Top Bar
Musique Machine Logo Home ButtonReviews ButtonArticles ButtonBand Specials ButtonAbout Us Button
SearchGo Down
Search for  
With search mode in section(s)
And sort the results by
show articles written by  
 Review archive:  # a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z

Jana Irmert - The Soft Bit [Fabrique - 2021]

Berlin-based sound artist, Jana Irmert, returns for a third time to Fabrique Records with her latest album, The Soft Bit. Composed around the sonic interpolations of physical textures, The Soft Bit is an interesting play on the textures themselves. As stated by Irmert, "the processed sounds resulting from hard materials would often have soft and tonal qualities whereas those made from "soft" materials like water or air would ultimately be of percussive or harsh and noisy character." When listening to this album, this statement makes one really inquisitive about what source material was used, and which was "the soft bit" - the source or the processed sound.

Like a lightly toasted piece of fresh bread, The Soft Bit combines a delicate, almost airy softness with a crispy, sparse, delightful finish to make pieces that both tantalize and provide comfort. With the source material providing some oscillating and undulating textures, the 8 compositions on display provide movement in the stillness and help to inflate the surrounding bubble of encompassing softness. Like the lightning inside a cloud, this juxtaposition helps each texture to reinforce the other and also lends itself to bringing the pieces together to form a cohesive whole. Irmert composed these separately without a concept at the start, but the materials and processes had other ideas. In addition to these processed sounds, Irmert works with field recordings to build depth and tension. The eponymous "The Soft Bit" uses these field recordings to the fullest, creating a taut, thrilling piece that puts forth cinematic overtones. This is no surprise, as Irmert has been nominated for an Icelandic Edda Award for her sound design on Jóhann Jóhannsson's film Last and First Men. Much of The Soft Bit is on the quieter, passive end of things, but Irmert uses this to enhance the album's character. Playing hard to get makes the listener earn their keep, and really dig into each composition.

The Soft Bit is a gorgeous collection of gauzy goodness with crispy flourishes and rolling oscillations mixed in for good measure. Allowing the textures and layers to head in different directions (while still remaining cohesive), the album grows and expands slowly, surely, and specifically. Well crafted and well cared for, The Soft Bit is a fantastically pleasant experience and one will discover many new characteristics with repeated listens.

Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5

Paul Casey
Latest Reviews

Jana Irmert - The Soft Bit
Berlin-based sound artist, Jana Irmert, returns for a third time to Fabrique Records with her latest album, The Soft Bit. Composed around the sonic interpola...
170921   Dave Phillips - Humanity Is T...
170921   Joseph Lanza - Easy-Listening...
170921   Various Artists - Separate Pa...
170921   Funuke Show Some Love, You Lo...
170921   The Crimes Of The Black Cat -...
160921   Zombi - Liquid Crystals
160921   Sermon of Flames - I Have Se...
150921   Santa Sangre (Ltd Edition 4 D...
150921   SBTDOH & Vomir - Mass Hysteria
140921   Tissa Mawartyassari - ผ...
Latest Articles

Tine Surel Lange - A Great Ear F...
One of the more creative and distinctive sound-art/ manipulated field records to appear in recent times was this year’s Works For Listening 1-10. Relea...
070921   Tine Surel Lange - A Great E...
170821   theNightproduct - Walled Nois...
210721   Martyn Bates / Kodax Strophes...
150621   David Gregory - In The Land O...
270521   Root Cellar, Monolithic Torme...
120521   Patrick Picard - Geek-bound...
150421   Dosis Letalis - Walled Noise ...
170321   Shatraug - Into the Finnish B...
170221   Mark Polonia - Of gore-bound...
100221   Danny Hyde - Coils of an Arab...
Go Up
(c) Musique Machine 2001 -2017. Celebrating 16 years of true independence!! Mail Us at questions=at=musiquemachine=dot=comBottom