Der Zyklus ‎– Renormalon

3 out of 5

Label: WeMe Records

Produced by: Elena Sizova, Heinrich Mueller, Olga Karelkina (technicians)

Sound experiments, and then a beat.

I haven’t really “gotten” Gerald Donald’s various experimental projects as Dopplereffekt and now, Der Zyklus, though in this case, it seems I’ve yet to hear the more major release from this pseudonym – Biometry – and my finding of ‘Renormalon’ as fairly underwhelming isn’t out of line with other reviews.

The album’s title apparently deals with quantum theory, and other tracks follow suit or suggest looking at things from differing angles (e.g. “Diffeomorphism”). This is cool, in theory, and there are some fascinating soundscapes here, such as the claustrophobic pings of “Interference Pattern,” or the haunting echo chamber of closer “Optical Distortion,” but as with the Dopplereffekt album linked above, I don’t get enough of a sense of story to make it worth digging in to beyond cursory listens. That there’s one jam with a pretty slick beat – the aforementioned Diffeomorphism – is almost like a tease in that sense; like we should be hearing justifications for its sudden emergence from the ambience but after several passes, I’m not convinced such a justification is there.

Donald (and his collaborators) have conceptually fascinating ideas they’ve pursued with their music, and “Renormalon” isn’t strictly background noise – there are bits and pieces that stick out, and one sudden banger that’s worth several damns – but it also doesn’t take steps to connect these concepts for their listener, and it’s a bit too fleeting feeling to make it wholly worth the effort to do so on my own.