'Tektra', the 4 CD Kayn set on Barooni, pretty much establishes this guy's reputation single handedly. He's a major figure in my book. I've had it for a few years, when I saw it reissued earlier this year I started listening to it again... a lot.
So his RRR label has just reissued the other discs. They aren't cheap. I just dropped $70 on 'Electronic Symphony I-III' and 'Electronic Symphony VIII / X'.
They're interesting; a lot less alien than 'Tektra', you can still make out the sources being processed on several of these pieces. Orchestral and instrumental textures still audible, unlike the completely abstracted landscapes on 'Tektra'. Not sure if he's composing the source materials himself, and then subjecting them to his cybernetic processes, but it seems much less like the pure, alien process music than a simple, well aimed drone collage. Still extremely accomplished and I'll be listening to them a lot, but as these are painfully expensive purchases, I'd love to hear some recommendations from anyone...
― (Jon L), Sunday, 5 October 2003 00:24 (sixteen years ago) link
― gaz (gaz), Sunday, 5 October 2003 06:56 (sixteen years ago) link
"Simultan" is great. Very crunchy, ultra-abstract. Hard to really describe since I haven't listened to it for a couple of years, but I remember lots of sounds like ships being torn open by giant robot hands, plus distorted voices. Very cool stuff. Don't know if it's available on CD, though.
― Phil Freeman (Phil Freeman), Sunday, 5 October 2003 12:01 (sixteen years ago) link
― Julio Desouza (jdesouza), Sunday, 5 October 2003 12:14 (sixteen years ago) link
But until I listen a few more times, I'll refrain from attempts to describe the differences here, it's like trying to describe the differences in late period AMM albums: very different, but be careful saying just why...
Can't say this thread has done anything but remind me about the out of print, impossible to find, even more expensive 3 LP vinyl sets from the late 70's, 'Simultan' and 'Infra'. Great. If anyone wants to trade tapes/cdrs, preferably for the out of print vinyl, drop me a line.
― (Jon L), Monday, 6 October 2003 16:48 (sixteen years ago) link
― (Jon L), Monday, 6 October 2003 16:49 (sixteen years ago) link
― leon rima, Thursday, 25 December 2003 10:31 (sixteen years ago) link
wow, I'd forgotten he was in Gruppo Nuova Consonanza. He's not on either of the recordings of theirs I own though...
I picked up the 2 disc set of his early orchestral / ensemble works, which made it clear that the later electro-acoustic works are using self-composed recordings rather than samples. 'Sequenzen' from 1957 is distinguished, floating mid-air flames, also love the recording of 1966's 'Signals' (conducted by Boulez). Amazing to hear his pieces for live performance, they really hold up. Wish I could discuss technical basics but words fail me.
The website makes a helpful division between his electro-acoustic pieces and his cybernetic pieces. I find myself preferring the cybernetic pieces, offhand. Out of the other discs I bought I'm spending the most time with 'Assemblage' and 'Ready-Made I'. Nothing I've bought disappoints though, although they're painfully expensive. 'Tektra' remains the best entry point.
― (Jon L), Thursday, 25 December 2003 23:48 (sixteen years ago) link
tektra is astonishing
these four discs have been my sleep records for the last two months straight (with occasional detours to the new stars of the lid)
― Milton Parker, Tuesday, 22 May 2007 22:36 (twelve years ago) link
i highly recommend his keyboard works cd, too. the recording quality makes it sound like it was recorded in an underwater vault - very affecting, and of course the music is boggling.
― oo, Tuesday, 22 May 2007 23:58 (twelve years ago) link
― Milton Parker, Wednesday, 16 July 2008 03:14 (eleven years ago) link
from this PDF file of the liner notes found via this discussion
― Milton Parker, Wednesday, 16 July 2008 03:24 (eleven years ago) link
thank you, blog of no longer forgotten music
peaks are Side Three of Makro, Monades & Eon from Elektroakustische Projekte 1966-1975, and pretty much all of Infra & Simultan
― Milton Parker, Monday, 1 December 2008 21:09 (eleven years ago) link
recent unreleased compositions from his PDF of complete works:
176.00 THE ORTHO-PROJECT (2007) R: Reiger recording Studio Elektronisch -842'09- U: - Stereo
176.01 -Atharyt 48'12 176.02 -Itirsis 27'45 176.03 -Dat SR z 47'00 176.04 -Tirals 47'28 176.05 -Skips 47'50 176.06 -Synergy 47'00 176.07 -Les Rantoles 43'46 176.08 -Perikarya 35'49 176.09 -Kthoor 44'04 176.10 -Ataraly 40'31 176.11 -Conversions 32'00 176.12 -Anisotropy EE 61'25 176.13 -Antarary 53'17 176.14 -Rantho 45'04 176.15 -Sonoritys 41'23 176.16 -Antegry 20'04 176.17 -Ecardy 57'08 176.18 -La Grada 29'35 176.19 -Zazorith 29'58 176.20 -Arttiraes 45'08
182.00 THE ASSURGENTY PROGRESSIONS (2007) -17.45'12- Elektronisch Stereo
182.01 -LA TARAN 42'27 182.02 -SATHAR 42'24 182.03 -SIYTARY 55'12 182.04 -YTHO 48'22 182.05 -LUERY 39'02 182.06 -DECORA 26'13 182.07 -SRATO 28'48 182.08 -MICTOSYS 88'26 182.09 -part 1: 55'02 182.10 -part 2: 35'24 182.11 -LUNN 44'00 182.12 -PER MATOS 44'50 182.13 -LES TARALS 45'39 182.14 -BILORY 44'12 182.15 -DALAAR 35'51 182.16 -RATARI 27'31 182.17 -OKTARAL 26'18 182.18 -RHYSAL 44'37 182.19 -ECCATO 76'07 182.20 - part 1: 44'37 182.21 - part 2: 31'55 182.22 -LES GARALES 63'10 182.23 -LLATERO 35'39 182.24 -R.461DA 45'24 182.25 -AUDIOBRIDGE 33'43 182.26 -ACCATA 59'17 182.27 -TRACKS 28'48 182.28 -RHADAL 65'40 182.29 -OOTIS 23'25
― Milton Parker, Monday, 1 December 2008 21:11 (eleven years ago) link
about the climactic movement of Infra
In Apeiron, various energy states of a basic structure which is inaudible itself, form a continuum extending to the very limits of the functioning of the regulating and controlling mechanisms. Due to the complexity, the previous sections seem to be crowded out of the auditive memory.
The music can be termed 'abstract'.
― Milton Parker, Monday, 1 December 2008 21:23 (eleven years ago) link
― Milton Parker, Monday, 1 December 2008 21:47 (eleven years ago) link
this is incredible
― sleep, Saturday, 6 December 2008 02:41 (eleven years ago) link
― Milton Parker, Friday, 9 January 2009 21:30 (eleven years ago) link
We regret to inform you that Roland passed away on Januari 5th 2011.
― Milton Parker, Sunday, 9 January 2011 21:23 (nine years ago) link
aw no way!!!! RIP
― Kevin John Bozelka, Sunday, 9 January 2011 21:25 (nine years ago) link
non stop Infra & Tektra all this week
He adapted marvelously to the digital age, increasing his output dramatically, with 220 of his 287 works composed in his last decade, all of them electronic. In 2009 alone, he composed 30 electronic works for a total of over 36 hours of music.
bring it on!
― Milton Parker, Wednesday, 12 January 2011 19:06 (nine years ago) link
Roland Kayn.A Little Electronic Milky Way of Sound (2009).opus 256, ~14 hours
1. Czerial.2. Xattax.3. Somitoh.4. Ykties.5. Naaps.6. Rosonic.7. Ilay.8. Aseral.9. Ractil.10. Zearid.11. Radox.12a. Qyrials I.12b. Qyrials II.13. Tachys.14. Prahoxx.15. Hatho.16a. Ecerit I.16b. Ecerit II.16c. Ecerit III.17. Ritaces.18. Icursim.19. Arasa.
― Milton Parker, Wednesday, 13 April 2011 00:00 (eight years ago) link
Tektra might be the best non-Radigue drone album I've come across. The soundscapes on that album are out-of-this-world.
― kyema, Monday, 11 February 2013 06:34 (seven years ago) link
― Milton Parker, Tuesday, 12 February 2013 01:40 (seven years ago) link
― Milton Parker, Saturday, 10 May 2014 22:00 (five years ago) link
― Milton Parker, Sunday, 21 February 2016 23:52 (four years ago) link
― J. Sam, Tuesday, 25 July 2017 17:15 (two years ago) link
out of the countless number of 5-20 hour long compositions they could have chosen for physical release, I wish they'd gone for one that wasn't already in the wild (though I see they've killed the streaming links that went up when the piece was broadcast intact in 2009, I already know this piece fairly well).
I will still pre-order.
― Milton Parker, Tuesday, 25 July 2017 23:28 (two years ago) link
this is the one I'm most curious about, the followup to Tektra:
SCANNINGElektroakustisches Projekt(1982-83)617 minutes -Sonagram-Nomogram-Polygram -Cycloids I -Cycloids II -Anisotropic modulations I-Anisotropic modulations II -Anisotropic modulations III -Anisotropic modulations IV-Anisotropic modulations V -Anisotropic modulations VI -Anisotropic modulations VI -Networks I -Networks II -Networks III -Networks IV -Networks V -Radi -Intermodulation -Allotropic Radi -Inverted spaces -Counter Radi -Array -Scanned modulation
― Milton Parker, Wednesday, 26 July 2017 00:04 (two years ago) link
dropping the word 'Anisotropic' decades before Animoog existed (makes you wonder)
& in related news, I did buy that Jaap Vink album -- the technician / composer who aided Kayn in the early 70's as he was trying to apply his concepts about cybernetics to modular synths & generative 'semi-autonomous systems'. have only gone the album once, but yes these are similar structures / landscapes. need to listen again.
― Milton Parker, Wednesday, 26 July 2017 01:54 (two years ago) link
Cybernetics didn’t have much to do with music until the mid-1950s, when a German philosopher named Max Bense figured out how to apply the writings of Wiener to aesthetics.
Louis & Bebe Barron were regular participants at the Macy Conferences, 1946-1953, and most of their writings including the back cover of the Forbidden Planet soundtrack regularly namecheck their friend Norbert Wiener & Cybernetics as the primary influence on their instrument design and composition. Cybernetics was already a key factor in the aesthetics behind the earliest electronic music studio & compositions in the United States, before the Germans & WDR. The Barrons were doing feedback music first, and showed it to Cage & Tudor in 1952. It's an American thing. Glad Frere-Jones is diving into writing about this!
― Milton Parker, Monday, 2 October 2017 21:20 (two years ago) link
O’Rourke still felt a sense of wonder in the presence of these compositions. “I know how almost everyone does what they do,” he said. “I can figure it out. But Kayn is still the master. I really don’t know how he did this.”
― Milton Parker, Monday, 2 October 2017 21:25 (two years ago) link
should clarify I meant to say 'attendees' not 'participants', and I'm having trouble finding that reference, so I should temper the Macy connection. Early quotes of their response to Wiener are in nearly every interview with them. Good ones in Dunbar-Hester's "Listening to Cybernetics Music Machines and Nervous Systems 1950-1980" and I just discovered Wierzbicki's "Forbidden Planet: A Film Score Guide", the online samples of which have a lot on Wiener's influence on "Heavenly Menagerie" 1950/51 & "For An Electronic Nervous System" 1953.
― Milton Parker, Monday, 2 October 2017 22:08 (two years ago) link
Hello Jon! Hey, I was listening to Tektra last week, had to give up halfway through, even though the person I was with actually really digging it. Are you familiar with this (great) Italian eurodisco album:
― Tom's Tits Experiment (Tom D.), Monday, 2 October 2017 23:34 (two years ago) link
hi dadaismus thread needed more disco so good call
listening to half of tektra is still listening for two hours! it's not like you missed 'the ending'
― Milton Parker, Tuesday, 3 October 2017 16:25 (two years ago) link
― Milton Parker, Tuesday, 3 October 2017 16:28 (two years ago) link
Cybernetics was already a key factor in the aesthetics behind the earliest electronic music studio & compositions in the United States, before the Germans & WDR.
schaeffer also dabbled in cybernetics in the early grmc days, mentioning it in passing in the late '40s then having a seemingly brief period going in deep in collaboration with abraham moles. tho he'd later criticise moles for being scientistic. with aesthetic writings like these, i can't imagine why...
― lazy rascals, spending their substance, and more, in riotous living (Merdeyeux), Tuesday, 3 October 2017 21:49 (two years ago) link
Merdeyeux you have a good point about how a lot of Norbert's early writings would throw people; 'Cybernetics' is not a layman's book. And I know Frere-Jones' clearly knows about the Barrons and his article was strictly crediting the engineers doing that math. It's still an oversight not to mention the influence that the later books 'Human Use of Human Beings' and 'God and Golem Inc.' had on artists, including the earliest electronic music made in the US.
^^ this is great, and I had the same reaction to AE_LIVE, which is some of the first effective generative music that isn't drone-based or completely non-melodic. Autechre writes tunes you can recognize even when they never precisely repeat, which is really quite an impressive trick to pull off
― Milton Parker, Monday, 23 October 2017 21:44 (two years ago) link
the mastering on these CDs is definitely a major improvement from the stream of the radio broadcast, which had a high noise floor of broadcast hiss. almost a totally new experience in some sections. also mastered so quiet it's a little terrifying, I had to turn it way up in order to fill the room with the sound during the long ambient washes, but of course Kayn is prone to putting in huge crashes & impacts & massive dynamic range so turning it up means really committing yourself. nothing quite as dramatic as the midpoint surprise on Hafler Trio's 'intoutof' yet but only three discs in.
― Milton Parker, Thursday, 26 October 2017 22:08 (two years ago) link
forced exposure say they shipped mine, hoping for an intense weekend of roland kayn and new super mario game
― adam, Friday, 27 October 2017 12:15 (two years ago) link
this took me a while to get through as a CD set; such a huge psychological difference of putting individual CDs in a player instead of just having two seven hour long mp3s (there is something incredibly appropriate about listening to Tektra as a single 4:46:25 youtube upload, fidelity regardless).
many of his pieces seem to be self-plundering, mixing in drastically altered stretches of previous works. it sounds like the main aesthetic on this piece is time compression & wide range varispeed. if he'd spent the previous ten years recording several 10-20 hour long pieces a year, this sounds as if it's a collage of all of them compressed, weaving in and out of each other on fast forward (sounds like he's either got a special wide-varispeed deck or a digital equivalent with a very liquid sound to it)
it's going to take me an hour just to rip this new box but I think that's going to be the next step before going through again, partially because files are easier for me to play back at quarterspeed. while I'm not sure this is the best entry point for Kayn it is very satisfying to see so many people getting excited about this box and they really did an amazing job on the packaging
― Milton Parker, Tuesday, 28 November 2017 19:21 (two years ago) link
don't know why the score for Allotropie from the early 1960's is on the cover for Simultan other than for the way it looks. don't know why this is only coming out on vinyl again. I downloaded the flacs of Simultan on the AGP archive & imported / crossfaded the files as indicated by the liner notes before burning them to CDRs, and, well... if this ever comes out again on CD, and the label doesn't follow those recommendations, that'll be a shame
When completely reproducing SIMULTAN as for instance radio broadcastings, the following overlappings will have to be taken into consideration:
MONOSTABILE: 30 seconds before the end cross fade SOURCES ERQODIQUES - 10 seconds interruption -
LOGATOME: 60 seconds before the end cross fade MATRIX --
MATRIX: 30-60 seconds before the end end cross fade INVARIANTEN.
― Milton Parker, Friday, 6 July 2018 18:45 (one year ago) link
don't know why link does not work, it's a beautiful looking box I will regret not buying even if just to look at it
― Milton Parker, Friday, 6 July 2018 18:48 (one year ago) link
If they release it digitally I'll buy it for sure. I had Simultan on a set of CD-Rs about 15 years ago but they died.
― grawlix (unperson), Friday, 6 July 2018 19:06 (one year ago) link
Irritating that a) it's vinyl-only and b) it's a recording that has been easily obtainable for ages... especially considering the amount of unreleased material that supposedly exists...
If someone is going to do reissues, we need Infra (IMO the RK work with the highest peaks) and Makro on CD first.
― alb indys, Saturday, 7 July 2018 00:36 (one year ago) link
Anyone know anything about the quality of the pressing of the Simultan reissue on Die Schnachtel? The words "white vinyl" frighten me a bit.
Really don't understand why there isn't CD reissue of this.
I hope I live long enough to buy Infra and Tektra reissues, in any format.
― Paul Ponzi, Thursday, 20 September 2018 15:42 (one year ago) link
You and me both.
― Zach Same (Tom D.), Thursday, 20 September 2018 15:44 (one year ago) link
says himself that he graspes his sounds out off the air
― j., Wednesday, 20 February 2019 18:40 (one year ago) link
the exact one I was hoping would come out next
― Milton Parker, Wednesday, 7 August 2019 18:45 (six months ago) link
i found a version of that last week on slsk that sez '2005' for the year (of release) but i'm having trouble figuring out its ultimate provenance
― j., Wednesday, 7 August 2019 19:33 (six months ago) link
submitting CD information to gracenote, correcting typo for track three on disc five
only twenty minutes in, but as expected, picking up where Tektra left off. liner notes indicate that his pieces Ready Made I & II were the rough studies for 'proving and controlling of the system (largely auto-regulation)' for this, and part I of Ready Made in particular is top shelf. liner notes are utterly unspecific on all other technical aspects as is his norm, but certainly sounds anisotropic enough to me
― Milton Parker, Thursday, 3 October 2019 07:10 (four months ago) link
xpost j, there was an FM broadcast in 2004, that's what that's from
― Brakhage, Thursday, 3 October 2019 12:12 (four months ago) link
somewhere in the last third of 'electronic symphony III', pretty sure I heard a halfspeed 'ride of the valkyries' low in the mix, occasional swells from it getting auxed into oblivion
fairly sure, seems likely
who even knows though
― Milton Parker, Saturday, 25 January 2020 10:39 (one month ago) link
Ok, wow, Roland Kayn has managed to fly under my radar until I saw this thread update a few hours ago. I read the linked articles, listened to some samples, etc. and was blown away. And now, "A Little Electronic Milky Way Of Sound" is on its way toward my doorstep. (deepdiscount.com had the best price I could find, and they have it in stock.)THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU FOR THIS THREAD
― ernestp, Sunday, 26 January 2020 00:44 (four weeks ago) link
'Electronic Milky Way' is an impressively mammoth late-career ffwd collage but 'Tektra' is still the one I recommend as a first stop
'Scanning' is still sinking in. Tektra seems like the zenith of the previous 10 years of cramming as much as possible inside a four hour long arc -- it's uniform but also packed with detail. Scanning was the first attempt at a ten hour long structure, and it's making a point of stressing the auto-regulation over the interaction -- there's more sonic variety between movements, but once each 20-30 minute movement starts, it stays. I almost hear him forcibly restraining himself, keeping his hands off the knobs and just waiting for the changes to happen, and then they happen
also noticed soundohm started offering a bundle. no reason not to buy direct from Kayn's family though.
― Milton Parker, Sunday, 26 January 2020 02:48 (four weeks ago) link
link no work, but if you search through: 80 minutes worth of 4 minute excerpts. all of the Electronic Symphonies are pretty full throttle
― Milton Parker, Sunday, 26 January 2020 02:51 (four weeks ago) link
Thank you for the tips! I'm diving into "Tektra" after finding some downloads (192 kbps MP3s, not optimal but not terrible) - $300 is a little too steep for me!https://kayn.nl/shop/vinyl/tektra/Someone in Italy has a used copy for $250 (not including s/h): https://www.discogs.com/sell/release/767495?ev=rbI've been enjoying "Simultan" also, from that AGP link above.
― ernestp, Sunday, 26 January 2020 12:55 (four weeks ago) link
I did feel, when I heard "Tektra" for the first time, that I'd been searching for this music all my life.
― Duncan Disorderly (Tom D.), Sunday, 26 January 2020 12:58 (four weeks ago) link
really regret having to sell that beautiful milky way of sound box but the recent Kayn Ascension really warms the heart
― adam, Sunday, 26 January 2020 13:08 (four weeks ago) link
This is gonna be long, but I’m a massive Kayn fan and hopefully I’ll get some readers to check out stuff by him they don’t know.
Roland Kayn has been by far my biggest musical discovery in a very long time. His music is singular, occupying a sound world all its own. It is often haunting and desolate, as if it’s the music of different worlds, different planets or galaxies, far away from humanity, reflecting the cold vastness of the universe.
A bit over a year ago, when I was discovering his oeuvre, I kept thinking, why is this guy so obscure when his music is mind-blowing? I’ve identified several reasons:
1) His old LP box sets are unaffordable for all but the really wealthy collectors (except for “Simultan” which was reissued in 2018), so almost no one knows them; 2) The CDs he released on his own label, Reiger-records-reeks, have always been expensive and they have almost no distribution (and I guess they had even less in the past);3) After Kayn died in 2011, apparently his bereaved family was not interested in reissuing the LP boxes and were not eager to sell the CDs that had been released.
Fortunately he’s become more well-known since 2017 due to two new releases and a reissue. Apparently Reiger-records-reeks, now run by Kayn’s daughter and having come back from hibernation last year with the release of “Scanning”, will continue releasing his works in the future, and Die Schachtel is meant to reissue the rest of his old LP boxes (although when they’ll see the light of day is anyone’s guess; “Tektra” was meant to be released last spring... In the meantime, I've resorted to mp3 rips.)
My favourite Kayn releases seem to be different from pretty much everyone else’s. “Tektra” seems to be the favourite of many, and while I love it, just like I love “Makro”, “Infra” and “Scanning” (the three works that are similar in style), my favourites are probably his ten Electronic Symphonies. They’re insanely good, extremely accomplished, varied, and many of them are full of unexpected twists and turns. Kayn sometimes samples classical music or his own previous works (such as “Makro” on the 5th and possibly the 6th Symphony, or “Simultan” on the 4th) on them. His four “Multiplex Sound-Art” releases are arguably his most surprising and varied works. They sometimes incorporate very diverse samples (one track even samples Radiohead!) and sounds. “Gärten Der Lüste” is up there with his Symphonies for me, come to think of it. It’s unbelievable electroacoustic music (although I had to get over the fact that the first, shorter track extensively samples two Social Interiors tracks with very little modification). I should point out that the music on all these CDs sounds extremely good and has an immense sense of space. When listened to on a good hi-fi, the effect is astonishing.
In regards to the LP boxes, “Simultan” and “Elektroakustische Projekte” are somewhat similar in style. The former is one long and fantastic work, while the latter is a compilation of several pieces (of which the last two don’t really click with me, but the two-part “Entropy PE 31” in the middle makes up for this). The music on these two releases is often noisy, grating and bizarre. Starting from “Makro”, Kayn found the style he’s most known for: an amorphous, slowly but constantly changing flow of otherworldly sound. This style is continued on the first two of his three cybernetic music CDs, while the third one has different kinds of pieces too. They’re all excellent, unique and strange.
Finally, there’s the mammoth 16 CD box set “A Little Electronic Milky Way of Sound”, recorded in 2009. It’s probably the Kayn release most people are familiar with. My opinion about it again differs from that of most fans: while I like it a lot and consider it a unique work with a unique atmosphere, I think the piece could’ve been a lot shorter as there’s little variety between the discs. Of course, that’s how long Kayn made it to be, and I still enjoy listening to it a lot (it’s especially great to hear snippets of his previous work here and there, like samples from “Entropy PE 31” and “Electronic Symphony IV”), but overall I think it’s too long.
Kayn made about 300 works (all listed chronologically on kayn.nl), most of them electronic. By my count all of his pre-2001 electronic works have been released except for one (“Kristallnacht”), but he made an insane amount of music after 2001, so here’s hoping many of them will see the light of day eventually.
Someone in this thread asked how the reissue of “Simultan” sounds. I have the black vinyl version, and the mastering sounds great to me (can't compare it to the original release though), and the pressing quality is good overall too (I cleaned my copy before playing it, knowing Die Schachtel's vinyl releases often aren't quality pressings, and now only one side has clicks and pops, but they're not too bad).
― acsenger, Wednesday, 12 February 2020 22:20 (one week ago) link
Thanks for the post, good stuff!
― High profile Tom D (Tom D.), Wednesday, 12 February 2020 22:27 (one week ago) link