Scheduled for release on January 10th, 2k17 via the Portuguese imprint Cronica
is Jos Smolders newest album effort named "Nowhere: Exercises In Modular Synthesis And Field Recording" in which we see the artist stepping away from his usual approach of detailed, thought out composition and exploring a method of letting his electronic devices of mostly modular nature doing what they do, evolving sounds without much interference from the artist himself. In the opening tune "Incident At Ras Oumlil (Revised 2016)" this new way of working leads to a sequence of highly digital clicks reminiscent of a Geiger counter indicating the presence of radioactivity before descending into a cold, scientific drone which is shortly interrupted by distorted Field Recordings and certain athmospheric tweeks evoking memories of Scanner's most experimental work. Next up is the title track "NowHere", bringing in more tense, science-orientated modulation alongside bewildering scraping sounds and what seem to be sounds of a motor running in some distance and "For Rudy Carrera (Revised For 2016)" introduces smacking, low frequency signatures from the deepest depths of the subaquatic abyss, pairing these with indecipherable, bleeping transmissions of a sequential nature and uneven, metallic rhythms before coming to an abrupt halt that takes us into an alien laboratory / factory of sorts where robotic machines move and soldering processes are happening on a large scale. Going into a twelve minutes run with the "Song For Maya Deren" we're taken into a world of metallic growling and haunting, obviously timestretched vocal recordings, a combination that truly introduces a terrifying tension to a well minimalist composition living by these components and a few additional drones and crystalline tonalities whilst "Up. Up And Back To 1982" gives us a calm start by bringing up a relaxed, slowly moving atmosphere and more crystalline trickles before digital distortions start to infiltrate the sonic system and a series of melodic, off kilter tones build up in a way that makes us think of an ancient folk dance. After abruptly breaking down into near silence around mid-track the 17 minutes track leaves us alone with a few, sparse crackling surface noises and more additional Drone-resembling textures. Finally "NoWhere" get's down into more digital sounds whilst providing an amalgamation of Clicks'N'Cuts and ultraminimalist Ambient seemingly built from signal tones and sparse piano notes which are assembled in a hypnotic and sureless time dissolving way. Good stuff, this is.
Album artwork on Instagram!