I’ll admit dabbling with the works of Roland Kayn over the years but never taking the full plunge. Now, with the re-emergence of his Reiger-Records-Reeks label (run by his estate – Kayn died in 2011) and their ongoing digital releases of many previously-unheard works, I may have to move from being just Kayn-curious to a more serious listener.
Recorded in 2004, Zone Senza Silenzio is a 55-minute piece of electronic and synthesized elements that straddles early “classical” electronic music (ala Stockhausen), Kosmiche, and modern dark ambient. Arguably, Kayn is an influencer of the latter two and a contemporary of the first, but these notions are only points of reference. Kayn’s music is its own animal.
Generated electronically through custom setups that employed indeterminacy as well as intentional direction, Zone Senza Silenzio makes use of metallic oscillations, drones, waves of abstract sounds, and crunching electroacoustics. The textures are generally rough and the mood is dark. The layers and some of the more warped segments resemble synthesizers run through a series of filters and perhaps a touch of active knob-twiddling. But these shimmering walls of noise are both harsh and exhilarating. Many of the “melodies” are quite short, but reappear in various forms throughout.
Throughout my first listen, I kept reaching for the volume control to turn it up. Such efforts were rewarding and arguably necessary to appreciate Kayn’s subtle details, even if a few of the more dynamic passages were jarring. Nonetheless, for nearly an hour my attention was tightly focused on the bizarre structures emanating from my speakers.
Proceeds from this and many more of the new run of Kayn releases go to charitable causes. Even more reason to download without guilt.