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iancu dumitrescu - Pierres Sacrées / Hazard and Tectonics
Stephen O'Malley's Ideologic Organ presents this very necessary reissue of Romanian "spectralist music" pioneer Iancu Dumitrescu's staggering 'Pierres Sacrées' (1989-1990) backed with an engrossing new work, 'Hazards and Tectonics' (2009-2013), commissioned by Glasgow Tectonics Festival. Born in Romania in 1944 Iancu Dumitrescu has forged a fascinating oeuvre encompassing contemporary composition and philosophy. As the latest addition to Ideologic Organ's currently unparalleled reissue programme, the A-side 'Pierres Sacrées' "for prepared piano, metallic plates and objects" is a cherished piece of work, not least by us. It was originally issued on Edition Modern, the Bucharest-based label Dumitrescu runs with his spouse and long-time collaborator, Ana-Maria Avram and only ever released on CD in 1991. We'd attempt to define its shocking mass of wretched strings, percussive violence and gaseous resonance as a master-class in anticipation and suspense, but even that would be selling it short. As the label suggest, it's better taken as a metaphor for life on a much grander scale, evoked by an appreciation of quiet/loud dynamics in its haptic sub-atomic resonance and intragalactic clangour. It feels as though we're witnessing star-systems in formation or mountain ranges exploding from a solitary spark; genuinely exhilarating and life-affirming stuff. The B-side, 'Hazard and Tectonics', whilst crafted with computer assistance 20 years later, nevertheless elicits a similarly visceral sensation with its space-time stretching and mind-bending dynamics. It really is an incomparable piece of work, but we'd have to say that if you're into Raime, The Haxan Cloak or Daniel Menche and looking to go one step further into the abyss/cosmos, this is the perfect springboard.