Bionulor: Erik (Requiem Records, 2012)

February 26, 2013 at 8:12 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Bionulor: Erik

Bionulor: Erik

Bionulor describes his music as “100% sound recycling”, and bases all of his works on a single short sample of a previously recorded work, with no additional instrumentation. This album consists of takes on Erik Satie’s “Gymnopédies”, which is such a well-known composition that it begs the question of what could possibly be added to it, why would anyone mess with such a classic? Didn’t people get tired of “old stuff remixed” albums years ago anyway? Well, fortunately, this is a lot more interesting than that. It’s all recognizable as the same source material; the first track sounds like the familiar piano melody played backwards, with static and some delay effects. It gets more twisted from that point, though. He applies some Fennesz-like filtering sounds, some stereo separation, makes abstract rhythms out of skipping static, and at one point almost approximates steel guitar out of the sound of backwards piano. The last track seems to reveal more of the melody, but deliberately chops it up and stitches it back together (seams very audible), and adds a few discordant plunks approximating prepared pianos. “Gymnopédies” is the type of piece that never gets tiring no matter how many times you hear it, so hearing 48 minutes of slight, glitchy variations on it is nothing less than a pleasure.

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