Review of Status [12k1033]

Ventrilocution (PL)

A brief glance at the biographies of Frank Bretschneider or Ralph Steinbr├╝chel, for those interested in the quirky developments in the field of electronics, is revealing of the importance they must have had in said evolution. And I say must have had simply because, despite the impressive body of work and academic curriculum both present, this is the first contact I have ever had with either of them; a flaw more than willingly acknowledged and henceforth corrected.

It is, therefore, rather tempting to assume the passive role of the critically obtuse listener and simply addend a few more hurriedly scribbled lines to what is, arguably, the general consensus of bizarrely unanimous praise with which projects of this calibre are met. Yet, the need to present a valid and well-justified opinion based on the impressions already retrieved from Status is far more pressing than anything else. Although it would seem, from the preceding rant, that I intend to expose this release as some sort of disgraceful masquerade, the opposite is where the truth in fact resides. Unlike some other forays into the genre, which are but futile soliloquies directed mainly to the nourishment of malformed egos, Status is without question an ingenious affair in its own right and, although it is inevitably received with the same mindless (a)critical praise, it should be separated from the rest of the pack. Not only does it observe the basic criterions for a solid album of pulsating minimalism (strong rhythmic dynamics; adequate formal structures; coherent choice of sounds), but it is also revealing of a refined aesthetical sense, manifested essentially through the sparse but always exceedingly well-placed ambient effects that are consistently concurrent with the basic rhythmic framework that underlies each song.

Of course, the overtly repetitive drive is a more than natural assumption as to what the skeletal framework of Status would comprise, but it is achieved mainly through a constant bass line that undulates within a restricted interval (not unlike a sonic continuum as described by Rui Eduardo Paes in his report of the third day of the CAMP festival, when referring to one of the projects being developed at the time), present in tracks such as “Spiral”, “Antenne” or “Spektrum” and hinted at throughout the remainder of the album; either in its ambient variant or in a more beat-oriented context. Thus, it is not difficult to verify the logical interweaving of each track or to disregard the transitional processes on account of their smoothness. Rather, to engage in such a complex ‘static’ formulation with a clear determination to quantify and measure its impact proves to be no less difficult than its dynamic counterpart, which greatly hinders a critical observation but also enables a less assertive process of experiencing that is no less rewarding.

And, if any doubts still subsist, a brief incursion through the conceptual foundations of 12k’s activities will certainly provide the necessarily residual impetus the curious audiophile should require in order to become acquainted with Status post-haste. At the very minimum, essential.

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