Andreas Berthling | Mengerzeile & Grunberger
Staalplaat | AB-CD
Following his debut '1000 - 1001 Hz' on Staalplaat sub-label Microwave, Berthling's 'Mengerzeile & Grunberger' is the latest in Staalplaat's ongoing 'Material Series' which comprise extremely well-designed and packaged CDs with largely microscopic/microwave/glitch audio.
Everything about this CD - from the audio content to it's visual and tactile qualities - meshes together perfectly. Housed within an etched jewel case is a bizarre, distended bubblewrap, inside which resides a semi-transparent CD holding 24 minutes of hyper-condensed clinical audio.
Feeding field recordings, sourced while resident in Berlin, through a process of digital transfusion, the five tracks span from a comatose heaviness to the faintest of cardiac pulses.
Berthling has an eye for detail as well as an all-too-rare sense of pacing which rewards close listening. The opening 'marchlewski' unfurls lethargically like the measured doses of a slow release drug while 'sultz hayner' beats regularly like an array of precision monitoring devices. 'Harzer' eavesdrops on the erratic pulses of an ECG measuring a subdued brain's murmurings; pulsing irregularly over six minutes before slowing agonisingly, veering ever-closer to death.
Berthling is currently collaborating with Kim Cascone as well as working on a DVD for Staalplaat on the evidence of this release, both will be well worth the wait.