Review: Jeroen Diepenmaat – LOK (self-released, Apr 9)

At some points during the 55 minute duration of LOK, it’s difficult to tell if it’s actually there at all. Dutch sound artist Jeroen Diepenmaat constructs a fragile balance between the active and the inactive, creating beautiful soundscapes using only tape and piano. Sometimes, like at the beginning of the C side, the piano takes the reins, with Diepenmaat’s tense phrasings presiding over dusty tape hiss; and other times, such as the latter section of the B side, it is the recordings that evolve the music. But in each case, one is eventually overcome by the other, always maintaining the delicate equilibrium of textures. The sound of clear, clean piano notes degrading into the gritty wooziness of a cassette recording is devastating in a way I can’t really describe – and it’s only one of the many unusual composition techniques of which Diepenmaat makes use to produce this sparse, lofty music.

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