Thomas Brinkmann - A 1000 Keys 2xLP
Label: Editions Mego
Let's start with the shorthand synopsis: if Carl Orff were given the task of scoring the psychedelically maddening movie The 5000 Fingers Of Dr. T and go from there. Thomas Brinkmann's techno minimalism translates to the piano in brutalist fashion, re-coding the conceptual and aesthetic rigor of mid-century serialism to a frenetic sustained crescendo through digital sequencing. The grand piano is the alpha and the omega for Brinkmann's 1000 Keys. Here, Brinkmann samples mostly from the lower registers of the piano, but when he jumps into the higher octaves such notes are almost always violently sharp; and nothing is played with anything less than full force. Brinkmann thrusts these sampled hammerings into rigid sequences designed to amplify the tonal dissonance and construct violently stroboscopic moire patterning. There's monomaniacal force to much of these recordings, with Brinkmann applying black-hole pressures of sheer willpower and might to the stuttering repetitiveness of the piano in the pursuit of adrenaline soaked hypnosis and delirium. Brinkmann may have been inspired by Conlan Nancarrow's polydactyl flourishes, but no one in their right mind would even consider trying to play Brinkmann's compositions on an actual piano. If one does, expect broken knuckles, acute tendonitis, and arthritic joints.