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Monad XX [SAM020]

by Lucy

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Introducing themselves with an acclaimed double LP in 2013, the Zeitgeber team of Lucy and Speedy J. provided a master class in elemental, unconventional techno. Utilizing a creative mixture of pinpoint rhythmic accuracy and tonal depth, the team made good on the high expectations placed upon them and delivered an expansive sound not indebted to any currently active musical movement. Each successive release from this production duo makes it clearer that Zeitgeber is no casual “side project”, but a serious artistic commitment that aims to be more than the sum of its parts. Following the debut album, Zeitgeber has contributed a sublime piece to Stroboscopic Artefacts’ five-year anniversary series, and now returns with an EP-length release that fits seamlessly into the ever-diversifying ‘Monad’ series of musical mutations.
With “At The End of The World,” the listener is immediately welcomed to an unfamiliar sonic terrain where all seems sentient and shapes spontaneously arise from the darkness. Propelled by slushy beat cycles and adorned with discordant (but infectious) mid-range sequences and wavering machine hum, it’s a successful conjuration of terra incognita that rewards patient listening with a melange of hidden details. “An Extraordinary Man” accomplishes very much the same effect with a different palette of flavors: riding on shimmering waves of pure tone and with an unorthodox bass kick pattern at its center, it is a slightly lighter
take on the opener’s atmospheric immersion, but again with plenty of mystery coded within its sonic minutiae (here the incidental noises appear and disappear with the tantalizing quickness of winged insects or hypnagogic speech.) The following “Absent Minded” is anything but; being a highly focused and carefully concentrated display of android groove: even as the most “traditional” piece on the EP, it still places the listener in the thick of a busy virtual environment where slightly out-of-phase processes combine to make a compelling tapestry in motion. Wrapping up the proceedings is “Quantum Verse,” a confident look towards a distant horizon: this closer produces its unexpectedly optimistic conclusion with a blend of plucked synth- strings, controlled feedback and playful time-delay manipulations.
For current fans of the Zeitgeber aesthetic, these four selections will keep enthusiasm running high. For those not yet familiar with Zeitgeber, these tracks will provide an excellent introduction to a unique program already in progress. Monad XX is electronic music that opens a window onto the invisible cities of its authors’ imaginations, and does this well enough to help listeners construct invisible cities of their own.


released July 27, 2015


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Lucy Berlin, Germany

Lucy (née Luca Mortellaro) is one of the pre-eminent sonic adventurers of his time. Lucy has become rare as an artist in his ability to please an audience while also introducing them to elements they were not yet familiar with and thereby pushing them out of their comfort zone. ... more

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