Gerard Lebik / Burkhard Beins - An Alphabet Of Fluctuation [Inexhaustible Editions - 2021]
An Alphabet Of Fluctuation focuses on creating a sonic air of slowly constricting unease and pressing stark tension. The four-track album is built around airless and oppressive drones, coldly reverberation tone detail, barrenly ringing percussive, and nerve slicing sine wave swoops.
The release appeared in August of this year on Slovenia label Inexhaustible Editions- presented as either a CD or digital download. I’m reviewing the former, and the CD comes presented in a monochrome six-panel digipak- on its front cover we get a close-up picture of what looks like a bent and buckled air vent. Inside we have texts discussing the album and its concepts. The CD had an edition of three hundred copies, and as of this review the label still have copies for purchase- so head here to score one/ find out more.
The line-up here is Gerard Lebik- Pd, Ppooll, and Zopan generator. Burkhard Beins- amplified ride cymbal, additional sine and Synth on tracks "III" "IV". The tracks are simply named with Roman numerals, with each having a runtime between eight and twenty minutes- with over the album's length the sonic tension nicely swimming and building throughout, so this is certainly not an album to in any way relax or mellow out too!.
We open with the just shy of twelve and a half minutes of “I”- here we start off with airlessly simmering and drifting drones, sudden slicing percussive detail, and fading tone falls. As we move on the elements nicely dip, ebb, and stretch into moments of drifting reverb and fading hover- and even at the barely heard moments the feeling of tense unease remains highly firm and focused.
By “III” we initially find sinister percussion combs and gong chimes, meeting frigid drone hoovers, underfed by grain detail. As we move through this nearing twenty and a half minute track we barren reverb trails, sine wave drift and latter searing, and more forking-to-coldly striking percussive detail. The album is finished off with the just shy fifteen minutes of “IV”- this opens with a sudden high and grainy noise wash, before moving into pressing pitch and sine wave hazes, which is ever so often is edged by piecing and nerve stretching percussive pulling and ebb.
With An Alphabet Of Fluctuation Lebik and Beins have created an album that ebbs and builds airless tension, constricting unease, and pressing starkness. Like the sonic equivalent of being in an oxygen depleting and stark white light dimming ultra-modern tower block- so not easy listening by any means.Roger Batty