Review of Sti.ll [12k2060]

Das Filter (DE)

(Google translation)
In 2002, Taylor Deupree released his album “Stil.” The LP is now considered a silent classic of electronic music, one of the most intense conflicts between man and machine, i.e. laptop. Around 20 years later, the acoustic reinterpretation “Sti.ll” was created together with the multi-instrumentalist Joseph Branciforte.

I remember the early no-no’s well. At a time who I was convinced that clicky electronics would remain a size beyond the niche. In my hope, I was encouraged, among other things, by the sheer release flood on 12k, the label of Taylor Deupree. Always killers, whether fluffy or almost academically strict. I can’t really remember “style,” whereby I don’t draw any further conclusions from this temporary space in my head. The work was quickly listened to, the power level was leveled back.

The past 20 years stand not only for a consistent further development of electronic music, but also for many unsightly outgrowths, adaptations and appropriations. By this I do not mean the conscious shoulder shooling of musicians from one or another field with each other, but the orchestral exploitation, which – there are plenty of examples – were often initiated enough by the makers of electronics themselves. Whether it’s naivety, the desire for confirmation or simply the idea of how cool it could be to stand with the 909 in the Philharmonie? Fortunately, the AI can’t look into the head yet.

Of course, “Sti.ll” is far from these approaches. On the one hand, this has to do with the fact that Taylor Deupree’s four tracks simply do not allow to be bloated up orchestrally. And on the other hand, because all parties involved had a very precise idea of the process. Deupree wanted everything to be recorded live. No loops, no pro tools. And Branciforte had in mind a performance as precise as any possible – from the melody elements to the most hidden noise clicks. How many of them there are was not easy to fathom, because of “style.” only the stereo version and no individual tracks are available anymore. In a long process, Branciforte isolated as many “tracks” as possible on the computer and wrote them down. Translated them into information that can be read, played and interpreted by musicians with acoustic instruments.

These musicians are: clarinetist Madison Greenstone, jazz guitarist Ben Monder, flutist Laura Cocks, cellist Christopher Gross and double bassist Sam Minaie. Branciforte himself plays vibraphone, Taylor Deupree was present during the recordings and certainly had one or two things to say.

It doesn’t happen often that a new recording or reinterpretation touches me as much as “Sti.ll” does. The sagging lightness of the original with all the sounds, techniques and tricks that accompanied the post-2YK time, with its warmth on the one hand and the roughness due to technology and mindset on the other, of course gets a new sound in the new recording. Not only tonal, but also in terms of posture. However, the sug effect is maintained, but develops a completely different type of energy. The translation of the MIDI beats into acoustic hand movements, the translation of the sequenced, i.e. digital, rhythmics into score-based, analog approach and finally the categorical clash between traditional instruments and the technical possibilities of the studio make “Sti.ll” a more than impressive example of contemporary ensemble music. Sound is sound. Sound becomes sound. Sound remains sound.

“Sti.ll” is already available on the streaming platforms. In mid-June, the format appropriate to the work, the idea and the music will be published – a book. With accompanying texts, background information and pictures of the recording process, some of which I can already show here. This is very boutique, but maybe just the right way to document special music and unique projects. “Sti.ll” is the second part of this FOLIO series. Sounds like a subscription that satisfies more than the passion for collecting haptic objects in digital times.

View Website View Release