Music Reviews

Artist: Arpatle (@)
Title: Quapi
Format: CD
Label: Offshoot (@)
Rated: *****
Arpatle is the work of Dutch artist Patrick Bossink, who has been active since 2009, but this is the first I have heard from him. In the press sheet that came with the disc, one thing caught my eye: “For this project, I experimented a lot with granular synthesis, ‘acoustic’ feedback loops, and some programmed effects. Although the album sounds fairly obscure and sometimes even psychotic and aggressive, there’s no concrete meaning behind it. I intended it as a mere sound sculpture.” I have a lot of respect for this approach – no pretentious manifesto here! So let’s put it on and see what we have. “Little Red Cap” starts us off on a mellow note, allowing the listener to simply sit back and enjoy the music. I almost didn’t notice it moving into “Zombie Boat,” which features a lot of noisy synth blips and clicks over a slow, mellow groove. “Tunnel” is a microcosm of the album as a whole though – it’s noisy but not noise. For example, “Ionized” closes out the disc with slow moving walls of sound interspersed with high pitched, modulated waveforms and “Labrynth Hub” features pulsing crescendos of noisy soundscapes. Others, like “Piano Flower,” are sort of peaceful, with random guitar mixed with noisy synth. Overall, this is what I like to file under “easy listening for the difficult music set.” Sometimes you don’t want ear-shredding noise, but pop music gets pretty boring and predictable. Arpatle has no intentions of hurting the listener. He just wants to take you for a ride. It won’t be to where you planned to go, but you’ll enjoy the ride nonetheless and the scenery is interesting and pretty. This album weighs in at around 47 minutes.

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