Boomkat Product Review:
Timely survey of early electronic wonders from Utrecht’s esteemed Institute Of Sonology, including pioneering pieces by Gottfried Michael Koenig and Konrad Boehmer that paved the way for future advancements by Roland Kayn, Jaap Vink, Leo Küpper
Originally issued on CD in 2001 and now on 2LP, ‘Institute Of Sonology 1959-1969’ covers the formative years of Utrecht’s famed facility for concrète and electronic music composition. Nowadays a part of Royal Conservatory in The Hague, the institute was founded on September 1st, 1960 with high end technical equipment from the electronic music Laboratories of Phillips Research, Eindhoven. Initially called STEM (STudio Voor Elektronische Muziek), the institute came into being under the artistic direction of Gottfried Michael Koenig (who had previously worked at Cologne’s WDR studio, assisting Stockhausen among others), and would be recognised among the premier European hotspots for advanced electronic music composition.
In recent years attention has been directed to the Institute Of Sonology via unarchived and reissued seminal works from Roland Kayn and Jaap Vink, who both made some of their most fascinating recordings at the institute during the late ‘70s and early ’80s. This set surveys the decade before that vital work, notably including a rare vinyl pressing of Gottfried Michael Koenig’s pioneering, 17’ computer composition ‘Funktion Orange’, as well as Konrad Boehmer’s 15’ microcosmic maelstrom, ‘Aspekt’, both of which patently still hold up next to modern noise musick, while the rest of the set rings from the slippery wormhole dynamic of Frits Weiland’s ‘Studie In Lagen Impulsen’, to Ton Bruyel’s ‘Reflexen’, which sounds like a Burmese drum falling down an endless Escher staircase, while Rainer Riehn’s 20’ ‘Chants Du Maldorer’ piece presents a wild belch of abstract concrète darkness.
RIYL AFX, NYZ, Russell Haswell, Pita, Jim O’Rourke, Kevin Drumm, Markus Schmickler.