Robert Willim, who records as Selko, gathered a host of musicians to record music based on sounds recorded at a sugar refinery in Sweden. The results are being released later this month as IC1 – The Birth of Industrial Cool, which features tracks by Scanner, Tonne, Mikael Stavöstrand, Rechenzentrum, Pheek and many others. According to Willim, he initially posted a track of his own, titled “Pneumatik,” online as a model for his contributors, to give them a sense of what he was after. When the project was nearing completion, he decided to include a different Selko track on the album, and then posted “Pneumatik” for free for the general public.
As for what Willim means by “industrial cool,” he describes it in part as follows: “an attempt at accentuating the potential beauty of industrial settings, partly by sonic recycling of sounds from factory milieus. In this way electronic music has the potential to alter our perception of the traditional industry.”
The song “Pneumatik” provides a solid blueprint, with its titular percussion, that compact sibilant whoosh, and its danceable automaton rhythm, very taut and suggestive. It’s a great track (file here). And for those who construct musique concrete at home, Willim has posted 38 unedited sound files straight from the refinery itself, ranging in length from 2 seconds to 43 seconds, their utilitarian content hinted at with titles like “Transporter,” “Stitcher” and “Mechanical Breath.” There’s more information available on the Industrial Cool album at its promotional website, pleazure.org/ic1.