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Range Of Regularity
Samuel Rohrer, the multi-faceted, forward-thinking percussionist and producer behind the Arjunamusic Records label, the Ambiq trio, and a wealth of other musical projects, has set out on his own with a new full-length solo album, Range Of Regularity. Constructed almost entirely upon electronically-treated recordings of acoustic instrumentation, with a bare minimum of synthesizer voicing, Range Of Regularity vibrates with a compelling organic-ism, as if old-growth Black Forest trees had conspired together to make an album of ultra-modern improvisational music. Indeed, the record feels limned with contributions from some "other" intelligence, despite being a clear extension of the fluid, percussion-driven musical technique that Rohrer has exhibited in previous years. Opening with the track "Microcosmism", the sound-forest feeling immediately takes effect, and the listener can either enjoying navigating a path through this verdant total environment or just being lost in it. "Lenina" does not abandon this unique aesthetic, but reprises the story with a different vocabulary (in this case, deep synth-bass signals, piano runs and all sorts of hyper-real ventilations). "Nimbus" temporarily dials back the feeling of modular assemblage that powers the previous two pieces, and allows Rohrer's drum kit to come to the fore, working away at a determined snare-driven beat that brings a variety of treated sound ephemera out of their hiding places. After the gentle - but never too precious - interlude of "Sunclue", "War On Consciousness" emerges as the album's infectious tour de force. As the title implies, the feeling here is of using sound to fend off some sort of invasive energy, featuring a full concert's worth of timbral variations and audio events. Incisive rhythmic patterns slice away like finely honed blades at an insistent mechanical chattering, while cautiously walking acoustic bass adds an extra layer of defense. "Uncertain Grace" closes the set out with a busy multi-layered arpeggio punctuated with bass drum hits, from which a melodic narrative gradually emerges. Although similarities are apparent to other progenitors of rhythmic intelligence (classic Can, for example), Range Of Regularity stands perfectly well on its own. Artwork by Ian Anderson of The Designers Republic.