Arno Steinacher Loop MP3

Another fine example of a netlabel issuing a release that consists of a single track, Arno Steinacher‘s Aauuttooppooiieessiis is a half-hour study of contrasts. Its concentric loops of sound, sometimes pastoral and sometimes industrial, bring to mind the hypnotic chamber compositions of Terry Riley, or a more sonorous take on Philip Glass’s automated riffs (MP3). At the website of the releasing netlabel,, Steinacher explains in detail how the work was constructed. He says, in part:

It consists of several loops with two main origins: instruments and machines, which stand for organic versus anorganic matter. The instrumental parts were all produced with electric guitar, the machine parts were for some part recorded in a factory near Vienna in 1999. Some loops run in parallel in many copies, but each copy differs in tempo and starting point. No situation in this work is repeated, every rhythm that emerges is ephemeric and takes place just one time, although it may be very similar to its neighboured ones, before and after. This ephemeric patterns that just arise at some times in this piece were my focus during the composition process.

One of the surprising results for me was that self-recurrence of machine sounds caused a more organic situation than the guitar-loops, which merely seemed to transform their sonic quality.

The result is a piece of music that, as it moves from loop pairing to loop pairing, takes on a narrative quality. A coda of construction noise balances the surprise of its arrival with the mundaneness of the source material. The slow rise of a curlicue guitar line, a refrain familiar from earlier in the piece, brings with it the comfort of returning home.

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