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CD Feature/ Kaneel: "I've sketched it a while ago"

img  Tobias

Whenever technology and talent are awarded equal importance, traditionalists start getting suspicious. In the list of honours accompanying this release, Guillaume Richard sends out heartfelt thanks to the team behind the Renoise composition tool and one wonders: How many of the shapefully shattered, gracefully bouncing and benignely broken beats here are actually the product of his own imagination and how many were simply created by the virtual hands of a clever routine?

Naturally, these questions are outdated in a sense. Electronic music has invariably depended on the input of algorithms and hardware and its protagonists inherently need to be able to both conjure up a sonic vision in their head and to make use of whatever the market has on offer to bring them to life. The easy online proliferation of Software may have caused many releases from the so-called Glitch and IDM scenes to sound astoundingly similar in terms of production and arrangement. And yet, individuality will always shine through in the hands of composers who can see their tools as a means instead of an end.

Richard is such a composer, if only because of the radically consistency of the vision he has sketched a while ago. All seven pieces of his physical debut album rely on tender bell sounds, crystalline drones culled from the former's reverb, naive melodies secretely played by 3-year olds behind their nanny’s back and the sharp edges of metallic percussion superimposed on their soft fabric. While the harmonic layer of his music is sweet, dreamy and straightforward, however, the drums push themselves into a polyrhythmic frenzy, occasionally creating complex and confounding frictions.

Vice versa, themes are locked in continous cycles of change, imperceptibly and yet incessantly morphing and transforming. Sometimes, the supposed aftermath of a track will take on a meaning of its own, head for new directions and condense into a completely new piece instead of fading out into silence. This way, compositions can stretch to almost eight minutes and attain surprisingly spatious dimensions – ‘surprisingly’, because the minimal instrumentation of most of the material here would rather point to a concise, small-scale approach.

This way, too, each listen reveals something different and the album as a whole represents a veritable journey. Guillaume Richard has been honest and laid his influences open for anyone to see. It has not made him a copycat, but rather turned this work into a personal statement thanks to the subtle but incisive twists he has managed to award to it. And as much as some of the beats may sound machine-made, it is still his very own imagination pointing them in whatever direction he sees fit.

By Tobias Fischer

Check out the album at Kaneel's bandcamp site.

Homepage: Kaneel
Homepage: Apegenine Records

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