You Are The Universe (Moving Furniture Records; CD/DL)
Preliminary Saturation consists of duo Steffan de Turck and Wouter Jaspers who have been working together since 2008. On their seventh full release, also my introduction to their sound, the two have made something akin to a quasi remix of fellow Dutchman Jos Smolders‘ Textures and Mobiles (2004, CONV). It’s gone through multiple gestations and in the end this trio of tracks is something of a new hybrid. As Weltraumförscher begins a deep drone is drenched in warm perplexing tones. The duo has managed to take their work with spatial situations to a new subject here, one that defies the original but captures form without function. The track purrs and slowly penetrates as the volume increases at a snail’s pace. This is a certain type of sound, completely wired with reverb and separation. It’s like a soundtrack for a lunar lab landing. ‘Hallo Spaceboy(s)’!
Die Schwerelosigkeit picks right up from there, with a higher velocity tone. The title refers to weightlessness, and this is effected as a launch rather than landing. The play with gravity has real intent, and they create a tangible sense of rev and lift here. As a whirring central core is the focus, other layered washes are added with tiny fleeting melodies, and a bit of electronic Nederpop oompa-loompa on the side. The chimes meet what could be an animated toy train and go for a frolicking ride down the track. It goes from serious sci-fi to cartoon to flighty modern folk song in the course of sixteen minutes. A bit of levity in an otherwise cerebral beast blast of a composition fueled by unexpected twists/turns of static and raw innovation.
Umkreisen means circle. And the conclusion begins in a quiet space suddenly lit with a whirring flare of moving electronics. It’s a bit like conjured feedback, that is until an elusive harmonic loop passes through like a snowglobe in an isolated room only uplit in glow-in-the-dark blacklight. The dimensions are formed by a spinning spherical tone, bass lows and contorted synths. They certainly have a flair for making a conceptual record that’s packed with action-based effects, hey, I even think I heard fleeting sleigh bells. That said, I use the word ‘think’ because the overall impact of headphone listening is not dissimilar from a hangover. In their world of rounded edges the sonic output has just the right amount of softened edges and unpredictable jolts to the system. That is both the one they’ve invented so industriously, and your own circadian rhythm.