Arovane – Reihen (12k, 2021)

There’s something in the structure and/or formality of museums that calms and composes the viewer, gently funnelling you from one piece to the next whilst allowing each discrete item its own space, it’s own opportunity to be seen. The setting itself is mundane at best, a platform optimised for the flattery of its occupants with careful lighting and monochromatic walls, of which hide all manner of sensors and conditioners to preserve the selected exhibits.

Orderly and tasteful, they nevertheless sizzle with intellect and creative talent: over here a Delacroix, over there a Monet, before that a Bonheur. Wherever one looks there are the same precise repeating structures that so cleanly separate every quanta of art, yet fill the space each and together with every masterful piece.

Reihen, “rows”, evokes the precision of the gallery in the specificity of its electronic loops, whilst also matching the generative atmospherics of said halls in the spacious and delicate atmospheric textures Arovane summons.

Take penultimate “Allure” whose entire visage is built on a soft web of dilute textures, ringing synth tones tolling out into a lightly sparkling fizz of electronic suspensions. Each point radiating out like a brief ping of attractive SONAR, yet never encroaching too far into the collective setting. Earlier “Ephemen” is a slightly more filled version of the same, whose more developed but plodding loop rhythms disperse their metallic resonance quickly: seen, considered, passed over, and moved along.

We feel the cumulative effects taking hold though, mostly in the pieces that push us to a feeling off-axis. “Rekursiv” thrums in bent synths, strange alien tones that warp into view to diffuse into light arpeggiated loops and tingling ambience. Vibrant “Sunter” takes similar strides but more confidently, arcing drones trembling like electrical transformers and powerlines, recharging us with this crucial excess of creative energies.

We primarily feel the power of deep shifts lurching us in personal favourite “Sicht”, whose abrupt and cavernous noir tiltings see-saw in off-pitch trouble. We’ve found something uncomfortable, challenging, paradigm shifting, and it’s as though the whole world is spinning despite and in-spite of the curatorial mechanics around us.

Arovane’s microcosms of sound have the organised sound you’d expect from someone with his Ambient Techno and IDM background, and yet there’s a freedom of thought and feeling loose in the ambient sub-structure that seems to give this its life and humanity. They come in the moments of contemplative and immersive calm, and in those that threaten to disrupt the normal order: within that balance, we live for both.