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Signalsundertests: Nascent

img  Tobias Fischer

Anyone familiar with Ricky Graham's discography will know that defining his work as signalsundertests as ambient has never quite done it justice. His personal approach of building intricate arrangements - involving rhythm and even vocals - around guitar-based atmospherics is not just clearly more electronic than the releases of most artists working with a similar set-up – it is also far deeper and more complex.

So it doesn't come as a big surprise that Graham should be among the select few to receive an invitation to release on Querschalltapes, a unique label publishing looptapes in heavy, embossed metal cases. The particular twist: There are only sixty seconds to express yourself – and they will get repeated forever. Which implies a two-tier composing process. Made up of a spherical drone between airiness and presence, the music's slightly grainy and fibrous aesthetic perfectly matches the tape's as a medium. On a higher level, Graham has decided to use the rhythmics of the loop as a meta-act, to play with it as a self-contained unit instead of making things explicit straight away.

Nascent constantly seems to depart for a long journey and just when you expect its multitude of gradually unfolding layers to re-arrange and move into a different direction, it closes in on itself, returning to the default position and beginning all over again. Astoundingly, although that may seem absurd given the premise of the project, it never fails to leave a new impression.

By Hellmut Neidhardt
Translation by Tobias Fischer

Homepage: Signalsundertests
Homepage: Querschalltapes