Goh Lee Kwang – 逆耳New Ear


2CD – Herbal International

The new 2-CD release by Goh Lee Kwang for Herbal International includes more than 130 minutes of abstract minimal sounds: drones, hums, acute whistles and glitches – highly synthetic elaborations that the author calls “Vurnmmkied”. The sounds seem to be balanced in a steady way, combining static digitalisms, whose interpretation is difficult, with loops and iterations that are reminiscent of avant-garde minimalist music from the sixties. According to the release notes the author had no intention of creating an easy listening experience. Listeners are forced into enlarging their perceptual range, paying attention to multiple elements simultaneously. We are presented with volumes changes, alternations between empty and full spaces, breaks and twists. In the second CD the field recordings and the buzzing noises (dark beats on the edge of the sound spectrum) become even more difficult to deal with. The Malaysian sound-artist usually makes installations featuring these types of sounds, often in conjunction with visuals. He focuses on the edges between natural sound and recorded sound, digital and analogue, electronic and acoustic, moving in an area of thought where languages are deadlocked and the audience must use personal taste and experience to fill the gap left by the author. The project is not made for everybody, but those you who have the courage to take a listen will find some interesting passages.