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Boomkat Product Review:
Originally composed for a dance performance and installation, 'Black Box 3' is an uncompromisingly reduced set of processed field recordings, drum skitters, and cautious synthetic minimalism.
Mads Emil Nielsen's first "Black Box" release arrived in 2018 on 7"; each edition presents music and sound that the Danish composer originally assembled for theater performances and installations, and the third chapter is no different. This time around, the starting point was material Nielsen had worked on for "Sprækker (Cracks)", a dance performance and installation that was presented in Denmark last year. Based on improvisations recorded with contemporary dancers, Nielsen wanted to guide the listener through a selection of sounds, from synthesizer experiments to everyday sounds and radio archives.
So we're presented with clever, precise tweaking on 'Installation - 2', that obscures chopped-up drums behind synthesized glitches and moonlit field recordings. It sounds like someone jamming in a remote marsh at night, and that's never a bad thing. 'Climbing Plants' is more immersive somehow, molding hissing environmental sounds into billowing dark ambience that sounds almost like dub techno at a quarter speed. Nielsen's command of microscopic percussive elements is impressive, and his ability to weave fine pinprick patterns with undergrowth crunches and insect calls is particularly hypnotic on closing track 'Vibrations'.