Week in Pop: Fat Tony, Generifus, Tape Deck Mountain

Sjimon Gompers

Third Ward by Los Angeles artist/icon—Fat Tony; press photo courtesy of the artist.

Orson Hentschel

Insights from Orson Hentschel; press photo courtesy of the artist.

On the heels of last year’s Electric Stutter album, German artist Orson Hentschel presents a listen to the brand new Facades release available from the prestigious Denovali Records. Drawing inspiration from John Cage’s “Lecture on Nothing” from the 1961 book Silence, Hentschel shifts focus on the phonetic sounds of words spoken that are separated from the substance of the words themselves. Working with collaborator Danhee Joe, Orson’s German’s text are translated & spoken in Korean that are recited throughout the electro-ambiance of Facade that lend to a transcendent & ethereal effect.

The cycle begins with “Facade I” as Danhee leads the listener outward to the streaming brooks & pastures of Orson’s electronic green world of wonders. Illustrious synths & effects slowly collect into the audio scope as the rhythms begin to pick up the droning track’s tempo. Things grow more intense past the four minute mark, as Facade proves to be more than just a superficial artifice of electronic experimentation. The following movement “Facade II” moves like something of a spiritual phantasm where the sense of traveling between worlds is felt through transcendent channels of sound. Danhee Joe keeps the course of the adventure on track, as Orson Hentschel heightens the stakes toward a maximum intensity where the natural world practically dissolves before your ears. This is an odyssey made for the best headphones in the house.

Orson Hentschel provided the following exclusive manifesto about the making of Facade:

When I’ve had the initial idea to work with text I wasn’t sure which topic could be interesting. After struggling about a week to find an answer, I came to the point where this frustrating situation pushed me to the thoughts to write about nothing. At first I didn’t take this sudden inspiration seriously, but then I’ve started with researches about nothingness. During the process I’ve found the book Silence (1961) from John Cage.

His text “Lecture on Nothing” was the key motivation to take my idea seriously. After I’ve finished the English edition of the text it seemed to be to simple and obvious. During that time I’ve more or less accidentally met Danhee Joe, a Korean. We’ve started to work on a Korean edition, which she read out for me. I’ve noticed that the Korean language has a very beautiful speech melody. So I’ve decided to record this edition.

So we’re talking about two processes—firstly the emptying of meaning of the words and secondly the coding with the Korean language—at least a coding for those who are not speaking the language. Because of that you can completely focus on the sound of the voice. This time my musical focus rather was taken on minimal, repetitive sound layers to give the voice more room.

Facade is available now via Denovali.

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