3 out of 5
Label: WeMe Records
Produced by: Aina, Heinrich Mueller
Forty minutes of drone and ambience, perhaps the most minimal (that I’ve heard) of Gerald Donald’s various science-influenced experiments, here working (as Heinrich Muller) with another artist named Aina.
These genres are generally not my cuppa, but I did find this to be mostly interesting, if, perhaps, better suited to a digital format and headphones; it’s telling that the bandcamp page lists this all as one track, and the music’s subtleties – and when it gives way to some relative eccentricities – I think work better via a more clinical, “cleaner” recording than the vinyl offers, and especially when you don’t have to get up to flip sides.
That said, the record is split into untitled sections, and there is a noted change between each, generally moving from lazily pulsing electronics to clicks and chirps that, to my ear, sound like attempts at capturing various animal or nature noises. This would fit with the marketing blurb regarding the record, which states that Transforma “focuses on a unification between the natural world and the artificial space of electronic music.” The entirety of the composition dives into long, nigh-silences, then brief ‘natural world’ moments. On the B- and C-sides, this tends to be backed up by a further retreat into slightly louder – but still entirely passive – electronica, then coalescing into a 7-minute track on the D-side when things comparatively come alive.
It’s not quite active or layered enough to be a grabbing listen, and, as mentioned, I think that possibility is fractured further by the physical interaction with vinyl. But the concept does come across well enough, and the trickle from section to section brings in enough variation to make it worth a pass or two to see if it’s your cuppa.