Keith Fullerton Whitman, Multiples

Drew Daniel (Matmos)

By Drew Daniel (Matmos)

on 04.22.11 in Reviews
Cubist meditations on guitars, pianos and Serge modular synths

Here's one recent record that I can't resist including; I've got a strong hunch that it's a modern electronic classic. As titles like "Stereo Music for Hi Hat" suggest, each song on Multiples restricts its palette to the sounds generated by a particular object, with Whitman dialing in microscopically focused Cubist meditations on guitars, pianos and Serge modular synths. It's a record that feels like a love letter to musique concréte, 20th-century academic studio cut-ups and long-limbed minimalism, but it also boasts some funky corners (the Farfisa organ track), and, in "Stereo Music for Yamaha Disklavier Prototype, Electric Guitar and Computer," Whitman scores an unexpectedly weepy, heart-tugging epic by building tiny patterns into a triumphant vindication of the pathos of experimental technique. It's nice to be able to end this list with a great record made in such a "traditional" manner that manages to re-assert the defamiliarizing power of electronic music circa 2006.