This album may come as a surprise – if not shock – if you listen to it unprepared (although surprise brings its own beauty, of course).
HECQ‘s – MARE NOSTRUM presents four 19 minute tracks of electronic noise, and a fairly loud noise too.
Could this be some kind of celebration of the 40th anniversary of Lou Reed’s Metal Machine Music? Possibly.
In fact, it ís machine music: “Mare Nostrum” is the name of a large supercomputer in Barcelona – the most powerful supercomputer in Spain and the ninth biggest computer in the world.
It is used in “human genome research, protein research, astrophysical simulations, weather forecasting, geological or geophysical modeling, and the design of new drugs.”
Mare Nostrum is installed in a former chapel (check the cover for the beautiful setting) – that’s quite some strong symbolism, too!
In 2013, Ben Lukas Boysen (Hecq) was able to spend some time making audio recordings of (and from within) this massive supercomputer. These recordings are “abstract pulses of a machine with sometimes even creatural sounds and atmospheric synthesized ambience […] – a deep, organic opus, creating a yet unheard sonic landscape in the listeners’ minds. A dense, impressive auditory adventure.”
And that’s what it is: the sound of bits and bytes working at the speed of light, magnified to audible – and almost visible – proportions.
I guess this is what Kevin Flynn must’ve felt like.