one faint deluded smile

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Buzzing, Humming

They've been making music since 2000 but I've only just heard Radian. I could be bláse and say that they're yet another German band doing the post-rock thing but that'd be too easy. They're definitely traversing the same area as Kreidler, To Rococo Rot and Tarwater who can sometimes make me jump around with joy but who can also fill me with an ennui so pervading that I dread putting on their latest creations.

Radian's "Juxtaposition" is so tame and polite that I want to reach out and slap them about the cheeks to wake them from their snoozefest. But then they come up with a track as good as "Rapid Eye Movement" that makes me want to keep listening. It starts up with a buzzing, droning, fuzzed up burr that cuts to some syncopated precise drum patterns and a two note bass (the ghost of Ganger survives). Some holding pattern electronic washes and zooms and then the buzz is back finally cut by a gloriously fake bent guitar note and lovely harmonics:

mp3: Radian - Rapid Eye Movement

Now, that repetitive drone is a very lovely sound indeed and is the only reason that synthesisers were created to my mind. Way back in the early 80s you could make sounds just like that. Check out some early recordings by SPK or Throbbing Gristle who seemed to patent it. Or you could buy yourself an Arp Odyssey and apply the ring modulator : but gently does it - too much of a good thing and you sound cliched. However, some poor chaps were stuck with cheaper Roland synths which still sounded lovely but which were designed as keyboards more than sound generators. Luckiliy, a buzz was still available:

mp3: Ya Ya Choral - God's Buzzsaw


  • great stuff. i love the internet. where the direct connection from germany to austria is via australia.

    By Blogger Alexander, at 6:12 am  

  • well, i really can't understand why i've never heard them before. they never seemed to be on the critical radar until a page in The Wire this month. although, i never peruse all those electronic music boards and so on - maybe i should.

    By Blogger Phil, at 7:50 am  

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