Keith Fullerton Whitman Multiples

Given access to vintage synths, oscillators and other instruments to play with during a stint at Harvard University, Multiples is the sound of Keith Fullerton Whitman enjoying himself. After a brief and retrospectively appropriate introduction by way of solo hi-hat, Whitman begins with a suite of quasi-theoretical pieces for Serge Modular Prototype. Using only this instrument, he plots out the resonance and standing/interference wave patterns, not unlike those produced by the drum cymbal. The turning point comes at this mid-point of the album where theory makes way to practice and sound gives way to music. The compositions Whitman creates on these vintage electronics, supplemented by guitar and computer, perhaps resemble early minimalist works by Terry Riley and Steve Reich. Simple tone sequences are layered and repeated then enriched with warmer dynamics. Another track has an electro-baroque tone reminiscent of Wendy/Walter Carlos’ classical synth experiments. The emergence of a multi-tracked acoustic guitar provides a surprising introduction to the last two tracks that move from pastoral pleasance, through technological nostalgia and into a modern tonal soundscape not unlike Whitman’s earlier Kranky release, Playthroughs. The album flow has the feel of thesis/experiment/proof which results in yet another advance in Whitman’s musical progress. (Kranky)