Boomkat Product Review:
Peerless electrophysix from Gerald Donald’s Arpanet, finally back in circulation for its 15th anniversary of release with Air’s Record Makers label
One of the darkest, most sci-fi cinematic projects from the Heinrich Mueller labs, ‘Inertial Frame’ is one of three albums released under the Arpanet moniker, along with ‘Wireless Internet’ (2002) and ‘Quantum Transposition’ (2005). The project name is both a nod to an early precursor of the internet, known as ARPANET, and the synth manufacturer, ARP and has come to signify the coldest, sharpest gear stemming from the research of Heinrich Mueller, who is of course Gerald Donald of Drexicya esteem.
While sharing some concepts and aesthetics with Heinrich Mueller’s Dopplereffekt, the emergence of ARPANET marked a darker follow-up to the warmer styles of his Japanese Telecom project in the preceding years, and saw the artist heading off into deeply personalised but highly topical themes, riffing on the increasing spread of the internet and his interests in physics, with results that model his findings in a singular mix of inimitably hyper-crisp production values and Afro-futurist sci-fi narration rooted in his love of ’80s electro.
Cuts such as the face-freezing ‘Großvater Paradoxon’ and ‘Twin Paradox’ are truly incredible updates of Kraftwerk’s vocoder explorations, and the alien paeans of ‘Gravitational Lense’ and ‘Event Horizon’ feel like warped, icier echoes of his formative Glass Domain gear. It’s all A+ prime gear, not a dud between them, with each expressing some fascinating permutation of calculated arpeggios and haunting choral arrangements that find a real ghost in the machine. It just beggars belief that this guy has never been commissioned for a major soundtrack.
Never bettered, an absolute evergreen.