CD / CD-R » Andreas Brandal – Minus

Andreas Brandal – Minus

Andreas Brandal – “Minus” 3-inch CD-R (Kendra Steiner Editions, 2010)

From the label:

“Recorded especially for KSE, MINUS’s four drones are deep and cavernous, full of molten flow and swirling pools, but with lots of room to breathe, and having a three-dimensional quality because of percussion textures (of wood, of metal, of porcelain) which seem to occupy the foreground of each audio landscape. The listener can create his/her own mental images while bathing in the audio heavy-water—I imagine abandoned nuclear reactors, sandy winds blowing civilization’s junk across a desert, underground rivers of chemical waste, meditation in the midst of a strip-mining operation. MINUS doesn’t sound especially like any other Brandal release, showing again what a eclectic talent he is, always juxtaposing new elements, always creating new and different sound environments.”


Foxy Digitalis:

Andreas Brandal, “Minus” 3″ CDr
January 3, 2011
By Mike Griffin

Norway’s Andreas Brandal is a prolific individual, whose output over the years has managed to brush up against many different streams of experimentation. From Small Doses came the harsh, forbidding sounds of “the Familiar Stranger,” while the Tape Drift-issued “Jernvogen” found Brandal in a more placid and less brutal mood, working with brighter and gentler tones. Released on Kendra Steiner Editions, “Minus” sits somewhere between those two outstanding releases, using certain aspects of both to create a soundworld that balances visceral impact with calm and measured structure.

“Minus One” leaps outwards with an orchestrated collection of tracks of pitched feedback, giving the disc a quick and dramatic starting point. From the initial anthemic roar Brandal pulls back into a more sinister and stately drone, augmented by tapping metal and sharp, high-end tones. “Minus Two” establishes an anxious mood immediately, pairing a pensive and dissonant chord with more metallic scraping sounds. This time drone replaces dread, as a brief peaceful section develops; this is suddenly undercut by the looped sound of a machine that sounds as if it is stamping through metal and bone.

Brandal’s excellent sense of contrast and development is shown throughout this disc; the tight running time of the 3″ CDr medium encourages brevity, and Brandal finds his feet quickly in each piece. “Minus Three”‘s first low-end thrumms battle dripping water and a stuttering mid-range noise to open up into a fading drone, using natural sounds in conjunction with brittle synth tones to create a moving organism that constantly changes its shape. “Minus Four” works with a doomier feel, at first dropping a thick wave of oscillating sludge, before digging and scraping sounds propel the track through a clattering middle section. Quiet bursts of static flash out against the heavy cloud of synth, and “Minus” finishes with a quiet comedown instead of a massive eruption of noise. Focused, taut, and concise, Brandal has created a thoughtful and spacious sonic realm that’s worth getting lost in.


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