Thomas Ankersmit | Homage To Dick Raaijmakers
Shelter Press (LP/CD/DL)
Based between Berlin and Amsterdam Ankersmit is a composer inspired here by the 1960’s work by Dutch electronic/tape-based musician/composer Dick Raaijmakers (1930-2013). Created for Serge synthesizer he’s channeling the natural elements of weather systems in this thirty-five minute singular work. Instantly its an experimental world of sounds that play with dimension, and strange machine sounds. This is both a sculpting of drone and an all-hands-on-deck effects laden piece that sounds as if a mad scientist is behind the curtain. Perfect from the get go for fans of science fiction and the buzz and whir of unexpected acoustic hijinks that result in abstract computational formulas.
After something of an overture Ankersmit lightens the goings-on with subtle actions and underwater sub-signals. The mix is imbued with microsound that churns, blurts and otherwise keeps an active imagination occupied. Homage To Dick Raaijmakers is only his third solo full-length, but this sounds extremely sophisticated an intricate as it contorts the ear in multi-directions. Some of the tones are of significant pitch and within that there are small fluctuations, test-tones, sinewaves, that signal unknown changing conditions like warnings. This eventually leads to low-range sonics from what seems like 20,000 feet during a storm surge. There’s lots of variation in the way the channels dance back and forth, and the robust rumble that emerges from the tiny particles, and as it tumbles into a circular heap sharp shards are thrust to and from a wind tunnel. The collected chaos finds balance in a centering reverb that steadies the tumult as small fragments are lifted and moved at close range.
After this blast of action comes an awkward, elongated resonance paired with minimal aspects of crackle and hiss, and a blinking alarm that fades in and out. Another off-putting alarm starts and grows in volume into a shrill but not quite ear-splitting buzz. This ends in a almost hushed frequency emphasizing a stark, almost clinical quiet room environment.