The brisk, efficient minimalism of Thomas Brinkmann reaches an elegant sustain on “Agent Orange,” a track off the forthcoming What You Hear (Is What You Hear), dedicated to the late Zbigniew Karkowski and due out on May 25. (There’s an extra “w” on the Mego site. Maybe that’s a transliteration thing, or just a spelling error?) The track is a slowly driving assemblage of dense, singular sound, like a mass of brutalist concrete read from the distance as a graphic score, like bug noise reiterated by drastic machinery, like a single helicopter blade inspected in an anechoic chamber. The result is fortifying, the sheer singular motif a marvel of industrial nuance.
Track originally posted at soundcloud.com/editionsmego, the account of the Editions Mego label. More on the record at editionsmego.com. Here, by the way, is my 2000 interview with Karkowski, who died in 2013: “Sounding Floor.”