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about

“A house that has been experienced is not an inert box. Inhabited space transcends geometrical space.” Gaston Bachelard, The Poetics of Space

For their first collaborative album, Isometry, Matthijs Kouw and Phil Maguire channel the architectural movement of structuralism into minimalist electronic music. They consider synthesised sound as a concrete form; how it fills or implies a physical location, whilst ruminating on their respective countries' traditions of modernist and structuralist architecture.

The four resulting pieces invite the listener to explore the fractal properties of large-scale structures, and to wander within apparent stases to discover ever so slight variations, movements, and developments. Deceivingly simple forms patiently build structures that shape the experience of temporality. A dwelling is created by repeated units that cluster, intertwine, and emerge into a space inviting inhabitation.

The cover image is a diagram of Herman Hertzberger's Centraal Beheer located in Apeldoorn (The Netherlands). Kouw and Maguire took the building as inspiration for their album, viewing it as a material manifestation of their pieces. As a result, very special thanks are due to Herman Hertzberger for his kind permission to use his illustrations, and to Richard Bryant for permission to use his photograph of the Centraal Beheer offices interior.

Reviews

"Imagine listening to a vacant building with all the machines on. There is no human interaction whatsoever, yet the air is tangible of change. Throughout these pieces, nothing stays the same." Vital Weekly 1315

"In her pioneering research, the late Maryanne Amacher conceived buildings as veritable instruments to be employed in symbiosis with the responsive interiority and auditory peculiarities of human beings evolved enough to be a component of unique processes. Unconsciously, Kouw and Maguire floated very close to that concept with Isometry, a work to be listed among the finest albums in the branch of murmuring minimalism. Individuals acquainted with Eliane Radigue’s L’Île Re​-​sonante, Mirror’s Front Row Centre and, in general, Stephan Mathieu’s most ineffable output will not be insensitive to the point of missing this masterpiece."
Massimo Ricci, Touching Extremes

credits

released December 11, 2021

All music by Phil Maguire & Matthijs Kouw
Layout by Rutger Zuydervelt
Mastered by Bruno Duplant
Illustrations by Herman Hertzberger
Photograph by Richard Bryant

license

all rights reserved

tags

about

Matthijs Kouw Netherlands

Experimental musician based in The Netherlands exploring the relationship between movement and stasis. Using analog synthesis, software, field recordings, and recordings of various objects, Matthijs combines long-form drone with elements from acousmatic music, noise, and microsound. ... more

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