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Dead Cert is a new label which is a team effort between the good people at Pre-Cert and Finders Keepers, dedicated to breathing new life into archival electronic recordings, introducing them to a modern audience and preserving them for the music historians of the future to be able to access them more easily. A valuable service, I’m sure you’ll agree, with their inaugural release s ...

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AX+BY+CZ+D=0 (AKA Kunst Am Computer) by Bruno Spoerri and Betha Sarasin
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8/10 Mike Staff review, 04 July 2012

Dead Cert is a new label which is a team effort between the good people at Pre-Cert and Finders Keepers, dedicated to breathing new life into archival electronic recordings, introducing them to a modern audience and preserving them for the music historians of the future to be able to access them more easily. A valuable service, I’m sure you’ll agree, with their inaugural release shedding some light on Suzanne Ciani’s very earliest and rarest electronic experiments.

On this album German electronic pioneer Bruno Spoerri collaborates with sculptor Betha Sarasin for a complex concept piece which is based on maths and stuff. I’m trying really hard to get my head around it but I fear I am not clever enough to truly fathom this concept in the short time I have to write a review...essentially what they were creating was a “four-dimensional” sculpture (the fourth dimension being time) which contained three oscillating steel membranes, and thus “the ‘optimal’ triangle plane was mathematically defined by the equation of planes in space; ax + by + cz + d = 0”. I believe that equation may be missing a “wtf”.

This sculpture is assisted in making its various sonic textures by a lyricon, soprano sax, emulator, Prophet-10 synth, vocoder and computer. What all that means for this record is lots of metallic ambience, groans, drones, hums, rings and clanks. It’s quite therapeutic in its own way but there are places which are pretty abrasive but for the most part it’s a curiously morphing, surreal listen. There’s a lovely melodic improvisation for lyricon halfway through and it’s varied and otherworldly throughout. As is so often the case with these historical-interest records this is a fascinating listen but not always the most comfortable one.


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