Tehn, aka Brian Crabtree, released a new album just as the year was coming to an end, right on the Winter Solstice. Titled Gnostics, it’s a collection of varied electronically mediated pieces, ranging from syrupy drones (“Sleep”) to introspective beats (“The Second Circle”) to a dense, and seemingly unmolested, field recording (“Silence as Antimatter,” the album’s closing track).
There’s a looseness to the set, in part due to the different approaches all heard in one setting, and also within them, like how the slow chords of “Wide Awake” are interspersed with joyous shouts, as if people were playing frisbee right outside Crabtree’s recording studio and he’d left the window open. Similarly, “The Second Circle” breaks midway through for an unexpected burst of unexpected white noise.
In a brief liner note, Crabtree explains that Gnostics, the title taken from a book by French writer Jacques Lacarrière, is drawn from “a body of unfinished recordings.” Fortunately, there’s additional information in a dedicated discussion thread at the llllllll.co boards, maintained in coordination with monome.org, the musical technology company he founded with Kelli Cain.