1948 is a slightly retro take on modern sound art. Although many of the sounds on the record are electronic based, every sound obtains some notion of the past, which works into the inspiration for the piece. According to the liner notes, this piece was conceived in dedication to “musique concrète,” an old style of music that suggested the use of noise in an artistic fashion. Having never really been a recorded style of music, this modern take on the genre is created in an indirect way with the ideas spurring from the thought process of these long-gone artists.
Through the use of circulating drones and texturally pleasing surface tension, Érick d’Orion and Martin Tétreault build a sonic landscape for the listener to get lost in. Heavy on minimalism, the piece aims to create more of an experience than specific melodic ideology, however, there is a clear difference in sound between the first half of the record and the second; the first being focused on cool, aquatic tones with the juxtaposition of more industrial notions beginning with the tune “Rundfunk.”
Aesthetically, the piece does seem to be relatively standard and although the minimalism in melodic development is accomplished well, the piece struggles a bit to escape the record label it falls under. It is certainly not uncommon for Kohlenstoff to release a piece of this type of sound, so there weren’t any major surprises. Generally for a record to be considered great there has to be some level of shock beyond simple questions of musicality.
I felt pleased listening to this record. I find this type of music quite interesting and I like that the group drew inspiration from a past musical notion, but I wasn’t wholly blown away by it so further listens may spark boredom.