Rabelais, Akira: Eisoptrophobia 2LP
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Boomkat Editions presents a first vinyl edition of Akira Rabelais' sophomore album, Eisoptrophobia, a spellbinding, uniquely decayed rendering of solo piano pieces by Erik Satie and Bela Bartók. The 2001 release forms a poetic farewell to the 20th century and a bittersweet embrace of new technological possibility. It's required listening for lovers of The Caretaker's haunted ballroom elegies, Stephan Mathieu's electro-acoustic microphony, or indeed the original, classical pieces. First released in 2001 on CD by Ritornell, a sub-label of Mille Plateaux, Eisoptrophobia is an early iteration of Akira applying his Argeïphontes Lyre software to classical music, and opening a fascinating schism between the original object and his modern, subjective perspective in the process. This process would also generate rarified and haunting results on Akira's Spellewauerynsherde. The original piano recordings of Satie and Bartók pieces were made at Wave Equation Studios in Hollywood, California, and subsequently transformed with Argeïphontes Lyre, Adobe After Effects, SoundHack, Peak, and Pro Tools with beautifully elusive results. The recognizable melodies here ring out in myriad new ways, sometimes fractured and indented by patinas of crackle that echo the original contours, while, at other times, they're smudged into mind-bending obfuscation or spectral, timbral things. They have the uncanny capacity to resemble exhumed artifacts, dug up after decades of decay, and riddled with potently psychedelic mycelium ready to spore on the listener's mind. In its unique process and disjointed effect, Eisoptrophobia is arguably an album without precedent, and one that never ceases to yield anything less than a deeply reflective, perhaps even transformative experience with keener ears. Lacquer cut at Dubplates + Mastering, Berlin. Photography by Jacqueline Roberts, design by Michael Worthington. Gatefold jacket.