Published Jan 16, 2015For his latest release Frank Bretschneider is delving further back than ever before for reference points and inspiration. On SINN+FORM, recorded last summer at the prestigious EMS studios in Stockholm (Elektronmusikstudion) — not be confused with Tristram Cary's Electronic Music Studios in London — using their vintage Buchla and Serge analogue synth set-ups, the German musician has constructed an album that authentically recalls the glory days of modular synth music.
The influential music research centre is Sweden's equivalent to the BBC's Radiophonic Workshop, and the work here strongly echoes the work of experimental modular synth composers of that era, such as Pauline Oliveros and Tod Dockstader. Based on the idea of human systems and constructs (mathematical, physical and otherwise) imposing their will on a chaotic world, Bretschneider takes randomly generated sound from the modular synths and attempts to mould them into a coherent shape in an improvisational setting. At moments the chaos dominates and at others the structure seems to reign in the wild sonics; on tracks such as "Free Market," you can feel the perfect tension between the two in a musical "fuck you" to neoliberal economists. (Raster-Noton)