Boomkat Product Review:
The radical, revelatory debut album of sonic fictions by peerless mastering engineer, sound artist and composer, Rashad Becker.
Via his day job as a cutting engineer at Berlin's Dubplates & Mastering and his post-production studio, Clunk, the Syrian-born German-raised autodidact has in some respects contributed more to the shape and timbre of contemporary electronic and avant-garde music than anyone else. He's blessed with a heightened sensitivity to frequency and a love of bass and subbass which has no doubt enhanced hundreds of recordings and provided him an invaluable, hawk-like view of modern sonic aesthetics.
With this in mind, the inspired architecture, dynamics and feel of 'Traditional Music Of Notional Species' can be heard as a deliberate and hyper-conscious bypassing of staid conventions in melody, harmony and meter, searching out and inhabiting the microtonal spaces between sounds with an in-depth understanding of their complex relationships and structures. Yet, far from being an avant-garde academic exercise, it provides a breathtaking richness of ambiguous human expression and emotional triggers, albeit from the periphery of human experience. His multi-tiered layers of oily quacks, slyding tones, convulsive spurts and spatial displacements present an embarrassment of fictional sonic capital, setting out a new and idiosyncratic grammar of computer music language with an inimitably exotic ancient-futuristic accent.
For us it's something close to a waking dream rendered in sound, it's sincerely one of the most phantastical, far out records we've heard in a while, at once lending a gridless, human/alien aspect to the harsher sounds of say, Florian Hecker or Andre Vida, with the guile and unswerving, syncretic avant-folk vision of Ghedalia Tazartes and even the soured sensation of Korean classical music. It's one of the boldest musical statements on PAN yet, and, if like us you crave genuinely new sonic thrills, this album is an absolute must.