Boomkat Product Review:
Electro-acoustic composer Ted Reichman used a discarded box of rare organ vinyl as source material for "Orgelwerke" transforming sounds using tape and broken amplifiers to create glacial drones fit for a cathedral. It's somewhere between Kali Malone and Philip Jeck.
First collaborating with Anthony Braxton in the 1990s and curating the program at legendary NYC venue Tonic, Reichman has built up a reputation for film music, improvisation and electro-acoustic music. He's released music on Tzadik and Skirl, worked alongside artists like Wendy Eisenberg and Steven Long, and has been a professor at the New England Conservatory for over a decade. This level of engagement makes "Orgelwerke" far more than an exercise in contemporary organ fetishism. We know, there are plenty of artists right now clamoring for pipe, desperate to make that all-important link between church music and contemporary drone forms. "The church was the first club space," they scream. And although Reichman's story of picking up a box of rare organ vinyl is a little quaint and convenient - the stuff of press release fiction aka lazy journo catnip - his results are top notch.
Reichman's chiseled, reshaped samples still retain their sacred timbre, and his thoughtful compositions never over egg the cake, moving slowly but never staying static. Gentle tape manipulation and hot, saturated distortion brings animation to the loops, and Reichman's thick drones sound as if they'd fill a space just as readily as the source material might have way back when. If you're interested in what Kali Malone, William Basinski and Philip Jeck might sound like if they were buzzed up in a blender, here's a fairly accurate answer.