MARC BEHRENS – Architectural Commentaries


The logic surrounding Marc Behrens’ artistic output is often inflexible, not really open to chance except for slight and mostly controlled intermissions (or is it?). But, at the same time, this scarcity of openings results in a rarely seen coherence which, on a sonic level, guarantees that each one of his releases sound absorbingly attractive, placing the listeners in a space that might appear either like the restricted area of their interior conflicts or a symbolic representation of human thought in its most inaccessible corners. The aural constructions that Behrens is able to conceptualize, elaborate and, ultimately, exploit are indeed unique, in this case facilitated by his choice of presenting successions of events separated by short silent segments, a concept based on Luigi Nono’s “isole musicali” (musical islands). “Architectural commentaries” comprises three pieces composed between 2002 and 2005, built around field recordings that our man has accumulated over a 15-year span. The composer writes that he was inspired by “architectural criticism, structures, buildings, involuntary cityscapes (…) and technological noise within buildings”. The latter point is expanded in “Architectural commentary 5: some models for resonant behaviour”, which utilizes the sources captured at Resonance FM in June 2004 (both the studio equipment and the room’s noises), remodeling and juxtaposing them in splendid fashion; the segment starting around minute 13, an awesome humming moan-cum-oscillating high frequencies, is purely and simply a thing of beauty. The opener “Architectural commentary 4” shows at times a strong conceptual link with Asmus Tietchens’ work, even if Behrens’ coldness still possesses a degree of humanity – barely visible in the distance, yet it IS there – that attributes a “faraway-light-in-a-thick fog” aura to the piece, something that could appeal to fans of the best dark ambient as well. The album’s overall quality, excellent in any circumstance anyway, will be enhanced by your own preference of setting as this is the kind of music that, while revealing more details on close listening, yields the most satisfactory outcome when we let it manifest its grayish blackness in the rare, precious moments when the world’s asleep.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s