Review of Active/Freeze [12k1009]

Ink 19 (US)

Active/Freeze sees these two well-established sonic architects pointing their camera directly inside their machines in order to find the elusive ghosts. Is this what machines do when we aren’t looking? Do they speak in their self-established tongues? But to peg this music as “discovered” is to divert attention from the pair’s constructive talents.

“Active/Freeze” is like bonsai architecture. Details exist, but they’re part and parcel of each sonic event. Instead of looking at the frills of a track for subtlety, here you must approach each digital crackle, hiss and ping as a perfectly shaped whole. Each sound is placed on the sonic plane, above, below or alongside it’s companions. Tracks don’t seem to move; but each moment seems to examine a different part of a larger whole. “Remote/Beauty” contains a short melodic fragment that sounds, in context, like great ocean of feeling. Active/Freeze is a challenging, but endlessly interesting artwork. On the other hand, it’s also a nice way to pass about 45 minutes. – n. soni

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