Orson Hentschel: Feed the Tape (Denovali, 2016)March 15, 2016 at 8:22 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment
Orson Hentschel’s electronic compositions utilize intense, stiff repetition, often sounding like a machine that’s been jammed and won’t budge, but he does shape them into rhythms that build and progress. His music is obviously inspired by classical minimalism, but he builds on that repetition until it converts into tension. Opener “16 mm” goes through various stages of Oval-like glitch before it settles on a suspenseful melody. The album’s cinematic title tracks utilizes string stabs and skittering drums, and “Slow-Moving” builds up eerie strings and circular melodies before fading to near silence and then building it all back up again. “Noise of the Light” is built on a stammering beat, eventually boiling up with smoking guitar and cracking drums. “Shirari” also begins with a loop that sounds like it’s stuck and then just builds on it, making a sneaking rhythm with wubby (yet nuanced) bass. It took me the entire 8 minutes of the song’s length to realize that the word “Shirari” was actually being looped throughout the entire song. The more ambient “Florence” seems to float free from rhythm, but its beginning features a loop of Philip Glass-like operatic vocals, which eventually appear again later in sync with clanging industrial loops. “What’s Going On” features more skipping loops (including its titular phrase) which become more intense when you realize there’s actual drums playing along to the loops and adding subtle embellishments. The track also goes through some quiet periods before returning to the intensity.