Boomkat Product Review:
Guttural explorations of sculpted feedback and pent, Raime-lijke percussion. RIYL the more extreme ends of Fennesz or Oren Ambarchi.
“The title of the album, On Dark Silent Off, is a nod to Ad Reinhardt, whose art and theory has been influential on the trio. The juxtaposition of extremes (on/off) is present in Radian’s work: the contrast between light and darkness; and in musical terms, sound and silence and brightness/darkness of timbre.
Radian creates a field of tension between extreme dynamics, freely improvised parts and meticulous construction, an inherent contrast between soft sounds and sharp edits. Radian’s recording/creative process takes a central role in shaping the pieces. It is a two-fold process of creating material through improvisation, sound experiments and processing on the one hand, and a routine of carefully selecting and editing this material on the other. It is often the case that mere snippets are used out of hours of sound material. The contrast between the magic of the moment, spontaneous live performance and its subsequent careful construction shape the quality of the pieces.
Radian likes to deal with sound that could be seen as byproducts of a musical process and incorporate them into its pieces — the sound of a cable entering the socket of a guitar, the sound of a switch, hums, sound of the fingers tapping on the string of a bass or the sound of the hand gliding between two chords of a guitar. These sounds are not deleted, or hidden, they are often transformed into central elements of the pieces. The track “Blue Noise Black Lake” was built around a sample Radian recorded of Mats Gustafsson playing the pads of his saxophone. Radian uses the method of “microscopic“ recording to zoom into sounds that would more typically be overlooked: the rattling of a marble on Brandlmayr’s crotale placed on a snare like in “Codes and Sounds,” the beauty and richness of cymbals, acoustic guitars played quietly and recorded closely.
The title piece “On Dark Silent Off” was inspired by Austrian filmmaker Peter Tscherkassky’s Outer Space, masterful black and white collage created of found footage of a horror film. Radian premiered an early incarnation of On Dark Silent Off alongside the 35mm live film projection, at the Vienna international film festival, in the beautiful, historic theatre Gartenbau. Although the album version transformed from the debut, the atmosphere, the flickering of light and the mystery of Outer Space is still present in the piece.”