CD – Degem
Concretist music, abstract and environmental, juxtaposed together with hardly classifiable research and field recordings: this is the substance – in short – of fourteen different authors selected and edited by Degem, a label that every year releases a German Association For Electroacoustic Music thematic compilation. The materials in Replace have been chosen and organized by Marc Behrens, a broad experimenter, active not only in audio but also as photographer, graphic designer and videomaker (also responsible the amazing artwork of the release). He is well-known by those in the electronic loop and has collaborated in the past with big shots such as Ana Carvalho, Bernhard Günter, Nikolaus Heyduck, Francisco López and many others, always taking care over the evolution of the idioms and stylistically rigorous. This year – as the title suggests – the main theme is “substitution”. Replace is one of the few English words present in the CD and enclosed booklet: all except the general introduction being in German. Even given the extreme dissimilarity among the tracks a certain continuum is still maintained and Behrens skillfully balances the contributions of sound-artists such as Nicolas Wiese, Sam Auginer, Sciss, Denise Ritter, Matthias Ockert, Marcus Beuter, Sam Auinger, Bernd Leukert, Jacob Hofmann and Frank Niehusman (we can’t name everyone but all are deserving of mention). Among the replacements are political themes with the sounds of the Arab spring but we also find the passing of the birds, the flow of the streams and samples, movements that replace original motifs in rarefied compositions, all very fluid and poetic.