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Irradiance 15:55
Remembrance 07:21
Absorbance 09:17
Vigilance 11:41
Diligence 04:45
Remnants 02:21
Depressant 13:36


Philosopher of science Isabelle Stengers has studied the operations of states and their mobilization of technical practices to serve a presupposed general interest, which involves the production of rules and norms. Such rules and norms are blind to forms of knowledge that are denigrated as ‘local’ and ‘traditional’, and feature the correlative elimination of what does not conform and cannot be standardized – in other words, what is recalcitrant to objective evaluation. Anything that resists subsumption to technical rationality is seen as a threat to public order (Isabelle Stengers, In Catastrophic Times: Resisting the Coming Barbarism, pp.73-4).

The eight tracks on ‘Recalcitrance’ examine abstract topics that range from metaphysical speculation and psychological investigation to reflections on the process of creation itself. Taking a shared set of source sounds as their starting point, Matthijs Kouw and Gagi Petrovic invite listeners to defy what Stengers describes as technical rationality. Recalcitrant subjects ask new questions, allowing the currently dominant reductionist mindset obsessed with productivity to be unsettled by space for reflection and quiet contemplation.


“In Matthijs Kouw and Gagi Petrovic’s Recalcitrance, pensive sonic constructs are weaponised against cults of productivity and technical rationality. Kouw’s opening ‘Irradiance’ is particularly impressive, with murmurs and crackles that erode slowly like rocks through millennia. Later, expressions become more dynamic, but remain a sense of unhurried determination. Kouw makes an unidentified contraption sputter mechanical rhythms, evoking Iain Chambers’s ‘The Eccentric Press’. Petrovic modulates hisses and rumbles into a faint drone that briefly resembles something that Arca or Alessandro Cortini might consider before retreating into liminal spaces.” The Wire 450.


released April 16, 2021

Composed, performed, recorded, and produced by Matthijs Kouw (disc 1) and Gagi Petrovic (disc 2)
Cover art by Zeno van den Broek
Layout by Rutger Zuydervelt
Mastered by Jos Smolders at Earlabs


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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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