Razen — the duo of Brecht Ameel and Kim Delcour —, retreated after their split-lp with Sheldon Siegel and the debut-cd Rope House Temper (both on Kraak), a number of tapes and an album on Deep Distance, to various chapels and churches in the countryside around Brussels. They started exploring
the practices of deep listening and acoustic research during a series of recording sessions. Using largely forgotten or ignored instruments such as shawm, church organ, ondes-Martenot, bombus and baroque flute, Razen forged and refined their sound into a form of contemporary minimalist classicism, albeit one that completely bastardises Early Music traditions.
Remote Hologram is a double album containing seven instrumental pieces, spread across four vinyl sides. Each of those takes the shape of an analogue and acoustic depth-charge into transcendental and ritualistic minimalism, taking cues from Old European music and folk forms, historical avant-garde such as Ligeti or Penderecki, deep listening ñ grandmistresses Pauline Oliveros and Eliane Radigue, but equally from raw sustained-tone ‡ la Pelt or Hermann Nitsch.
One chapter of the album consists of three improvised tracks on which the ondes-Martenot, one of the oldest electronic instruments, takes center stage. A second chapter explores a hybrid of free improv and conceptual composition, using microtonalism as principal tool.
On Remote Hologram, Razen jolts the status quo within contemporary avant-garde composition out of a daydream and injects what has become a clinically dead genre with some much-needed urgency and emotional depth. Remote Hologram enforces the Here and Now, in search of an age-old, true musical experience.
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