AMN Reviews: Roland Kayn – Remake A (2002; Reiger-Records-Reeks); Roland Kayn – Remake B (2002; Reiger-Records-Reeks)

This pair of re-releases are from the back catalog of pioneering electroacoustic composer Roland Kayn. Both were originally offered in 2002 and have been made available once again in recent months.

Remake A explores a quieter side of Kayn, sitting in a space between the kosmiche music of early Tangerine Dream and what has become known as modern dark ambient. One 67-minute track, it is less in-your-face than other Kayn works, but still offers up a ton of detail albeit in a relatively subtle fashion. The main components are layers of synth that ebb and flow at various paces. Added to these are shimmering electroacoustic sounds that serve as further textures as well as patternless percussion. While generally subdued, Kayn provides a few moments that are jarring. There is no particular progression or storytelling that is apparent from a few immediate listens – think of this instead as drone-based free improv with weird electronics.

In contrast, Remake B uses fuzzier, more organic sounds that evoke empty spaces and underwater locales. The album is split across two tracks. The first provides sustained structures that initially resemble the desert ambient of Steve Roach before taking a slight left turn into a more distorted soundscape. The second, which at 38 minutes is nearly three times the length of the first, is darker with modestly distorted noise walls shifting in and out of focus. The overall feel is cinematic and perhaps a fitting soundtrack to a space opera that has a dose of psychological horror.