Isolationist pioneer Thomas Köner goes all the way in for his spiritual home of Mille Plateaux (now seemingly back to its original ownership?) with a masterful new album of dynamic, grippingly minimalist sound designs - essential listening for disciples of Chain Reaction, Eleh, Rrose, Emptyset, Ø, Thomas Brinkmann
First off - Mille Plateaux - after years of having various characters seemingly commander the name and dubiously “reissue” label classics allegedly without the knowledge of any of the artists involved, the label now seems to be back under the stewardship of its founder Achim Szepanski, or at least it's his name on the label info sheets. No idea what the mechanics of this are, but it seems legit - which is in itself a bit of a shocker.
Back to Köner…after bobbing up with new Porter Ricks material alongside Andy Mellwig in recent years, he now takes a plunging solo dive with ‘Motus’ that brings his patented isolationist style more in line with Porter Ricks’ pulsating subaquatic dancefloor aesthetics. The eight tracks follow a murky roil of ragged rip-tide currents and crunching, pressurised tones right on the electric biting point, manifesting an elusive but heavily present sense of physicality that’s been his calling card for decades now, but rarely in this sort of purified form.
Exploring a spectrum ranging from the cavernous and reverberating designs of ‘Cogitation’ to the head-swilling acidic pump of ‘Potential (Sustain)’, and flowing from the monotone grind of ’Substance (Suicide)’ to pool in the quietly breathtaking, viscous dissolve and intoxicating fumes of ’Synthesis (Carnal)’, the German artist’s sound sensitivities are at their most heightened and attuned to the kind of detail that draw us right inside his matrix. It’s just incredibly impressive stuff from a visionary master of this artform, a richly poetic and sensual description of natural and imaginary worlds begging to be inhabited, immersed in.
““I dream of a dance floor where Motus would be enjoyed. What kind of world, or rather, what kind of society would allow that? And when? Is this futuristic? A situation-to-come, where the understanding of music expands greatly, when blissful moments are independent of simple melodies, where harmony appears beyond I-V-vi-IV chord progressions, when the techniques of social alienation, which determine the use of all the drugs that accompany recreational music, are reversed into creative tools of exploration. ‘Motus’ is part of this exploration: to find dance, free of clock, and groove, free of rhythm. There is pulsation, and the downbeat connects to the downward beings as in stones and minerals, the upbeat connects to the upward beings as in grasses, flowers, trees and stars. Binding both together, connecting sky and earth, is the dancer. The moves / the movement is pure. It is the kiss of spirit and matter.” (Thomas Köner)”