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connect_icut – Music for Granular Synthesizer

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Vancouver-based Brit experiments with thoughtful, material electronic music

Image of connect_icut – Music for Granular Synthesizer

Aagoo records, out now.

Vancouver-based Brit Samuel Macklin (known as connect_icut) may have taken the shattering of abstract binaries as the idea at the core of Music for Granular Synthesizer – making the triple EP yet another comment on process through electronic music – but the self-described removal of “instinct and intellect, chaos and order, organic and synthetic, analogue and digital” would seem false with regards to one duality. Despite its claim to both analogue and digital worlds, Music for Granular Synthesizer clearly exists in the former; each of its lengthy six tracks invoke imperfect, “post digital” horizons, each patch brimming with jumpy grains, unexpected peaks and dark crevices.

Yet, it may not be fair to say that Macklin’s world is hermetically sealed. Haearnwerthwr (Welsh for “hacker”, literally translated as “iron seller ”, or alluding to the act of wearing down iron), at the very least, derives its title from the material root of abstract malleability (much like the term “hacking” itself). The piece bristles with thin metallic glitches, like tins being torn apart in a massive thresher. The online world today seems ephemeral, like the air we breathe, and it’s easy to become desensitized to its materiality. Macklin reminds us that we’re able to approach it just as blacksmiths strike a hot iron on an anvil. Likewise, the erratic movements of Crepuscular and Smithereens give way to panicked, human breathing – a drowning subject saved from the mess of warring information.

It may be totally boring to say it but, like Jim O’Rourke’s I’m Happy and I’m Singing and a 1 2 3 4, it’s refreshing to hear experimental electronic music sound so mindfully material.