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Motive

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Album Review

Tim Perkis recorded Motive in 1999 and left it on the shelf (conscious decision or circumstances, the story doesn't say). It came out as an MP3 album on Artifact in 2002, and a year later got its proper CD release from the young label Praemedia. Motive touches many bases, from beat-thumping techno to early computer music and more ambient approaches, but it steers relatively clear of anything associated with the microsound esthetic. That is to say: the album weights more toward the loud than the quiet, the beat than the glitch. Perkis builds his pieces in a relentless manner; his constructions are meticulous, but they don't stay in place. A single track can go through as many as ten or 12 major changes in sound design, preventing the listener from finding a comfort zone (which is a good or a bad thing, depending on your tastes) and the music from settling in any particular niche. Most tracks stick to "pure" electronic sounds, which give the album a slightly "vintage" patina. Drum loops and samples are rare and mostly reserved for the last third of the album (drums are at the core of "Zig," while "Code" is a messy amalgam of scratch sampling). The opening "Wrack," also full of backward samples, provides a frantic highlight, while "Lude," and the aforementioned "Zig" represent the better of the longer, more complex and pensive tracks. ~ François Couture, Rovi

Biography

Genre: Dance

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Associated since the late '80s with recordings of avant-garde improvisation involving live electronics, Tim Perkis has made a complex series of contributions to society that go far beyond twiddling knobs. In what he describes as a "checkered career as a researcher and engineer," Perkis has designed science and music museum displays in San Francisco, Toronto, and Seattle; created a type of robot gear for conducting auctions; consulted on multimedia art for the San Francisco Art Commission as well...
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