RLW “Contours imaginaires” 10” (2007)

record coverBeginning with “Ombre d’erosion” on the A side, we find a shimmering and pulsing drone etched onto the grooves of this translucent slab of yellow.  It is appropriate enough given the label, although it is an area that Ralf Wehowsky is less known for having carved a reputation for extreme dynamics.  The B side shifts to a more manipulated and twisted sound which points to the fact that the entire record is “built from a few seconds of piano and vocals.”  The rest is imagination and from the abstractions appearing here, it would seem that imagination and creative manipulation have more to do with the final result than the specific sources – I feel that RLW could take a few seconds of just about anything and build it into a complete work.  That said, the first of the B side’s tracks, “Cellule imaginaire”, does offer hints of the original vocal material, although it is twisted into a backwards chorus.  The second piece on this side is “Erosion de l’imaginaire” which evokes the shadow world in between short wave radio station where fragments of voices and electronic signals drift together in sideband modulation.  The first side offers something to sink into; the second churns with uneasy yet subdued tension.  Unfortunately the cover artwork by Oliver Jakobi doesn’t do much for me, but I suspect that the unidentifiable images are likely to be digital distortions mirroring the processes of the music.

Drone Records – SUB-05