If there was ever an artist more capable of interpreting dreams into music and sound, it would be FM Einheit, a man whose legacy in the realms of experimental and avant-garde sound design is unquestionable. Originally released as a triple-vinyl set in 2017, Exhibition of a Dream presents Einheit’s renditions of 12 dreams commissioned as part of Mathieu Copeland’s “L’exposition D’un Rêve,” the disaffected narrations by the numerous “dreamers” providing a poetic and lyrical framework upon which Einheit’s collages of organic and synthesized ambience and noise play as soundtrack in an almost cinematic fashion.
Each track fluctuates through various sections connected via tableaus of found objects and manipulated samples, the individual movements offering a diverse range of musicality and atmosphere. For instance, the opening “Memory” with independent Thai filmmaker Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s husky and deeply accented voice atop a rather swinging jazz cadence evokes the French new wave of the ‘60s, while the tonal phrases of “Dark Dream” alternate between dark and lush to noisy and virulent before a lounge rhythm enters reminiscent of a David Lynch fever dream. David Link’s whimsical erotic flair amid the bouncy and stuttering electronics of “Death Progression” puts this writer in mind of author J.G. Ballard, but the near 16-minute epic of “Creation Re/Created” with the late Genesis Breyer P-Orridge is likely to tug at the heartstrings of many an industrial music fan, simply to hear that incomparable voice regaling us with a transgressive and transformative tale, as radiant as ever. Even on tracks devoid of narration of monolog, the suggestion of a voice to guide us through these miasmal reveries persists, as on the distant sounds of children playing on “FFW,” or in the groans and bellows – oddly reminiscent of those employed by Trent Reznor in “Eraser” – that underscore “Un Sognio Tessuto in Tapeto” and “Du Supion,” the former moving through three disparate sections of almost funky rhythmic frenzy, the latter evoking an ominous nighttime drive with oscillations of major and minor thirds to create atonal dissonance, Émilie Pitoiset’s French reading adding to the track’s subliminal beauty.
In the hands of most other musicians, this would seem to invite a certain level of pretentiousness and grandiosity; however, given Einheit’s extensive resume and skillset, Exhibition of a Dream comes across as an earnest and even joyful collection. His renowned ability to cull music from stones, springs, coils, and whatever other objects he has at his disposal is aided by collaborators like flutist/bassist Susan Stegner, bassist Volker Kamp, guitarist Robert Poss, and drummer Saskia von Klitzing, and there is a real sense that everyone involved enjoyed the process; this writer had mentioned a jazz element in some tracks, and this album does feel like a series of freeform improvisations… what could be more appropriate for an album of dreams?
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Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian (Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation)
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Ilker Yücel (Ilker81x)