard to know how to classify this deeply atmospheric music. It’s strange and experimental, yet also somehow grounded and nurturing. It’s a work of quiet contemplation and beauty that like all great ambient music connects deep within your being and changes everything as soon as you press play – except its not really ambient music. Whatever it is – it works


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Bob is the features editor of Cyclic Defrost. He is also evil. You should not trust the opinions of evil people.