Explore the depths of the sea floor with Ulrich Krieger


LA based composer and saxophonist Ulrich Krieger is renowned for his work in contemporary composition, free improvised music, chamber and electronic music. His works often straddle multiple genres, everything from noise to metal to ambient music.

He’s pretty well known for transcribing and arranging Lou Reed’s Metal Machine Music for classical instruments – initially performed by the Zeitkratzer ensemble. To come full circle here’s a 2007 review of it by Lawrence English, who has just issued the piece above.

“Aphotic II : Abyssal”, which features Krieger on tenor saxophone and electronics, Ben Richter on accordion and Derek Stein on cello, comes from Aphotic II, which is a companion piece to Krieger’s part 1 that was released in June this year on Room40. Both works are quite experimental, inspired by the alien unexplored nature of the ocean floor and explores notions of power ambience and is pretty damn spooky.

This is what Krieger has to say about it:

“We are now ascending and reach the Abssyal (from greek: ábyssos – bottomless) layer of oceanic waters. The pressure has eased off, we are now 4.000-6.000 m deep. It is the middle of the aphotic zones, also called the lower midnight zone, and it is the realm of the wide, vast Abyssal plains of the deep ocean floor. They are among the earth’s flattest and smoothest regions and the least explored. Abyssal Plains cover approximately 40% of the ocean floor. Still, no light reaches this far down. The fauna of this part of the deep-sea is for the most part still unexplored, but marine snow, a continuous shower of organic matter falling from the upper layers, serves as an important food source.”

Aphotic II — Abyssal will be released on the 29th of September 2023 via Room40. You can find it here.


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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.