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Andy Ortmann

Psychoacoustic Electronics (3LP)

Label: Nihilist

Format: 3LP

Genre: Experimental

In stock


Tip! *300 copies limited edition* Andy Ortmann owns Nihilist Records, of whom we also reviewed The New Blockaders and Diana Rogerson's works last week. And before I say anything about the music on this album, I would love to show you a bit of the inside of my head. Because when I read the title of this impressive triple vinyl totalling over two hours of music, I was thinking about something completely different. So: What is psychoacoustic music, and how do psychoacoustic electronics fit into the perspective of the music found on this album?

Having had no education in art or audio, I've always labelled psychoacoustics as sounds or music that had an imminent impact on the various thought waves in the human brain. And when it is in the form of sonic art (I'll leave the term 'music' out of the equation), it would come close to, for example ', Meontological Research Recordings' or Burning Water by T.A.G.C. I admit, both are amongst my absolute favourites, which was why the title triggered so much in my head. With the sound of what I hoped I was getting, the term 'Electronics' also has added energy. Since I have experience in electronics, I know there are electronic circuits that bring forth the most beautiful sounds. From everything possible, just look at the documentary on the soundtrack of 'Forbidden Planet' where Louis and Bebe Barron make all the electronics to generate the sounds for the first complete electronic movie soundtrack.
So with both 'Psychoacoustic' and 'Electronics' being defined in my mind, I was expecting something other than what this album turned out to be. Please be aware that I have not given any opinion on the quality of this release so far. But you have to understand what's in my mind.

Wash your brains, think again, double-check.

You could also see this as another inroad to the world inhabited by the Schimpfluch musicians. I always imagine these musicians executing actions involving body and movement, which are captured by a microphone, preferably on a real tape. Yet, the music resulting from such actions is not a document of the action; it's source material. Just as with musique concrète, the tapes get cut up, slowed down, sped up, reversed, and in any other way altered. Andy Ortmann may be doing this too (I am unsure; I don't know if he has a similar point of departure), chopping up chunks of tape and mixing these results into new compositions. There is also something that separates him from the Schimpfluch people: his extensive use of electronics and his penchant for longer sounds. That makes the music sound more like documentation but, at times, more like a radio play, which is not uncommon in the world of this kind of music. There is a lot to hear on these 3 LPs; electronic sounds, voices, sounds from vinyl (Ortmann worked as Panicsville at one point, delivering a more plunderphonic version of his music), and collage-like, cut-up styled pieces. The psychoacoustic element may be more in his head than in ours, and whatever it does or doesn't, the music comes across as a great one. Ominous sounds, haunting, weird sounds from times perdu, add to the vagueness of the whole affair. Think Nurse With Wound, think The Hafler Trio and Rudolf Eb.er and maybe you have an idea there?

The whole set is one long therapeutic session, but are we cured? (BW/FdW) - Vital Weekly