Flood by Jana Irmert

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Jana Irmert
Flood (Fabrique Records; CD/DL)

Berlin-based intermedia artist Jana Irmert will release her Flood (in three parts) on July 20 via Viennese imprint Fabrique Records. Broken into Pt. 1: standing on breaking ice; Pt. 2: silence on a string + Pt. 3: the sound of the universe spinning this is a bit of a conceptual record for our times. Last year she was invited to rework a Christopher James Chaplin composition, a man we recently featured. The album begins with an atmosphere similar to the bubbling of dry ice when water is added, it flows and bubbles with a muffled effect. The twenty-two minute work starts with investigation and continues to mitigate the grumbling drone, making way for breezy wisps of air and space. It’s not classically ambient, but has a broad meditative feel. Midway it chugs away until what sounds like a crashing wave sound loop enters to stir up the fade of Kodachrome-like colors she’s painted with electroacoustic synths.

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Flood becomes more voluminous as it moves forward, with searing open-wire effects, a bloated bassline, and chunky open drone. If you were actually standing on ice that were melting, you’d likely pass through the surface by now. But she does employ a certain gurgle of potential flowing rivers below, and a fly-by motor of a passing small jet. And yet, amid the murky gray area of it all there are also angelic melodies as passers-by. Irmert’s ideas are an abstract montage of ideas that work with dis/harmony in such a way as to mirror our imperfect world at the moment. It seems to embody a rightful sense of confusion in viewing the landscape for instance.

Track two emanates this with more blurpy, animated electronics that are uniquely distributed in a time-released fashion. There are dulling blurred noise erasures for good measure, but because her effects are so varied this never quite slips into the realm of expectation. The composer keeps us thinking, keep things accentuated for the active listener.

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The concept of capturing the actual sound of the universe spinning may seem goddesslike, or precocious, however if you look through our realm of understanding, into one fueled by imagination, you just might understand an alternate universe, micro/macro or whatever. Irmert most definitely keep the tilt of the recording towards a sort of forward-motion, so the point does not have to be driven by anything but your senses, or loss thereof. Flood Pt. 3 is by far the most sensitive part of the long-player, with what may be tape-loops and other personal programming that helps sculpt an innovative sound that oscillates like the bridge between robots and future tech. And just as the cover depicts, this is a look to the skies, beyond the distant clouds, to other galactic bodies. Yes, this is space age music for a new generation. Breathtaking.

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