Keith Fullerton Whitman brings his 3-part Generators series for Japan’s NAKID label to a close with a third and final instalment that ravishes the senses with hybrid analogue/digital systems tekkerz.
Hazing into a solemn start of floating organ and slurred drums, the first part fizzes into action with pranging irregularities, tentatively allowing the system to voice varying pitches and nimble rhythms that resemble balletic footwork plies as much as classically-trained instrumentalist flurries. It’s deeply trance-inducing, meditative gear that over the course of 25 minutes slowly gains momentium and complexity, first adding robust arps to complicate the structure, treading the finest line of chaos and discipline. In time, those arps turn themselves into a rhythm track, landing somewhere between Whitman’s earliest junglist works as Hrvatski and a sort of plucked rhythmic minimalism that reminds us of Mark Fell’s Sensate Focus, gliding on natural, brownian motion and flux of texture, punctuated by what sound likes a plucking of a drum machine from the inside-out.
In part 2 the mood pools and diffracts in slow-fast meter, bristling ruptures of atonality that send limbs flailing one way and then another, adding subs for a dimensional shift that’s rhythmically fractured but always grounded at the low registers. The wavy embroidery of Whitman’s machines trigger each other in endlessly fascinating forms of gyring workshop ballistics and dub reverberations.
A special bonus piece ‘Meakusma (Generators, Soundcheck)’ is the most curious of the lot, with a lone clarinet heard in the air, perhaps a serendipitous inclusion form someone else’s soundcheck, lending an enchanting depth perception to his frolicking bleeps.