Boomkat Product Review:
Frank Bretschneider and Jan Jelinek join forces for this early electronics-influenced freeform jammer. Both using modular systems, the two experimental veterans recorded the material in a series of sessions from 2016 to 2020, attempting to work outside of context and meaning. Properly deep off-world electrix here, fer fans of Raymond Scott, Daphne Oram, Morton Subotnick and Delia Derbyshire.
Bretschneider and Jelinek had been fans of each others work for years before they sat down and jammed together for the first time back in 2016. Both passionate modular synthesizer heads, they decided to improvise together in a very specific way, recording with just a stereo pair: one track for Bretschneider's audio and one for Jelinek's. After the duo had recorded, each audio channel was processed separately, but options were limited to altering the frequency range, so that the essence of the early electronic era, when mixes were made on tape that needed to be spliced and combined carefully and sparingly, was retained. It's a methodology that's in stark contrast to most of today's music, made using DAW systems that allow almost limitless processing, re-recording and editing, and it certainly leads to an immediate, impromptu sound that gives 'Muster' a very specific energy.
Jelinek and Bretschneider were both driven by the idea of making music with no clear objective: "There is no overarching theme, no preparation, no reading list, no reason for this music." Instead, they worked almost blindly, with curiosity and collaboration as the driving force. The result is a springy and sci-fi twinged set of expertly tweaked synthetic squelches, echoing resonant tones, robotic blips and whirring glitches. If you remember the Radiophonic Workshop's rare full-length "Doctor Who" scores (1972's Synthi 100-composed "The Sea Devils" from Malcolm Clarke, for example) then that's a good stylistic cue, or Morton Subotnick's mind-altering '67 Buchla-led recording "Silver Apples of the Moon". Jelinek and Bretschneider's more recent history as scene-defining digital minimalists gives them a subtle edge for sure, but these more modern elements are left to spiral in a time tunnel of vintage modular fetishism.
It's an experiment that's rooted in the texture and sheer enjoyment of synthetic sound, and hearing Jelinek and Bretschneider flex in that zone is a rare treat.