Published Sep 14, 2018Dick Raaijmakers (1930-2013) was considered a pioneer of Dutch electronic music, working at the Philips NatLab in the late 1950s and co-founding the forward-thinking STEIM centre (from which came clever instruments such as the Crackle Box) in the late 1960s. Although he's primarily based in Berlin, musician and installation artist Thomas Ankersmit hails from the Netherlands, and Raaijmakers was and is a huge influence on his work with electronics.
Homage to Dick Raaijmakers recontextualizes the legendary composer's works from the '60s, his books and writings on sound composition, and notes about his own music. Like Raaijmakers, Ankersmit exclusively employs analog devices, and for this single, 34-minute-long track, he wields feedback from a Serge modular synth, sound and voltage generators, contact microphones and tape speed.
Ankersmit creatively abuses his electronic instruments, often subjecting them to magnetic fields or the physical act of dragging contact microphones across their surfaces. These overtly destructive methods produce alluring results, with thunderous storms, brazen crashes and other jarring, obscure sounds emanating from his equipment.
Interesting too are the "holophonic" sound fields produced by Ankersmit's tones; the listener's inner ears actively generate additional sounds that aren't part of the original signal. In this manner, Homage to Dick Raaijmakers is unique to each person partaking of its roiling sea of tonality. This individualized approach renders the composition that much more fascinating for electronic music devotees. (Shelter Press)