AMN Reviews

AMN Reviews: Katharina Schmidt – Echography (Flag Day Recordings)

First and foremost, Echography is a unique and accomplished album of experimental electronica, ambient into which noise and musique concrète may briefly encroach. But the “experiment” also has theoretical backpinning too interesting not to share at some length. On each of the five tracks, Berlin artist Katharina Schmidt, as the echo master, responds to a field recording – I’m hearing sea birds, ocean waves, an open fire – which is then “absorbed, refracted and deconstructed through an arsenal of effects and software patches.” Since the angle of incidence is equal to the angle of refraction, we picture Schmidt situating virtual surfaces at all kinds of acute and obtuse angles, off of which her sounds bounce and collide. As a result, Schmidt continues, “the source material is dismantled, augmented and recomposed [and] the music is sounding out latent structures and concealed meaning.” It also turns into things for your imagination to play with – for instance, a satellite having a tricky time sharing its data.  Echography is as delightful as a hall of mirrors and stimulates plenty of thought about the nature of sound in its travels. And how about that Virginia Woolf sample? Very cool. 

Stephen Fruitman

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