voices of the dead


With Voices Of The Dead, Stefan Goldmann examines the fleeting base of all music in an electroacoustic setting. The album was Stefan Goldmann’s first systematic foray into thoroughly planned examinations of the technological and aesthetic implications of techno, distilled into new forms that don’t necessarily sound like techno anymore. Schooled in psychoacoustics and empirical research, his practice as a producer and musician made him doubt the validity of common “parametric” descriptions of music. Transcriptions of techno into traditional discrete notation with its divisions into pitch, rhythm, dynamics and timbre didn’t seem to represent any of the intertwined entities and continuous movements characteristic of electronic music.

Metaphorically inspired by working with audio restoration plug ins that separate “noise” from “intended” musical information, Voices Of The Dead removes any parametric system of organization. The tracks exhibit no tonal systems, metric patterns or stable timbres. Instead, linking and continuous qualities that usually only appear between distinct events are brought to the front. It is like listening to a negative image of what is traditionally considered to represent the fabric of music.

In the year of its release, Stefan Goldmann articulated his intentions as aiming at “impossible music”, by considering any stable formation of identifiable parametric organization to be linked to specific genres, individual styles or pieces. Thus, there must be a background from which such individual formations emerge. If all such systematic organization could be purged, this background could be made audible – aiming at sounding a de-individualized base of “all music”, not informed by a particular culture, time or location.

Which of course is not possible. The pieces which make up Voices Of The Dead need to employ specific synthesis and processes, residues of concrete sounds and so on. Associations pop up and can never be suppressed entirely. This symbolic struggle between identifiable stable elements and fleeting qualities are the “Voices Of The Dead”, the heritage of an endless line of ancestors brought forward through the centuries: through music, mitigating between the generic and the individual, oblivion and cultural memory.

Released as Macro M06 – 5×7″ vinyl box set and CD2 of Macro M07 The Transitory State.

Available from Bandcamp, Hardwax and Printed Matter.

From this album “Turret” previously appeared as the intro sequence of Richie Hawtin’s groundbreaking DE9 Transitions mix album and was also added to the IMEB Phonotèque collection at Bibliotèque Nationale de France. The release event at Berghain was the first Elektroakustischer Salon event and also featured Ricardo Villalobos, Mika Vaino and Ulrich Schnauss.