Friday, February 09, 2024

Elektronengehirn - Hardware [Block4]

Released via the ever active and long-standing Block 4 imprint on January 26th, 2k24 is "Hardware", the latest album outing conceived by label head Malte Steiner under his musical moniker Elektronengehirn. Released a mere 25 years after the projects initial longplay debut on Kafue Systeme the new longplayer, catering a total of 10 new pieces rolled out over the course of roughly 58 minutes, marks a conceptual shift for the previously solely software-based Elektronengehirn which is now accompanied by a modular eurorack setup. Opening with the intense electrical mid-range droning of "Die Flieger Kommen" and the crisp, yet atmospheric Cold Ambient spheres of "Clean" which are accompanied by what seem to be warped and altered noises generated by heavy duty industrial equipment of mostly metallic nature being moved around Mr. Steiner sets the pace for things to come like the subdued recordings of futuristic hyperfluids atop quasi-static drones in "Roadworks" and the cold, pulsating and ever decaying sci-fi polyrhythms of "Currents". Furthermore "Spectral Folds" provides a chiming fusion of Cold and Dark Ambient backed by occasional robo-snares and rhytmic, ever developing synth progressions, the gnarly buzzes and apocalyptic PostIndustrial hits of "Charged" might be identified as a reference to highly abstract PowerNoise of doom by advanced listeners whereas "Signal Conditioning" immediately activates ones alarm and survival mode with a siren'esque swell slowly fading out, making way for subterranean rumbles and eerie sweeps before a, albeit slightly altered, new cycle of sonic development begins. The subsequent tribute to "The Ham Radio Enthusiasts" introduces a meandering maelstrom of DarkAmbient accompanied by an array of slightly dubbed out retrofuturist sweeps, "Gegensprech" evokes memories of tortured and abused string instruments as well as humungous subsurface vaults at times whereas the final cut "Die Schiffe Legen Ab" indeed brings forth a slightly maritime take on most beautiful DarkAmbient melancholia for a closing. Highly recommended for all fans and followers of experimental electronic music, this.


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