Janek Schaefer * Celer

Love Hertz


As a listener, you can ignore the background story of this album and just focus on what this music means to you. If I remember well, Janek Schaefer suggests somewhere in this interview (an interesting insight into the man and his motifs in itself) that this is a possible way of listening. The accompanying ‘featureless’ film, included on DVD with this release, doesn’t tell much either: it shows an endlessly repeating image of ‘light descending from the cloudcraft above, projecting hope across the waves’.

However, the album and track titles provide more context about the experience that led to this album: Attraction, Attrition, Separation, Loss, Closure. It tells the story of (Schaefer‘s emotions after) his separation from the ‘love of his lifetime’ after 21 years of being together. He now refers to his former wife as his ‘wifex’.
And yes… Love Hertz…

“Making [ this album] helped me process my emotions and memories. I was able to revel in that dark state, yet exclaim how the music felt exactly how I was feeling back then.”

Surprisingly, this is not a ‘sad’ album at all. (Which máy depend on how you feel yourself, of course). As the third part of a trilogy – preceded by Glitter In My Tears (2017) and …On Reflection (2022, with William Basinski) – this album is all about ‘closure’ – coming to terms with what happened.
Love Hertz is a drone-based album – a ‘power ambient’ album, as Schaefer calls it (‘but not the “I’LL KILL YOU WITH SOUND” kind’). The tracks are created with a shruti box (an Indian drone harmonium), pipe organs, and a fan-powered reed organ. All heavily processed and with intended distortion of course, as well as featuring the kind of field recordings you may expect from him – in the first track it sounds like Janek himself is rummaging around your room, opening all available cupboards to check what’s in them.

The CD and DVD are for home use, obviously, but being a performance artist, Schaefer imagined it to be in an installation performance setting: an ‘endless AV/HD projection onto a large monolith in a blue room’.



It has been a while since I heard from Celer (Will Long): the last album mentioned here was Xièxie (2019), but there were quite a few releases after that – most of them self-released. Still, the latest album release (mentioned on Discogs) was from 2021, so from there to 2024 seems quite a long time of silence for someone boasting no less than 196 album releases since 2006. (If I’m correct in doing the math, there has been a monthly Celer release on average between 2006 and 2023!!)

Cursory Asperses is not a new album: it was recorded from 2007 and 2008, when Celer still was a duo formed by Will Long and his wife Danielle Baquet – who tragically died of heart failure in 2009, only 27 years old. It was previously released in 2008 on Slow Flow Rec in Japan, it probably was hard to find then. So here’s another chance with this re-release on Room40.

The music once again demonstrates the strength of this duo, whose work ‘went on to become a blueprint for an approach to sound that was equal parts patient, generous and drifting.’
It may be hardly noticeable in the end result, but the music on Cursory Asperses was created from ‘cassette tape recordings of water sounds from various rivers, streams, lakes, beaches, and pools, combined with direct-to-tape instrument recordings from synthesizers, an organ, cello, piano, and bowed instruments’. You will hear no sound of water at all, because the water recordings ‘were used as an impulse for the instrument sounds.’
As a result, the music floats like the water it was derived from: ‘passing by, no different than it was years before’.

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