Review of September 19, 1998 Et Al. [12k1024]

Phosphor (DE)

The New York based musician Kenneth Kirschner combines the influence of the 20th century avant-garde (most importantly Morton Feldman) with the techniques and technologies of contemporary electronic music. Although he had been busy for quite a while, his musical break-through came when Sub Rosa released the album Post_Piano, a collaboration with Taylor Deupree, in 2002. September 19, 1998 Et Al. is Kischner’s second release, this time for another interesting label called 12k.

The 21minute long title track offers a combination of improvised percussion sounds derived from found household objects, principally kitchenware and sparse piano tones. The music is minimal and very elemental. Every sounds stands on it’s own, does not seem to be connected to the other sounds, but is nevertheless part of the whole. The second track that Kischner started about three years later, is completely different. Some stretched synthesizer tunes interchange subtle and careful, overlapping each other and creating a beautiful string of harmonic and clean electronics. This rich diversity is supported by minmal clicking rhythm patterns and occasional vibrating organic elements. Eighteen minutes of a polyrhythmic study in the possibilities of software synthesizer sound design.

The final composition which is also the most recent, is a dense string of sounds as well, this time an unconsciously selection of the composer’s mp3 fragments collection. The ambient atmosphere slowly and gradually changes, though remains quite organic and refined in general. Playing this loud could create a feeling of claustrophobia and an intensity of the inner motion. The hidden ritual vocals underneath the electronics or those interwoven in them accentuate the mystery of the music.

Kenneth Kischner manages to create three tracks that are quite different from each other, but have a great quality in common.

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