Syntax | Microark + Minim | 50 HZ (split release)
Yatra Arts (CD)
This release comes from two Romanian artists here sharing a split release, Syntax (Laurian Bardos) and Minim (Diana Dulgheru), on Canadian imprint Yatra Arts. This will most definitely appeal to fans of minimal techno glitch, Raster-Noton and other like labels. Included are thirteen tracks, three of which are remixes, and because this is only available on CD you can check out the above video for an a/v sneak peek.
Syntax starts the first half of the album with the oscillating Satellite. It’s minimal tone and steady beat dots the surface like a blueprint. By combining a pitter-patter with the slightest of wafting drone a syncopation is formed, becoming fluid and dramatic, roaring away at its end. Impulse offers more of a corroded wash of microtones piled and separated, it flairs like open wire electricity that slightly veers into multiple directions like a plants tendrils finding their grounding.
On RGB they add higher pitched sinewaves with a funky beat structure far removed from any arena techno, this is a reserved affair but reminds me of some of the quirkier work of Atom™. Play it loud, and proud. Next is Bardos’ side of the split’s title track, it’s tiny tones are electric droplets followed by short retorts that are like expelling compressed air. Followed by molecular pivots a contained drone simply levitates as the jangly beat goes on.
Logon, however minimal, is driving and mechanized. Petite tones combine to create an infectious beat structure that is as peculiar as it is modish. And its follow-up, and last track on this part of the split, Remix Reloc ∣ Logon, delivers the goods in a sparse dispersion of buzzy beats and curious wiretapping. More a deconstruction than a remix (a de-mix?) the piece breaks with the funkier, more playful side of Syntax to offer a more experimental, slightly atonal atmosphere that separates the sound into its raw self.
Minim‘s 50 Hz Tri _01 is a contained set of low-range multi-static buzz, tight, clean and to the point. The work has the precision of a laser beam in slow-motion, that encompasses 50 Hz Tri Sin_02. The beats are small, the impact hits you at the core. Those small electronic noises are like a microfine drill going full blast. Dulgheru’s sound is extremely restrained and buffered back as heard on 50 Hz Sin _03, with its slight microtones overlaid like an offset print.
The dry beat shifts in an almost subliminal, highly disciplined way. At times it sounds like an amplified ant colony doing their very own military march. Unlike Syntax here Minim’s structural changes are whisper thin in their slightness. But on 50 Hz Sin _04 and 50 Hz Sin _05 she uses a trip beat and additional buzz that changes the course some. The overall composition becomes a variegated exploration of modified white noise, scaled back and de-particle-ized, with an added bounce factor.
Now for the remixes. Remix Schnitt ∣ 50hz Tri_01 is a slowed-down and even more airy than the original, with an added drone cast it can’t get much more minimal and removed. The static is isolated, emphasized, and amplified with a linear beat that is extremely subtle and effective. This futuristic sound architecture reminds me of the motions of a 3D printer if it had a soul.
Finally the micro-zap beats of Remix Julien Bayle ∣ 50hz Tri Sin_02 dance brilliantly with blurred lines intact. Stretched like taut rubber bands the bounce is fluid and snappy, offering a wriggling dramatic conclusion to an otherwise fabulous record that expertly blends microsound and very contemporary glitch/techno.