Arovane – Sinter (Laaps, 2023)

I had a conversation yesterday with my therapist about stress, or rather in my case the anxiety of imminent stress. I’ve always thought that stress was the result of pressure, number of tasks*deadlines if you will, and that it’s something that just sort of happens to us. But he framed stress in a way that I’d not thought of before by saying that fundamentally stress is a feeling we control: although I disagreed out of hand, I eventually came around.

Stress, at least that level of stress that stresses us out, is really set by parameters we define, the sense of personal failure in incompleteness and the urgency of a looming deadline unachieved. Some people see and experience these things and remain unfazed in the face of pressure and perhaps of missed targets, while others are tortured by its weight, an expectation that they themselves have made upon themselves and the situation.

I find it interesting how pressure defines in these different ways, in making or breaking: sintering for example is a process of compaction, fusing objects into a new solid mass, creation borne from that which would crush anything else. It’s not that Arovane’s SinterĀ is a particularly stressful experience, but its reductive atmospheres and stark electronics do speak to a particular sort of creation.

Many of the smaller pieces here, “Lithh”, “Decay”, “Gitter”, “Skaal”, all have a kind of wandering, occasionally blistered, brevity about them, these moments of opportunity squeezed into too small a space. Like longings for lightness caught in that strained webbing of weekday evenings or weekend days, they exist in a struggling sort of way in what’s left to them. Passions forced reluctantly and recalcitrantly into the margins to make way for some abstracted sense of emotional compaction elsewhere.

The coolness of much of the record’s first third changes once seminal “Sinter” comes round in its gauzy librations, gently crinkling rhythmic cyclings orbiting some compressed point of new found hope. This is made further apparent in particular with the penultimate endless beauty of revolving “Wendung”, meaning “turn“. Serene loops disappear off into a glowing future, slipping into woozy synth distortions as its edges dissolve and soften out of the toughened mould it had been forced into up til that point.

Arovane continues to explore these compelling Electronic soundscapes in such a delicate and interesting way that it’s hard to ignore. There’s a certain, to my mind at least, pointedness to his creations that speaks to very deliberate intent and meaning designed for the patient and careful listener. Well, I’m here Uwe, and I’m listening, and I’m learning to reform under pressure now, and no longer break.