Music is communication—a jumbled, ecstatic and often tangible conversation between our own experiences and the amalgamate influences of any given musician. These connections are often aided by associative lyrics or intimate experiential narratives, although sometimes those are cast aside in favor of something more instrumental and more deeply affecting than any lyric could convey. The latest release from Brooklyn-based electronic alchemist Roy Werner (aka G.S. Sultan) develops this idea of abstract noise as a communicative medium. Taking the cacophony and formlessness of his past work and fashioning a new and utterly compelling series of discordant electronic rhythms, Werner displays an uncanny ability to evoke emotion and sensation from what is ostensibly a completely artificial aesthetic.
Reduncancy Suite positions his blips, bloops and energetic bouts of static-filled impressionism as the next logical step in our collective musical evolution. He’s gone past any expectations about how inclusive and disturbing these kind of circuital compositions really are. Without a sure and concise guiding hand, this sort of fragmented electronic conflagration of atonal disciplines would feel empty and aimless—thankfully, however, Werner has the implausible ability of making even the most inhuman noise sound almost human. Buried beneath all the squiggling feedback and arrhythmic melodies, there lies a heart, a mechanical and bloodless heart to be sure, but one that still evinces an unexpected warmth and humanity.
He quickly drops us into the deep end with “Wagner Canvas,” a bustling concoction of bobbing cables, wires and analog/digital frustration. By imbuing the track with a sort of organic deconstruction, we’re able to see both the origins and future of his futurist electronic sound. But rather than pull back on subsequent tracks, he draws us in further, adding layers of half-formed rhythms and tonal dispersions as each minute ticks by. What starts off as a fascinating journey into one man’s electronically-inclined headspace soon becomes a collection of daunting and curiously personal revelations told through a particularly expressive sequence of explorative bylines drawn from Werner’s personal history with these sounds.
From the scorched earth tonality of “Prepared Syntac” to the euphoric transmissions of album closer, “Crepuscule M,” Werner carefully and methodically pulls apart his own influences, vigilantly rearranging them in ordered lines before pouring gasoline over everything and lighting it on fire. Reduncancy Suite is more than just a succession of sounds that owe their livelihood to the technological advances made over the past five decades. It’s a shapeless creature, born from a formless creativity that stalks the shadows of a neon cityscape, keeping to the periphery and biding its time before lashing out in weaves of disjointed patterns and oddly emotional bursts of consequence and human sentiment.
"Werner digs deep into his artificial aesthetic, where ideas of physical space and shape are confounded. Machines perform organic activities, bubbling, hissing, sputtering, increasingly fluid and natural, pixels getting smaller and smaller, closer to the fundamental units of life they are based on."
released September 2, 2016
Recorded by Roy Werner
2016 Brooklyn via MAX/MSP
Mastered by Sean McCann
Art by Birch Cooper