Music Reviews

Artist: Thomas Ankersmit (@)
Title: Figueroa Terrace
Format: CD
Label: Touch (@)
Rated: *****
I've seen and listened many good sound artists and musicians playing on the legendary Serge MMS, the analogue modular synthesizer system that its inventor, the brilliant French-born (from Russian composer Aleksandr Nikolayevich Tcherepnin as a father and Chinese pianist Lee Hsen Ming as a mother...what a wonderful blood and cultural mix!!!) composer and electronic-instrument builder Serge Alexandrovich Tcherepnin, developed almost for educational purposes in 1974 at CalArts (California Institute of the Arts), but I rarely spotted the impressive versatility that Dutch electronic performer Thomas Ankersmit shows on this release. Mainly known for some collaborations with important musicians such as minimalist mastermind Phil Niblock, Chicago-based notorious improv musician Kevin Drumm or Irish-American producer Jim O'Rourke, Thomas seems to play hide-and-seek with Black Serge, a recently restored customized variation of Serge Modular, that CalArts made available to his skills in the winter between 2011 and 2012 as listeners could think that "Figueroa Terrace" is just an ostentation of the remarkably wide sonic power of synthesis of this machine while listening the first three minutes of this long-lasting suite, where Thomas moulds many different "real" sounds from a cloud of sonic particles. The quick succession of sonic rendering suddenly turns into leftovers of resounding electrons, which are just the starting line of a really adventurous journey towards a pure waveform by means of awesome oscillations, otoacoustic-like emissions, sudden decays and interruptions, otherworldly sonic entities, fast transitions, piercing frequencies which border on upper and lower thresholds of audibility and other hocus-pocuses. Without a doubt, this is one of the best electronic release that reached my headphones and loudspeakers this year!

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