Abri is Goem’s seventh full length CD and their North American label debut, following widely acclaimed releases on Raster-Noton, Staalplaat and Fourth Dimension. Recorded, produced and edited in Rotterdam, Montreal, Tokyo and Kyoto in 2000 and 2001, Abri was composed using Goem’s mobile studio consisting of a laptop and multichannel sound card which allows them to compose anywhere around the world. The music is built around minimal loops and the buzzing of analogue synthesizers create a rich tapestry of sound which requires intense listening to reveal the underlying subtleties and depth. Abri is signature Goem sound and perhaps their most mature and delicate release to date.
Goem started mid 1996 when Roel Meelkop gave Frans de Waard a small electronic device, which he found in a thriftshop in Rotterdam. The device was called the Student Stimulator. Until today it is unknown what it was used for, but most likely it was part of a research program exploring the mysteries of human sleep. The machine generates pulses, of which speed and intensity can be changed. Frans dabbled around with the machine using Steve Reich’s Phase Shifting techniques and presented a demo back to Roel, who thought it was ‘interesting’, but not as an end-result. Upon his suggestion, the two re-worked the original demo, by adding sound effects, analogue synthesizers and filtering. Most of those sessions ended up on the first CD ‘Stud Stim’, which was released mid 1997 by Raster Music. By this time, Goem were invited at very short notice to play in Barcelona, during a side festival of Sonar. Roel and Frans invited Peter Duimelinks to join forces and since then Goem are a trio.
Goem’s music is better described as minimal pulse (techno) than as ‘glitch’ or ‘clicks & cuts’. In best Dutch tradition, Goem shows techno in its purest form. They have been long-time contributors to 12k, appearing on compilations back to 12k’s groundbreaking .aiff CD.