Friday, September 10, 2010
Keith Fullerton Whitman - Generator (2010)
Keith Fullerton Whitman-Generator 2 by m.r.t
Keith Fullerton Whitman-Generator 3 by m.r.t
Generator is a new cassette by Keith Fullerton Whitman, who in previous years has released some of the best ambient music of the last decade. One of the more noticeable differences between his newest release and, for instance, his CDs on Kranky from the beginning of the 2000s is that Generator--like many of his recent live performances of the last couple of years --primarily uses hardware/modular synthesizers as instruments and sound sources. Whitman's older records tended to rely more heavily upon computer synthesis programs such as Max/MSP, which still remain as immensely evocative as when they were released. Yet, this newer approach seems to take the pristine sound from his earlier, computer dominated sound design and stretch it out into a more fluid and less clinical sound as a result of the modular synths and hardware. The two first Generator pieces that bookend the cassette, are built around arpeggios and subtly interjected bass lines, with the second, 23 minute long Generator piece introducing beats to the equation. The tracks that make up the inner whole of the cassette are less cohesive, but definitely enjoyable. These tracks seem to serve as hazier, washed out skeletons of the first and final tracks. For all the countless tapes that come out that hark back to electronic Kosmische and New Age music as a source of inspiration, Keith Fullerton Whitman has successfully, and arguably, stepped to the front of the line as a prevalent artist within that community despite having already proven himself years before with his own groundbreaking style of ambient bliss. Oh, and it's also recommended that you take him up on his advice with listening to this release: "Please play this music loud, through the air, via two speakers placed far apart from each other". The cassette is limited to 200 copies on Root Strata, and seems to be sold out everywhere, but you can buy it digitally from iTunes.