Release Date: 3rd June 2022
T. Gowdy has kept up a productive albeit mostly virtual pace since the release of Therapy With Colour (his third full-length album and first for Constellation) which dropped just as things were locking down back in spring 2020: performances at numerous festivals including MUTEK Montréal, Node Festival and NEW NOW; audiovisual pieces exhibited at various European galleries and events; a track and video for Constellation’s Corona Borealis Longplay Singles Series; sound design for the documentary Atalaya by filmmaker Emma Roufs.
Gowdy now returns with Miracles, his second full-length for Constellation, which draws on source materials originally performed in 2018 for an unreleased audio/visual project based around surveillance footage—a precursor to video-capped, monitor-based horizons that soon took on new meanings. Re-immersing himself in those recordings, Gowdy disassembles and deploys them as raw source material for new experiments with vactrols, noise gates and analog-to-digital triggering and aliasing, the original recordings juxtaposed anew amidst their successive textural and rhythmic treatments. Gowdy keeps this re-composition process stripped down, elemental and purposive, guided by an ascetic Aufhebung: synthesis as sublation—subjecting a temporal material/theme to analysis and transformation, reintegrating to form a whole that overcomes what it preserves without erasure, reshaping and intrinsically carrying its origins forward.
Where Therapy With Colour was strictly and rigorously a set of stereo live performances, Miracles fuses iterative—though still spartan—layers of performance. “Therapy With Colour was about healing through self-hypnosis; Miracles is about forging a future with memory through subjection to trigger mechanisms” notes Gowdy. The result is a captivating collection of minimal IDM and oscillated electronics from the Montréal/Berlin producer, working primarily in a 120-140 BPM zone of tonal percussion and corrugated pulse. Gowdy’s sensibility and sound palette gets deeper and dirtier, summoning new pathways of alluvial flicker and abraded euphoria. As the album progresses, low-pass gate vactrols coalesce into a clear and vital theme, conveying immanence through woody timbres at times reminiscent of the Shinrin-yoku aesthetic (Japanese ‘forest bathing’), though always with a grainy transcendence rather than invoking any clean pure sheen. Gowdy consistently heats and heightens the presence of each component in the mix, balancing different elements in democratic compression/distortion, attaining an unornamental and earnest form of mantric-industrial majesty. Miracles is live, corporeal, activated electronic music of the highest caliber, deployed with monastic and meditative focus.
a4 Transcend I
b4 Transcend II