MARCUS MAEDER – Subsegmental


The term “subsegmental” has to do with the “smallest units of sound in language, i.e. the phonemes”. In this disc, the concept is applied to sounds which Marcus Maeder recorded and slowed down, working on short fragments of the altered sources (the original ones are left unspecified), scrutinizing the intimate essence, magnifying the grain and placing them on different planes in the mix. The dynamics range from hardly audible – almost subliminal – to sudden increases in volume that, in any case, last for just a few instants. It’s a fine enough exploration of the space between the various levels of our aural discernment, indistinct in terms of timbres but still fascinating in some of the components. A remote comparison could be made with Asmus Tietchens, although Maeder’s mental direction is less cynically analytic and more tending to installation settings. Accordingly, the record lacks a genuine sense of composition; yet it somehow remains a politely rewarding listen.

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