US: 24 Apr 2010
Germany Release Date: 24 Apr 2010
Florian Hecker isn’t interested in romance. Right around 35 seconds into “Wq Acid VII”, as its undulating strands of noise approach a kind of anti-charm, everything drops out. Only a stream of wobbly feedback remains. Every few seconds thereafter, a new sound introduces itself like a hopeful suitor to a choosy princess: Moog farts, elastic twangs, searing hums: all synthetic, and all abortive. The piece’s attention span lengthens as the ten-minute finish line approaches, and themes from the first few minutes return (at a higher pitch) in the last. At no point, however, does Hecker establish continuous forward motion. If anything, he willfully avoids it.
Neu CD, a collection of pieces Hecker wrote for recent exhibits at Berlin’s Galerie Neu, is a demanding listen. Perhaps unreasonably so. The bait-and-switch antics of “Wq Acid VII” and the extensive insect-like drone of “Yin Pitch Detection Synthesis Kissing” don’t quite pay off the patience they require. Catching on to Hecker’s subtle craftsmanship is supposed to be its own reward, I guess. “≤ ∑” closes the disc with some confrontational blasts of sound, but the rest of Neu CD is too dry and austere to provoke much beyond mild academic interest.
// Sound Affects
"History repeats the old conceits, the glib replies, the same defeats. Keep your finger on important issues, and keep listening to the 275th most acclaimed album of all time. A 1982 masterpiece is this week's Counterbalance.READ the article