Boomkat Product Review:
Back in stock. This latest from Ralph Steinbruchel is a remix project of sorts, in which the Swiss microsound composer creates a number of works from recordings by other artists, namely Lawrence English, Ben Frost and Bernd Schurer. It's a mark of Steinbruchel's skill and sure hand that he's able to impose his own voice onto the source material, with guitar recordings (from both English and Frost, taken from their Happiness Will Befall and Theory of Machines albums, respectively) and piano recordings (taken from a Bernd Schurer 5.1 surround installation) all somehow morphing into that distinctively warm tangle of digital tones. Those already familiar with Steinbruchel's work will, to some extent, know what to expect from this release, although the presence of instrumental material provides a greater depth than in previous outings. 'These 2' serves as an especially successful example of this: you can't actually make out Ben Frost's guitar as such, though there's a harmonic richness that transcends the more staunchly digital compositions in Steinbruchel's catalogue. The Schurer piece, 'Falter' even lets a little air into the thick tonal jumble, resulting in a more spacious sound. This gives a three dimensional, roomy feel to the music, breathing new life into the potentially very dry world of lowercase laptop music. All in all, Basis gets the balance of the new and the familiar just right, making for one of the most satisfying room40 releases for some time. Highly recommended.