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act 251 · mika goedrijk · looking-glass world · cd

tracklist:
01. vanilla flavoured thorazine
02. broken toys on a hill
03. dead air
04. at the 11th hour
05. white sand semantics
06. quiet plan
07. thistledown
08. lost decade
09. dangling from rooftops
10. draussen im grünen
11. rusty swiss army knife
12. le grand mal

"7. the isaacson foundation. is it so terrible not to keep the matter in my heart, to get the matter out of my heart, to empty my heart of this matter? what is the matter with my heart?"
the book of daniel - e.l. doctorow, september 1972

there is no link to the work of lewis carroll even though the album title may suggest it. so don't go there...

i took a long look in the mirror and decided not to talk about the past or future, but about the present. they are all intertwined anyway, so making an artificial distinction between them is a useless act. the post-modernists' "tricks of the trade", if you will, of intertextuality and author's intervention (typical of doctorow's style of writing in the book of daniel) were used in this recording. but i let the mirror image do the "intruding" and be an "intertextual" factor. afterall i wasn't writing a book like doctorow did. i did not always agree, but i thought it was time that "it" had its voice, so i did not waste any time on pointless arguing with myself. instead i reasserted my disagreement with derrida's "end of the great stories". every story needs to be told and the listener decides for him/herself whether the story is great one or not. there are no guidelines or rules in this process - no matter how hard scholars try to convince you that there are. whether this recording is "understandable", "recognizable" or "transparent" to the listener is not my concern. it is what it is: me and my mirror-image - nothing more, nothing less. enjoy.
mika goedrijk. march 2010

one year after pellicules, mika goedrijk presents the next aural view of his inner self with looking-glass world. musically, the self conceptional shift into the world of ambient idm sounds is evident.

well placed patterns enriched with mellow guitar slides (dead air), melancholic piano lines (at the 11th hour), a distinctive (nearly) aphex-twin synth (white sand semantics), archaic trumpet calls (lost decade), pounding breakbeats with pulsing sub bass (rusty swiss army knife, le grand mal), make this release a fascinating blend of contemporary electronic tones.

looking-glass world is an album of otherworldly ambience entwined with a blend of acoustic sounds and sheets of sequenced patterns. a highly aesthetic sonic universe, where moods and mastery melt into warm, repetitive arrangements. have a look into the looking-glass world.

discography 06.2k10:
looking-glass world. cd. ant-zen act251. 2010
pellicules. cd. ant-zen act221. 2009

mika goedrijk official page:
www.myspace.com/mikagoedrijk

reviews:

chroniques electroniques
en fidèle de la maison allemande ant-zen, mika goedrijk revient seulement un an après son très bon pellicules, déjà sorti sur le label à la fourmi. certains le connaissent aussi suite à son projet this morn'omina, réalisé en compagnie d'un autre belge : empusae (nicolas van meirhaeghe). le titre de ce nouvel opus ne souligne pas de référence à l'univers de lewis caroll, mais pourtant, goedrijk tire bien les ficelles derrière le rideau. le belge n'a s×rement pas pu résister plus longtemps à ce que son reflet lui renvoyait dans le miroir. cet album ne ressemblera donc à rien, à part à lui même. on attendait depuis plus de six mois un album d'idm touché par la grâce qui allait mettre tout le monde d'accord en cette année déjà bien fournie en bons disques du genre. le flamand nous entraîne dans un univers aussi inquiétant que magique, où les synthés et les textures amples contrastent avec l'infection rythmique. les lignes de basses s'enfoncent quant à elles jusqu'aux tréfonds de l'âme. en parallèle aux sursauts rythmiques plein de glitch, apparaissent parfois des instruments bien naturels. comme l'agonie de cette guitare désarticulée sur le magistral dead air, ou une trompette qui fit probablement en son temps chuter les murs de jericho sur l'exceptionnel lost decade. tout comme les britanniques d'autechre, goedrijk a probablement été inspiré par cabaret voltaire. c'est pourtant, il me semble, des synthés chers à aphex twin qu'il utilise sur at the 11th hour et white sand semantics. malgré ces nobles références plus que probables, il semble que mika goedrijk ne s'embarrasse pas de ce genre de compara sons en se creusant une voie propre. l'extrême qualité de chaque morceau efface allégrement le manque de liant qui les entoure. tout cela a même l'air pensé. c'est ce qui frappe le plus à l'écoute de looking glass world, le fait que rien ne soit placé au hasard. loin d'une idm d'autiste ou de l'indus trop martial et frénétique, le belge fournit ici un album déconcertant de subtilité sur lequel il est difficile d'écrire. citons le plus ambient quiet plan, les mi-inquiétants mi-majestueux draussen im grünen et broken toys on a hill ou le divinement parasité et terrifiant le grand mal de clôture au rayon des réussites absolues. cette année, il y aura un avant et un après looking glass world en matière de compositions idm et industrielles avant-gardistes. celui qu'on ne pouvait pas non plus jusqu'alors qualifier d'apprenti devient avec cet opus magistral une référence absolue du genre. plus que jamais, on regrette que des vétérans comme les anciennes vaches sacrées ayant officié chez warp soient autant d'arbres qui cachent une forêt luxuriante et ténébreuse où mika goedrijk tient toute sa place. (ed loxapac)

dside
non ci crederete ma al signor mg il fatto che il suo album vi piaccia o meno non importa. tantomeno per egli conta che l'intricato concept di "looking..." sia capito dall'ascoltatore: l'autocompiacimento per aver dato corpo ad un opera dal nucleo così complicato supera di fatto ogni altra aspettativa nella personale scala di valutazione del solo-project belga. ed ecco quindi un'ennesima relase traboccante di erudita sperimentazione elettronica di casa ant zen in questo episodio ispirato a brani e pensieri tratti da "the book of daniel" vergato dallo scrittore statuntense e.l. doctorow confrontati con le formulazioni espresse dall'autore britannico dell'800 lewis carrol. come in un serrato dialogo speculare tra i suddetti personaggi e mg, si riflettono musicalmente i sensi delle loro astruse elucubrazioni lasciando infine al listener ogni possibile libertà intepretativa di tali finezze psichiche. più concretamente, l'album consta di dodici tracce strumentali di matrice nettamente idm, intersecate da chiaroscuri acoustic-ambient che evidenziano la notevole vena estetica di numerose realizzazioni ant zen: primo passaggio "vanilla flavoured thorazine", traccia scattante, dal meccanico congegno percussivo che seziona il tempo miscelandosi ad un ripetitivo background di loops e synthetismi, seguita da "broken toys on a hill" e le sue pacate effervescenze elettroniche percosse da una calibrata ritmica down-tempo. giungiamo alla sofisticata morbidezza di "dead air", espressione tecnologica da laboratorio sonico basata su complcate efflorescenze electro-percussive e psychedelici frames di chitarra, analogamente alla successiva "at the 11th hour", rivestita di algida classe idm e circolarità pianistica. il synth di aphex twin supporta l'articolata "white sand semantics" e le sue seduttive ed asciutte costruzioni percussive, mentre "quiet plan" fa assaporare gelide emissioni di laptop in aggiunta a precise geometrie ritmiche. il confronto speculare continua con l'avvenente "thisledown", dalle pulsanti bass-lines che elabrano il ritmo e le conseguenti bpm con nevrastenica secchezza, ed in seguito con la torbida "lost decade", tessuta su partiture ritmiche mid-tempo, essenziali tracciati di prog ed elegantissimi interventi di tromba. "dangling from rooftops" propone distorte e ripetitive rifrazioni di e-sound mescolate ad uno spinoso reticolato percussivo, così come "draussen im grünen" propaga artificiali spiralizzazioni di suono che circondano l'attenuato drumming. da "rusty swiss army knife" fuoriescono calcolate elaborazioni di breakbeats, identicamente alla finale "le grand mal" magnificata da un colto espressionismo elettronico concepito su labirintiche trame di batteria, sospensioni tastieristiche, torsioni soniche ed energiche riprese ritmico-sequenziali. un album dalla spicata vena estetica ed appartenente ad un particolare metodo d'ascolto, quello che richiede disciplinata apertura alla sperimentazione, duttilità verso soluzioni anti-melodiche e passione per la non convenzionalità. tuttavia, come descritto in apertura, che siate partecipi o meno del serrato dialogo tra specchi racchiuso in "looking..." a mg non importa. se questo lavoro non fosse così interessante avrei suggerito ai lettori di voltare pagina. il cerebrale e l'astratto si fondono ispirandosi a macchinose accezioni che tradotte in suono significano ricercatezza, grande conoscenza delle simmetrie idm e dell'elettronica alternativa. informale e schivo.

connexion bizarre
more widely recognized for the material he has produced under the guise of this morn' omina and pow[d]er pussy, mika goedrijk nonetheless ventured away from collaborative efforts in early 2009 to release "pellicules", an album of solo work developed through revisiting previously abandoned or shelved ideas and sounds. a year later, "looking-glass world" is its successor, and follows similar themes. while the new album still focuses on patterns of ambient sounds, it diverges from its more industrial-oriented predecessor by placing greater emphasis on electro and idm motifs. it is especially the more ambient, clicks-and-cuts side of idm that goedrijk explores here, and that is just what makes "looking-glass world" so fascinating. setting off the album with punching tribal beats and electro glitch, "vanilla flavoured thorazine" might give the wrong impression of what to expect, as things immediately slow to a spacious and subdued simmer through the next few tracks. muted clicks and percussion converge with supporting micro-sounds and patient beats, elements entering gradually and compounding to build both movement and energy into the empty spaces goedrijk has defined. the melancholy guitar slides on "dead air" are exceptional when combined with rich bass modulations, and the swirly techno synths that appear in "at the 11th hour" underscore the different influences at play here. "lost decade" even features a jazz trumpet pealing in the background, while the slow breaks and tropical feel form a sort of deconstructed jungle, both literally and figuratively. when beat structures are permitted to gain ascendancy, as they are later in the album, the results are downright contagious. "thistledown" blossoms from clinical small sounds and a slightly dirty rhythm loop into an uplifting nu skool breaks number. tribal inflections and twisted acid lines boom on "dangling from rooftops", while hypnotic "draussen im grünen" moves with the willfulness only such an atmospheric breakbeat churner can arouse. it is this ambient-versus-kinetic dynamic that proves to be goedrijk's most successful accomplishment with "looking-glass world". although at times glitchy and subversive, the soft repetitions and circular motions that form the core of this release, whether via acoustic percussion or relaxed synth tones, give it a unique, introspective flavor. its patterns, although superficially balanced and tranquil, seem to reflect a darker journey into the mechanisms and responses that drive psychosis. coming full circle, "le grand mal" finishes the album approximately where it started, but this time with an intensification of noise and chaos, disorienting and uncontrolled, as the thorazine wears off and a fleetingly muffled reality becomes unhinged and very much present once more. (dutton hauhart)

gothtronic
on this second solo album of mika goedrijk (this morn omina, powder pussy) a further development towards ambient-idm has taken place. delicate textures and atmospheric guitar parts are combined with piano sounds and aphex twin alike synthesizer textures. you also get to hear quite a lot breakbeats on this album which gives the impression of a sort of reinterpretation of the popular artcore genre in the end of the 90's. looking-glass world is a beautiful combination of sequences, electronic and acoustic sounds in a creative and esthetic sound scaping where moods melt into warm, repeating arrangements. unfortunately not as brilliant as his solo debut but still a decent album. (teknoir)

der medienkonverter
mika goedrijk muss anscheinend einiges raus lassen. gerademal etwas mehr als ein jahr nach seinem ersten soloalbum "pellicules" erscheint mit "looking-glass world" schon die nächste musikalische selbstreflexion des belgiers. auch bei seinem neuen album handelt es sich nicht um eine abkehr von this morn' omina, sondern um einen selbstgerichteten blick in das innere des gründers dieser formation. daher verbietet sich jedwede interpretation der intention von mika goedrijk, zumal er selbst auch dem album nicht die bürde auferlegt, richtig verstanden zu werden. für ihn stellt "looking-glass world" schlicht sein eigenes ich und sein spiegelbild dar. na gut, glauben wir ihm das und beschäftigen uns nur mit der musik. auf dem album spielt mika goedrijk mit vielen facetten seiner musik, was "looking-glass world" sehr vielseitig macht. der erste song "vanilla flavoured thorazine" ist rhythmusorientierter idm, der einige querverweise auf die this morn' omina enthält. die gitarre in "dead air" kommt dann auch dementsprechend überraschend zum einsatz, auch wenn der beat schön trocken darüber liegt. das gesamte album bietet atmosphärischen idm, mit einigen ambient -anlehnungen. der rhythmus steht jedoch überall im vordergrund, wenn auch mit unterschiedlich starker präsenz. die chill-out-stimmung von "draussen im grünen" passt hervorragend zum titel, der minimalismus und die ruhe von "quiet plan" auch. es ist deutlich zu erkennen, dass mika goedrijk sich an vielen spielarten des idm versucht, verschiedene rhythmen und synthies ausprobiert und somit seinem experimentiertrieb freien lauf lässt. mika goedrijk offenbar seinen inneren ruhepol gefunden, was an der positiven grundausrichtung seines selbst reflektierenden albums zu erkennen ist. manchmal hätte er seine experimentierfreude ruhig noch mehr auf die spitze treiben können, aber für so kopfnicker-songs wie "rusty swiss army knife" sind wir allemal dankbar. sein allseits bekanntes rhythmusgefühl stellt er auch auf "looking-glass world" unter beweis. und eins ist sicher: das nächste album von mika goedrijk wird nicht lang auf sich warten lassen. sei es solo oder mit einem seiner zahlreichen projekte.

enochian apocalypse
this second full-length release from mika goedrijk is a personal journey, an inner representation of his mirror image and how it is presented within the world we live in. probably mika is telling a little more about himself than many would care to note with track titles such as opener 'vanilla flavoured thorazine'; however who cares when its as good as this; precise electronics and upbeat rhythms get this baby flowing, its in your face and rises to climatic barrage of madness and that was an immediate win for me. by track two there are immediate influences coming through...notably 'aphex twin', in fact its blatant. yet again though this is professionally displayed and when its done well you tend not to care who he obviously listens to at home, if nothing else it's a compliment. this is pure idm, there's no other way of putting it; clean and precise beats folding with schizophrenic electronics and glitches, harmonic pads and voices cut and pasted with flashes of lunacy. for such a frenetic start the rest of the album is a somewhat laid back affair, and if i have to criticise anything i just wish it had picked up its pace a little more along the way apart from the odd flash such as the fantastic 'thistledown'; of course this is a small personal gripe and nothing more as it does end with some energy. 'looking glass world' is an excellent second album and more than stands up to its peers. (tony young)

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