Released on Mille Plateaux in 1995, Alec Empire’s Low On Ice (The Icelandic Sessions) is a unique monument of atmospheric poignancy and sonic radicalism. It was created in 1994 in a single session in Iceland when, immediately after a festival appearance with his band, Atari Teenage Riot, Alec Empire "drove with buzzing ears to the great outdoors, seeking an exact opposite experience" in which to experiment with his minimal analogue equipment.
Low On Ice is the outcome of an enhanced state that was intensified through the interplay between post-festival exhaustion and unmediated exposure to a harrowing winter environment, spiraling the artist’s mind into an isolated, multi-day creative process dissolved in time and space: "I felt like I had crashed into the ice of a lake, drowning in cold water, freezing to death, looking at the sky and the earth through the ice." Twenty years later, the full 175 minutes of previously unpublished material is set to be released as the triple-3xCD Low on Ice / The Complete Icelandic Sessions on Geist Records. For the piece's world premiere at Berghain, Alec Empire will appear with visual collaborator Zan Lyons, an instrumentalist, laptop performer, and video artist known for his own hypnotic live acts that combine looped violin, voice, and sound effects with real-time generated visuals.
Swedish artist Klara Lewis will present her new release, ETT (Editions Mego, 2014), described by The Quietus as "one of the most startling albums to have seen the light in 2014." Lewis de-contextualizes found sounds and field recordings in the creation of discrete, esoteric, and rich electronic compositions. Her highly personal, intricately woven textures offer glimpses into womb-like landscapes and act as subliminal narratives and delicate miniature ecosystems. Her portrait of an internal natural world mirror the wildness, complexity, and tenderness of the external natural world she records/pulls pieces of as a creative starting point.
Australian producer and founder of the influential experimental music label Room40, Lawrence English presents intricate, thoughtful explorations that have at their core an unrelenting curiosity about the spatially descriptive and poetic potential of sound. His most recent album, Wilderness of Mirrors, which is based on Cold War misinformation campaigns, breaches new territories in sound density and volume: "over the course of the record… I was fortunate enough to experience live performances by artists I deeply respect for their use of volume as an affecting quality, specifically Earth, Swans, and My Bloody Valentine. I had the chance to experience each of these groups at various stages in the making of this record and each of them reinforced my interest in emulating that inner ear and bodily sensation that extreme densities of vibration in air brings about."
An artist, curator, and founder of leading avant-garde imprint Room40 based in Brisbane, Lawrence English is one of the most prolific and recognizable figures in contemporary ambient and experimental music. His work undertakes study of perception, memory, and sonic affect across a wide swathe of creative forms.
The work of ascendent Swedish composer Klara Lewis is often described in terms of creating parallel worlds, in which organic sound matter is reconstructed through electronic processing. Her debut album Ett was released by the venerable Editions Mego label in 2014—no minor feat for a young producer in the earliest stages of her career.
Counter-culturalists need little introduction to Alec Empire. With his label Digital Hardcore and band Atari Teenage Riot, the prolific German producer has played a huge part in politicizing rave culture and creating the soundtrack for the black blocs of the 1990s, all while building an impressive solo career.
Zan Lyons is a violinist, laptop performer, and video artist whose hypnotic live performances combine looped violin, voice, and sound effects with real-time generated visuals.