Lukas Grundmann’s timestretched-ACID operates via a logic of forensics, with all the connotations of detective and laboratory work that word implies. The 7-track album’s major gesture is to radically displace acid music from its privileged domain of the club and inspect it under the microscope.
Not resting content with the immediate satisfactions of the Roland TB-303’s celebrated—now, fetishized—sound, two TB-303 synthesizers were the objects of a whole sequence of laboratory-like interventions and experiments. Just as one reveals entire strata of teeming life with the adjustment of a microscope’s focus, Grundmann subjects the rich spectral qualities of the synthesizers to a micrological anaylsis of sonic structure. As the 303s are pulled apart using IrcamLab’s Transpose/Stretching software, discrete sonic objects emerge from within the sound. What were originally perceptible 303 patterns are inverted into completely unexpected movements and textures. Known of course for that “squelchy sound” thanks to the unique resonance of its filter, Grundmann reveals under the perceptible surface of the 303 a dynamic environment of plucks, groans, glistening metallic shards and tectonic rumblings. As he relentlessly “twists” the focus, back and forth, in and out, sequences disintegrate into particles, and distinct notes become howls of saturated noise.
Beyond its rich array of textures and nuanced fields of sound, timestretched-ACID makes for fascinating and peculiar listening due to its strange traversal of musical lineages. As faint whisps of the 303 bubble up now and again, one is reminded of the unmistakable trace of 30 years of acid music history acting as a mental (and technological) frame for the work. On the other hand, it gestures to the rich lineage of sonic experimentation of electro-acoustic pioneers like Jean-Claude Risset. The first track on the album, “long mediation on a single trip” pulsates with arpeggiated detritus reminiscent of some of Michel Redolfi’s distinctive compositions. There are other moments, like on “slow morph echo tslab” where the 303 melts into a woozy brass medley that reminds me of Bernard Parmegiani’s La Création du monde. What makes this release so striking, however — clear to those who will pick up the SD card in its saddie bag — is the element of play it introjects into both acid and experimental music. Despite the weightiness of the music, this album should be listened to with the openness for encountering a bizarre discovery that motivates the most exploratory of scientists and the most obsessive of detectives. Peer down the microscope and lose yourself within.
Format: SD Card + Digital