New on Richard Chartier’s sound-art label Line is Sleepwalkers in a Cold Circus, the evocatively titled new album from Koenraad Ecker. Frosty electroacoustics are the order of the day, unidentified sounds creeping around your headspace anxiously. Ecker uses lots of super-up-close recordings of everyday objects apparently, which makes the abstraction we hear all the more uncanny.
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- Sleepwalkers in a Cold Circus by Koenraad Ecker
8/10 Brian Staff review, 20 February 2015
Nothing like a sleep deprived night to make you more attuned to the sounds of Koenraad Ecker, one half of improvisers Lumisokea, the Belgian one of the duo this week - I had his mate a couple of weeks back splattering my ears with all kinds of sonic cacophony, via the renowned Opal tapes.
Once again trading in a deliciously spectral electro-acoustic phenomena derived from intimately-placed recording devices in order to capture otherworldly frequencies, found sound, glimmering oscillations, concrète noise and fluttering shards of glitch, all laced with an especially nice line in dark ambient tonal menace. Some stunningly sharp editing processes make this a consistently riveting listen. Sounds you've never heard surgically segued, a cornucopia of futuristic, scary noises creeping stealthily through the very eye of your mind.
Rather than a mere collection of random experiments in aural darkness, there is a lot of beauty to be found in these intoxicating and eerie pieces, his adventurous recording methods adding an extra element of tactility; the snippets of chamber-like avant classical experimentation are both breathtaking and ominous. From brief glacial ambience to metallic scree could be jarring in the hands of a lesser artist but I find this a profoundly interesting and consistent body of sonic sculpture bulging with numerous possibilities and ideas.
Like so many artists today trading in their refined visions of what sound juxtapositions make true art, their work needs to be appreciated via quality in-ear devices or amplified in a huge dark space to truly glean all the fascinating detail and wonderful resonance. It's amazing considering the enormous array of consistently differing sounds how succinctly this dark excitable mass of ideas flows, Including everything from bursts of moribund cello to sinister electronic machinations, dingy off-beat submerged kicks and bizarre cyber-tropical aural clutter this is one hell of a fascinating excursion from a man who has only one album on Digitalis previously to his name. Take your time lad, there's enough happening here to keep us entertained for months.
One of the most sonically arresting releases I've heard on L-NE since the last Chartier/Basinski collaboration.
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