K. LEIMER – THRENODY
My very first encounters with the music of K. (Kerry) Leimer were the albums Land Of Look Behind, Imposed Order and Closed System Potentials. We are talking 1980 – 1983 here, and these albums weren’t even his first releases!
Most (if not all) of his albums are released on his own Palace Of Lights label, which was revived in 2002 after a period of hibernation.
PoL is not only releasing his own music though: it is also home to other artists like Steven Peters, Marc Barreca and Gregory Taylor (see below).
Threnody is Leimer’s newest release. Obviously, production and recording techniques may have changed over the years, but his music still has the recognisable K. Leimer style. Atmospheric, associative music ‘music of disorientation, error and loss. Music tuned to a fractured time.’
That may suggest the music might sound rather chaotic but in fact it is far from that. The description refers to the creation process:
‘No single piece was completed by a linear or chronologically coherent process. Instead, fragments were revisited at random intervals, dispersed among other sessions or interspersed between work on other projects.’
Most music on this album is improvisational, but the result sounds as well-designed and well-prepared structures.
Which, considering his experience, should not be a big surprise after all.
K. LEIMER – AN INCORRECT READING OF THE ALLEGORY OF THE FLOOD
Gregory Taylor is one of the artists releasing on Palace of Lights records. He is also releasing music since the early 80’s; and Randstad is his fourth title for PoL. This album immediately got my attention, since Randstad is the area where I live: it’s the part of Holland that encompasses Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague and Utrecht. Furthermore, Randstad comes with a bonus download called Trajectum, which was the Latin name for the city that later became Utrecht.
It turns out that Taylor has enjoyed living in Utrecht for a year, and created these tracks with his ‘official Expatriate Reduced Toolkit: Max, a modest Eurorack and a handheld recorder.’ He recorded many sound samples when travelling in the area and incorporated them into this set of audio vignettes.
The collection is like a set of (fading?) memories combining the sound of a “new home” with the impressions of trips around the area. I guess it should be pointed out that this is nót a collection of field recordings: the resulting pieces are rather abstract collages of sound art, each quite different in nature.
I have to admit that Randstad celebrates areas that I don’t know very well myself (I didn’t know a Monorail to Kijkduin existed, and I never knew there were prayer wheels in use in Voorschoten).
The interesting question is of course: did I recognise my own living environment in these recordings? Would I have recognised the sounds of my hometown without the reference in the titles?
The answer is: no, I didn’t. But that doesn’t really matter, because ‘stretched/folded/spindled/annealed’ , the sounds get detached from their locations, and so the result is about living in a new environment (and having to survive with a limited tool set).
GREGORY TAYLOR – ALCHEMISTISCHE KOELING (ALCHEMICAL REFRIGERATION)