Faitiche • 2023

Making the move from design to sound design is no big leap, not even phonetically, thought Andrew Black, who presents his debut »Ultra-Materials« under the alias blackbody_radiation. The album features six minimalist, sensitive drones, ranging from experiments in room acoustics (»Particle Float«), via meditative passages that sound almost like binaural beats, to more unsettling soundscapes that could fit right into a David Lynch film (»Soft Fascination«). Somewhere between ghostly and spooky, these tracks are based on manipulated field recordings for which Black often uses sound masking, the addition of artificial frequencies to make unwanted sounds on the original recordings inaudible or mask them. The intriguing results, not unlike the output from Oneohprix Point Never, challenge our listening habits enormously and explore the basic biological possibilities of the human ear to its limits (and probably beyond – everything else can no longer be perceived acoustically…). The fundamental philosophical questions of: »Is this music at all? And what exactly is music?« is something everyone has to answer for themselves.