Whenever I bring home a new piece of audio tech, I search for the right recording to road test it with. As excited as I am to own the latest whatever, I’m almost always let down by the first thing I press play on. The music doesn’t so much disappoint as fail to really push the new device.
Since I bought my first car stereo in 1985 – which I excitedly christened with a Maxell copy of Sisters of Mercy’s “Some Kind of Stranger” – I have been looking for the ultimate test recording.
Arovane + Porya Hatami may have just delivered. The duo’s follow-up to last year’s Organism will crawl inside your ears and never let you forget it.
The two artists have interesting back stories. Arovane is based in Berlin. After a nine-year break from recording, he returned with a vengeance in 2013. Since that time, he’s produced a dozen new titles. Porya Hatami is a prominent member of Iran’s lively underground electronic music scene. He describes himself as an experimental electronic sound artist.
While Organism was a fairly straightforward ambient effort, its successor includes electroacoustic and musique concrète elements. That’s not to say there’s anything remotely 20th century about this terrific new disc. This is the most modern recording we’ve heard since Ariadne’s Stabat Mater.
And there are so many great ideas here. The 56-minute disc consists of 23 pieces. Ranging in length from 50 seconds to over 7 ½ minutes, each one triggers a new set of dark visuals.
The list of techniques employed here reads like a passage from a grad school text book: modular synthesis, granular synthesis, spectral processing, resynthesis and resonator/modal synthesis.
I’ll leave it to you to Google whichever of those strikes your fancy. I’m off to buy a new pair of headphones.