Radian, TG 11
Released: March 2000
Cold, distorted, stuttering, annoying, esoteric, weird: Radian has it all. These three Viennese lads take digital signal processing to strange, unusual heights, blending silence and Pole-like minimalist clickscapes with feedback and static. The music jumps from loud and irritating at one moment to barely audible half-rhythms at the next moment. The effect is disconcerting, certainly, and normally a CD like this is interesting after the first listen, only to be shelved in favor of more "listenable" music (at least, by me). But Radian's music stands out, for some reason. Perhaps it is their ability to make even the most abrasive moment listenable--not overwhelming the listener with noise (like so many industrial artists), but rather coupling that loud noise with rhythms, traces of patterns that keep the songs from standing still. "Kadjet," for instance, is mostly empty air, except for those little clicks and hums (whcih, at times, form a pattern, but generally do not); however, every now and then, a click will bubble out, erupting into a harsh synth sweep, and then quickly disappears into the hush. The effect of this song is to force the listener to pay attention to sounds that would otherwise be ignored--sounds so soft and inocuous that they are normally processed out of the final mix. When you know that any sound can become something bigger and louder, but you do not know which sound will make this leap, you focus your ears upon each sound, searching for a pattern that will give away the song's secrets. In other words, this song is exciting simply because it forces the listener to create the song's pattern as it goes along. The music here is certainly not for everyone, but I enjoyed this much more than some of the other CDs to come out of Mego (like Fennesz). If you are at all interested in the minimal school coming out of central Europe, this is a must-listen.
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