K Leimer — Degraded Certainties
(Palace of Lights PoL 01 | 2010, 2010, CD)
by Paul Hightower, Published 2011-06-01Kerry Leimer's newest work delves deeply into the process side of ambient fabrications. Here, he gathers source elements that include strings, bells, and percussive sounds, and then runs them through signal reprocessing to arrive at a collection of tones or elements, which he then arranges and layers — randomly or not — into distinct soundscapes (each curiously at or near 12 minutes). The timbres shift from one piece to another, "Allotropy" studying intertwining violin tones, for example, while naturally occurring sounds populate the meditative "Hommage." But Leimer takes each track beyond mere ambiance by mixing in contrasting tones and textures — sometimes bordering on distortion — that makes each a fertile study in audio dynamics, despite everything staying within a fairly constricted volume parameter. For the most part he operates somewhere between ambient and minimalism on this album. For example, on "Common Nocturne" an elegant piano creates a solemn and placid sound field with widely spaced notes and chords hovering over residual harmonics and underlying tonal ambience. And on "French Opera" plucked strings are spaced out rhythmically with an almost clockwork regularity while a rolling wave of harmonics ebb and flow around them. The recordings are crystal clear with nothing to mar the pristine aural vistas, though some may find there's a bit too much activity within these pieces for them to work as a background for meditation. But for my money a little mental stimulant is the best catalyst for inner awareness.
Related artist(s): K Leimer / Savant
Asia Minor Third Album on the Way – On January 29, AMS records will be releasing the long-awaited third album by classic Turkish-French band Asia Minor. Released last year in Japan, this will be the widespread debut of Points of Libration. The album features original members Setrak Bakirel (vocals, guitar) and Eril Tekeli (flute, guitar). » Read more
Harold Budd RIP – Harold Budd, one of pre-eminent American composers of avant-garde and minimalism, has died of complications from the coronavirus. Budd came to prominence in the 70s, championed by Brian Eno on his Obscure Records label, with music that blended academic minimalism with electric jazz and electronic music. Much of Budd's best known work was done in collaboration with other artists, including Eno, Daniel Lanois, Robin Guthrie, Andy Partridge, John Foxx, Jah Wobble, and many others. » Read more
Audion Is Back in Business – Our esteemed colleague Alan Freeman has restarted Audion Magazine after a seven year hiatus. The new incarnation is available online on their Bandcamp site. Audion's history goes back to 1984, and included 58 issues up to 2013. Issue #59 is available now, and #60 is in the works. » Read more
Romantic Warriors IV – Krautrock (Part 2) Is in the Works – Zeitgeist Media, the people who have brought us the great series of documentary films chronicling the history of progressive rock, are working on the second installment of their examination of German music. Krautrock 2 will focus on artists from Münich such as Guru Guru, Amon Düül II, Xhol Caravan, Kraan, Witthüser & Westrupp, and Popol Vuh. » Read more