Music Review | posted 08.09.2021
Arpanet
Inertial Frame
Record Makers, 2021
Text Kristoffer Cornils
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7.7
Editorial
Cover Arpanet - Inertial Frame

The future lies a long time in the past. Gerald Donald first prophesied it and now has to find his way in it, while the various executors of Drexciya are fighting over who is entitled to interpret a myth that came to an abrupt end with the death of his colleague James Stinson 19 years ago. Under various pseudonyms and in various collaborations, Donald himself remains active and tries to predict the next big movement in man-machine dialectics. At times, however, this doesn’t sound really convincing, which is why reissues of clairvoyant albums are probably most in demand. »Inertial Frame« was the third and final album of his interim project Arpanet, which has been rather step-motherly over the past decade and a half, aside from a series of live gigs and two releases in 2018. The classic Rimbaud strategy: if (almost) nothing more is said, that would finally say it all. But the reissues and thus his past continue to catch up with Donald and thus also a new edition of the LP first released in 2006. Compared to Donald’s Dopplereffekt project, Arpanet was not so much the culmination of his musical visions, but rather a sometimes very literal negotiation of technological visions. Which also means that the Kraftwerk-inspired beats and synth lines often move into the background in order to put vocals in the foreground. Sometimes they sing with a fragile voice, but mostly they explain it overlaid with vocoder effects. What still sounds absolutely visionary on the Arpanet debut »Wireless Internet«, however, has already lost some of its persuasive power on »Inertial Frame«, which is mainly concerned with time travel and sci-fi tropes – also because the pieces, produced to a high gloss, do not dare to make the striking voltes that Donald is capable of in his best moments.

Please find “»Inertial Frame« by Arpanet”https://www.hhv.de/shop/de/artikel/arpanet-inertial-frame-822816 in the webshop of HHV Records: Vinyl 2LP
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