The Assistenz


LP version. Includes download code. "The Assistenz is the culmination of a four-year creative hot streak as vivid as any part of Cristian Vogel's long career. The trio of dancefloor-oriented records formed by 2012's The Inertials (STRIKE 137CD), 2014's Polyphonic Beings (STRIKE 151CD/LP) and now The Assistenz are sensual pleasures: a lifetime of study of frequencies and rhythms on the frontline of the world's clubs has been put into the creation of sounds that interface with the nervous system and emotional responses with extraordinary immediacy. Together with the more abstracted album Eselsbrücke (SR 375CD, 2013), these form an enticing sonic narrative, each part revealing more about the whole [of Vogel's work]. The Assistenz, then, is many things: a personal document, a tribute to Copenhagen where it was recorded - but also the final piece in this bigger puzzle. While you will certainly hear some of the most fundamental and enduring vectors of underground music - dub, electro, acid, funk - flowing through the tracks, even those things are rebuilt from the molecular level, created completely afresh with new, precise, but somewhat skewed vision. His sound synthesis - increasingly done via the Kyma programming platform - is more and more able to reach beyond the 'synthetic' and impact in uncanny and wonderful ways. The most obvious sense of this is the way his sounds touch on the human voice: not just in the chattering, shimmering, singing tones of The Assistenz's ghostly centerpiece 'Barefoot Agnete', in the alien radio signals of 'The Merman's Dream' or even in the subliminal 'aaahs' hiding in the background of the noisy 'Vessels', but in the way any sound, anywhere in any track can sound peculiarly vocal, heard from the right angle. And it's not just the boundary between human and non-human, or that between acoustic and synthetic, that get blurred to the point of non-existence. In the voluptuousness of 'Hold' or the body-rocking funk of 'Cubic Haze' all the abstraction is grounded in sheer pleasure of bodily responses to the sound. Over some 25 years, Cristian's experiments have traced much of this weirdness and evolved with it, and his understanding of synthesis and algorithmic processes to create structure makes him one of the most important composers working today. The Assistenz expresses those relationships in ways that are beautiful, troubling, moving and scary, and which even make you want to dance." -- Joe Muggs, June 2016.