Continual Decentering


With his Arjunamusic label and a growing catalog of category-defying releases, Samuel Rohrer continues to quietly, yet confidently, make a name for himself as a genuinely unique figure within the European electronic music realm. Rohrer is one of those rare alchemical explorers to have truly created a hybrid which is all his own, one that does not just exist to melt distinctions for its own sake, but is a natural result of years of experimentation with both the determination of electronic music and the ludic spirit of "free improvisation". On Continual Decentering, this vision is applied to a set of mostly in real time (live) performed explorations. In keeping with his many years' worth of fruitful collaborations, the tonal palette on this record is one that is expectedly rich for those familiar with his work, yet still surprising in terms of how exactly the differing tonal colors come together. Representative tracks like "Spondee" and "The Fringe" are brimming with dub pulses, noir shivers, and blooming timbral variations. In terms of the emotional atmosphere, the pensive and questioning tone hearkens back to the "wide open" state of electronic music in the mid-to-late 1990s, with a greater clarity and maturity of vision. As with Rohrer's most recent solo work, like the Range Of Regularity album (AMEL 712CD/LP, 2017), Continual Decentering showcases the artist's skill in turning the drum kit into a lead instrument. While the term "lead instrument" denotes a kind of exuberant "Glash", or a clear separation from the rest of the voices in an ensemble, we can take the term to mean something different throughout this listening program of 13 short vignettes. It helps that Rohrer has, in fact, developed a unique and complex hybrid system in which drum hits trigger modular synthesizer processes, the use of which makes for an incredibly fluid response time between distinct sonic events. In contrast to the previous Range album, this new offering is propelled less by interlacing threads of intensity and more by a shared sense of deep listening. As displayed on pieces like "All Too Human", there is a profound sense of attention to silences or thoughtful pauses that maybe hints at another crucial aspect of Rohrer's style. All of the above come together to give Continual Decentering a "live"-ness that will easily translate from recorded document to dynamic performance.