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Antithesis - EP

Keith Fullerton Whitman

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Album Review

Many became acquainted with Keith Fullerton Whitman's — aka Hrvåtski's — electronics-generated side on 2002's Playthroughs. That album, using only an electric guitar and some effects processors, was a departure far from the glitchy laptop permutations and (re)combinations his earlier work wrapped itself in. On Antithesis, Whitman goes a step further into the murkiness of his restless creative muse. The four pieces on this short (27 minute) vinyl-only release (the first in Kranky's history) were composed and recorded between 1994 and 2002, and are "ensemble" works that do not include any computer-generated processes. There are multiple instruments on all of them; Whitman played them all. On "Twin Guitar Rhodes Viola Drone (For Lamonte Young)," you can guess what instruments are employed. On "Obelisk (For Kurt Schwitters)" analog tape, guitars, shards of found-object percussion, and viola are concentrated into a stunningly beautiful and pristine soundscape. On "Rhodes Viola Multiple," a piece that uses the Rhodes as a repetitive device filing through as series of stated phrases that are inverted and restated and multi-tracked, the viola becomes the sound of sonic space, washing its way through the shimmering din. Finally, on "Schnee," from 2002, acoustic and electric guitars, hand- and found-percussion and cymbals, create a series of whole tone chord drones that are framed inside a kind of modal melodic architecture that opens out onto a terrain that is reminiscent of prime Popol Vuh explorations. Antithesis is an aesthetically beautiful, if brief listen, and contains pieces that will spectrally come back to haunt the listener. What more could you ask for?

Biography

Genre: Electronic

Years Active: '90s, '00s

A self-described electronic music obsessive, Keith Fullerton Whitman's sprawling output encompasses a considerable variety of (essentially non-dance-oriented) electronic forms and sounds, with releases ranging from meticulously constructed ambient minimalism to frenetic drill'n'bass (the primary milieu of his Hrvåtski alias), academically minded compositional explorations of electronic music history, and highly abstract live laptop improvisation. Not only as a performing and recording musician, but...
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Antithesis - EP, Keith Fullerton Whitman
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