Title: Particle Decelerator
Release Date: 2014 Nov 21
License: CC BY-NC-SA
Label: Sucu Music
When I first saw the title of this release, something clicked in my mind to make me think of Fingerprint’s Delusions of Grainduer. As it turns out, the imagined relationship was all in my head. Manb’s Particle Decelerator isn’t related (specifically) to the granular synthesis of Fingerprint’s work specifically. However Manb has released an interesting impressionistic audio work.
Manb’s Particle Decelerator
What if the sounds that we associate with mechanical and robotic devices were somehow decelerated, broken down, and then reassembled into new forms? Imagine taking samples of these sounds, glitches and noises and mixing them up in a blender. What concoction would come pouring out?
That’s the premise of the work of Manb on this recording. He takes sounds and samples, glitches and chops them up, and then re-assembles them into forms that sound mostly familiar, and yet sound like they are breaking down or disintegrating before our ears. It’s only the barest thread connecting these sounds together that keeps them in a form that is somewhat recognizable.
The irony is, listening to this work is comforting, unnerving and invokes curiosity all at the same time. The comfort comes in the form of all of these sounds being related to each other in some way. They feel connected, like they are part of us, part of our surroundings.
And yet, this is where things become unnerving: you can quite place your finger on these sounds. It’s not clear how you know, where they are from, or even how they are related to each other. They feel like they go together, but there is no real reason for you to think they should go together. And it’s that conundrum that is unnerving: you find yourself second guessing the relationships at every turn.
And in that second guessing is where you become curious. Why do these sounds go together? What is it that defines their relationship? Is there something beyond Manb putting them together for us? What is the method to his madness?
I can honestly say, I haven’t found answers to these questions. But, I rather like that I haven’t found “the answer”. I get to listen to these pieces and assign my own meanings to them given the context of my listening. (And, I have had several very different listening sessions with this release.) I get to let them bring visuals to my mind and listen with fresh ears every time. It’s one of the joys of listening to a well written work that I can hear it in many different ways.Conclusion
Manb’s Particle Decelerator is an impressionistic voyage into a world where all of the sounds of machines have been glitched, chopped and run through a blender. The sonic soup that has been poured out resembles the parts that went in, and yet the relationship between the parts somehow disjointed and unexpected. There are many subtle nods to the Berlin School masters (such as Vangelis, Klaus Schulze and Tangerine Dream), while he utilizes a pallet full of modern techniques.
Manb produced a set of videos to go with this release posted on YouTube (find them on the Sucu Music release page).
For me, the really standout track on this release is ’07 11 2014′. I’m not certain if it is a studio improvisation, or a live performance, but either way it is an exceptionally wonderful piece of cinematic abstract synth work.