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Monolake-Ahern Termulator X MP3 (Belgrade 2008)

Over at monolake.de/downloads, Robert Henke continues his free-download series — updating it regularly, despite his numerous distractions, such as touring minimal-techno clubs, creating sound-art installations, and serving as part of the Ableton Live audio-software development team.

The latest MP3 is a half-hour live performance (Dis-Patch Festival in Belgrade, Serbia, October 18, 2008) under the moniker Termulator X, the name a computer-music pun on the old Public Enemy DJ. Termulator X teams Henke (better known as Monolake) with Jay Ahern. Once upon a time, a duo performance might mean something with chamber-music efficiency, like piano and cello, but in these multitasking times, the two perform on a veritable symphony’s worth of equipment: Ahern (Roland TR 808 Rhythm Composer, Roland TB 303 Bass Line, MIDI Clock & Panic Button, Master Sync), Henke (Effects, Filters, Processing and Mixing, Monome / MAX Step Sequencer, Physical Modeling Feedback Horn Instrument, Software Synthesis Engine).

Despite the heavy tech, the track is a rarefied treat, built on terse, pneumatic percussion and laced with light, tremulous synth pulses. Even as it builds over time — and build it does, from dessicated chatter to a rampage of electrons — it retains an arid, stripped-bare core (MP3). One note of relative caution. The track was compressed at a generous 320kbps, making the file over 70mb.

The performance was previously broadcast last month as part of Mary Anne Hobbs’s BB1 show (bbc.co.uk/radio1, maryannehobbs.blogspot.com).

By Marc Weidenbaum

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