The metaphrasis of musique concrete presented by Jos Smolders in this short cycle of rather recent compositions has the merit of expressing carefully selected concepts with logical precision. Repeated plunges into the realm of impenetrability also reveal many of its attractive features. The three movements of “For RH” (about time that someone dedicated a work to the great Robert Hampson) escape right away from the quasi-mysticism typical of similar releases: successions of variable acoustic environments halfway through “mildly unsettling” and “utterly absorbing” warrant the listener’s continuous focus. Smolders is able to camouflage luminescent outbursts and menacing crescendos under a patina of corrupted resonance while retaining a sense of scrupulous analysis of the sonic spectra. Heteromorphous electronics are dignified by intelligently applied subsonic enhancements and endless reverbs; a few presences from the real and the natural world are effectively placed in the mix, following the genre’s finest traditions without “cheap replica” smells. The final track “TomTomTomTom” is an impeccable specimen of fairly abstract cinema for the ears where the composer’s hand is even more visible. Coordinated propagations, constant changes in the dynamic perspective, perceptible pulses, spectacular glissando and field recordings (comprising gorgeous birds) leave us practically without questions. One can’t decide if remaining silent and start the “vague reminiscence of what just happened” game, or reiterating the experience as soon as possible.
Pingback: “Modular Works 2015Q1” reviewed by Touching Extremes