Limited edition 2CD (300 copies) + download
Released on ERS (ERS CD008) on October 22, 2018
On October 22, 2018, ERS Records released ‘3/4’ – a double CD featuring new work of Radboud Mens and Matthijs Kouw. On their new album, Mens and Kouw use a 12-meter magnetic string instrument and a modular synthesizer to create 6 carefully tuned pieces. With a total playing time of over 2 hours, ‘3/4’ continues the long-form drone explorations first released on the LP ‘1’ on Moving Furniture Records in February 2017. ‘3/4’ was recorded live in the studio in February 2016 and is released in a limited edition of 300 and packaged in a 3-panel carton sleeve.
In its use of specific tunings and the long string instrument to create long-form drone compositions, ‘3/4’ continues and pays homage to the work of American minimalists Ellen Fullman, La Monte Young, and Alvin Lucier. Within the constraint of a tuning in a specific key, each track on ‘3/4’ immerses the listener in frequencies that change very gradually. Starting with a deep hum with warm frequencies, the pieces gradually build up to a collage of textures and frequencies that are carefully moving in and out of the drone. Each track slowly reveals different sides and details of a sonic sculpture and brings about a loss of the awareness of time. In this rich tapestry of drones, nothing much seems to happen to the careless listener. However, an attentive ear will reveal a complex variety of resonances, phase-differences and emergent sonic artefacts.
“If you want to dive even deeper into Radboud Mens‘ drone experiments: the collaboration with Matthijs Kouw (1, from 2017) gets no less than two follow-up editions: 2 and 3/4 – the latter being a 2-CD album. Due to production complexities the release order got unintentionally mixed up: 2 is now scheduled to be released early next year, while 3/4 is already available now. Be prepared for the more extreme minimalist drones, Eliane Radigue style, with Radboud playing long magnetic strings and analog filters and Matthijs playing modulars.” ambientblog.net.
“Across two CDs, the artists emphatically do very little. These six tracks were created with a modular synth, “long magnetic string” (?) and analogue filters, and they are all compositionally and tonally quite similar to one another. Each piece stakes out some sonic territory with an austere buzz or hum, then resolutely marches in place for around twenty minutes. A few tones are introduced… maybe another tone appears and fluctuates a bit… if things are really cooking, you might hear one more tone… and that’s it! The pace never quickens, the density never develops, the tonal palette never alters much. Two hours of stubbornly sedate audio furniture, about as active as the motor in your refrigerator. The double CD format is really perfect for this; put both discs on repeat and let the zero-energy buzz bring the heartbeats of everyone within earshot down towards comatose levels.” Vital Weekly 1168.
All music by Radboud Mens and Matthijs Kouw
Mastering by Radboud Mens
Artwork by Aldje van Meer