Title: Delusions of Graindeur
Artist
: Fingerprint
Release Date: 20 March 2014
Genre: Downtempo
License: CC BY-NC 4.0
Label: Ektoplazm / Gliese 581C

First thing to explain: Graindeur is not a miss-spelling.  It is a play on words. This recording was initially conceived as part of a masters thesis on granular synthesis, with an emphasis on composition.  And, as such, the fingerprint of graindeur is all over this EP-length set of interwoven tracks.

So, what is granular synthesis? ¬†Basically, the idea is to take sounds and divide them into tiny pieces (grains) in the 1-50 millisecond range. ¬†These sounds are then processed and manipulated to create sounds that are familiar, or unfamiliar. ¬†This concept dates all the way back to the late 1950’s when Ianis Xenakis first experimented with it. ¬†With the advent of digital sound processing the concept and methods have flourished.

Since this was produced as a piece for his masters thesis, Fingerprint envisioned these tracks as being presented as a single continuous work.  This has been honored by both Ektoplazm and Gliese 581C by releasing the FLAC version as a single file, with a CUE sheet for burning to CD or cutting into individual tracks.  Personally, I preferred to listen to the work as a single piece, only looking at the CUE sheet to get the names of each piece.

This is, plain and simply, a set of gorgeous tracks. ¬†To the average listener (which your humble reviewer feels he is one of) these tracks sound incredibly detailed, and structured. I almost don’t know how to explain this experience, it’s like I am listening to incredibly masterful works and can hear all the details that went into them. ¬†Yet, I just feel like experiencing them, living in the moment, and floating along for the journey they are taking me on. ¬†They are almost a meditation for me.

But, as I do pay attention to the works, I can hear a mind-boggling range of influences in these works.  Let me try to list some of the influences I hear in this work, even if I miss quite a few of them: Klaus Schulze, Tangerine Dream, Alan Parsons, Aphex Twin, Steve Roach, Propellerheads, Amon Tobin.  And then there are all the genres / styles involved: Berlin School, ambient, drone, space music, prog synth, IDM, techno, dub, and trance.

And, the fact is, there is plain and simply a ton more in this work that I know I’ve missed. ¬†And, maybe some I’ve miss-identified. ¬†(Let me give an example of how bad this is: in ‘Delusions of Graindeur’ there is a note in the bass line, I know it, I know the texture, I’ve heard many times — and yet just now I can’t tell you where it came from… ¬†It’s literally driving me crazy as I listen to this piece again.)

The thing about this work is: every time I think I have a grip on what Fingerprint is doing, and how a track is going to proceed he throws in something new, some small twist, and I am taken aback trying to figure out where it came from. ¬†Of course, all of this is driving me crazy in a¬†good way. ¬†It’s one of those mental agility tests we all need from time to time.

And then I step back and think: oh wait, this whole thing was made from using tiny 1-50msec grains of sounds. ¬†And if that isn’t a mind-blower, I don’t know what is.

It’s obvious that Fingerprint isn’t just good, or excellent: he is a master. ¬†In fact, I would dare say he has excelled past being a master and ascended to another plane. ¬†I can’t wait to see where he (she?) goes with this work in the future. ¬†I’m definitely excited by it.

Fingerprint: Delusions Of Graindeur

Free / Donation
9.5

Rating

9.5/10

Posted by George De Bruin