B(if)tek ‎– Frequencies Will Move Together

Label:
Inertia Recordings ‎– SUBVOX001CD
Format:
2 × CD, Album, Limited Edition
Country:
Released:
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Notes

Limited Edition B(if)tek album.
Double CD in a cardboard slipcase.
CD 1 is titled "Frequencies Will Move Together" and CD 2 is titled "Frequencies Will Be Remixed".
From the front cover sticker: "Warning: Contains low frequencies"
From the back cover: "This project has been assisted by the Federal Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body."
From the liner notes: "This album was partly funded by a grant from the Australia Council to research the effects of low hertz frequencies in music. Frequencies Will Move Together contains deep bass frequencies from a series of our field recordings of both natural and mechanical sources. The field recordings include: cats purring, electricity sub-stations, thunder, helicopters, trains and aeroplanes. They have been digitally manipulated, and in some cases, emulated by a collection of analogue synthesisers."

Barcode and Other Identifiers

  • Barcode: 9332727001123

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alexontherim

alexontherim

November 8, 2008

This release is worth a review because it is fantastic and poorly known.
I had initially bought this album for one of the more famous remixers on cd2 (Monolake) whose work here is not exactly memorable. I ended up being completely astonished however with most of the original versions and some of the remixes.
The liner notes describe the use of field-recorded low frequency bass in the making of the music, and for that reason I expected something much more 'difficult' to listen to, and of an experimental nature, when in fact most of the album is absolutely accessible.

A variety of genres run alongside each other on this double-album of original versions and remixes: from experimental downtempo ("In Memoriam", "Convergence") to ethereal jazzy trip hop ("Faded Blue", "Projects For A Rainy Day") to delicate clashy electro ("Read To Me") to hallucinogenic waouh! ("Guide And Receive", "For Your Seventh Birthday" and "Scatter Frost Like Ashes").

All throughout a vast array of beautifully engineered sounds pepper the tightly produced tracks: from intricate watery bubbles to vast Saturnian layers.

"Guide And Receive" is a deep and powerful aquatic technoid hybrid piece, with infusions of lush inter-stellar travels and inverted waterfalls. Immediately, some of the deepest psychedelic progressive house names come to mind (Vibrasphere), but also (why not?!) Unkle.
"For Your Seventh Birthday" almost sounds like a precursor to Grey Area's "Iona".
In fact, the use of 1950's/70's TV commentaries/radio communications clips throughout the album is not without recalling the similar use that is done of those clips by so many well-defined 'psy' artists.

Some of the tracks very much reflect the en-vogue style of 2003: electro in a revived 80's twist. The vocoded dead pan voices of the mighty fine "Read To Me", and (unfortunately unsurprising - an exception of disappointment on this album) "Unisex" (with lyrics on habitual early 80's themes of fashion and androgyny) bring to mind Felix Da Housecat's productions of a year or two before the release of this album. And how about the Tom Tom Club-ish remix of "Hi-Fi" by Australia-based "Architecture In Helskini", or the remix of "Read To Me" by "The Emergency", with accents of Primal Scream's "Some Velvet Morning" ? In that respect the music is accessible, lively, sugar-coated, and misleadingly 'superficial'. But that, to me, does not constitute the cornerstone of B(if)tek's ingenuity. Its more abstract and trippy songs do.

I thought "Convergence" was the first track of cd1 that hints more obviously at the low frequency elements. "Convergence" and "In Memoriam" have a devastating effect of paralysis on our mind and body (perhaps one of the conclusions of the intended study on low frequencies that this project is the fruit of). Give it a try! It is seemingly safe!

"Faded Blue" has accents of Ewan Pearson's remix of "The Diary Of A Lost Girl" by Christian Zimmerman, where a sensitive and fragile young woman shares her anxious and bitter-sweet feelings.

This album really is an exploration in electronica through various moods and styles. All in all, I am less keen on the nu-wave electro tinted tracks, too representative of the years 2002/03 and more easily doomed to age poorly, and am much more excited by the deeper, more serious and more universal ambient, experimental and downtempo pieces (the original versions of "Guide And Receive" and "Scatter Frost Like Ashes" and their respective remixes by Lawrence English and Dark Network are the truly grand highlights of the album).

The conclusion here is that "low" means "deep, spacious and imperturbable", and this gem of an album has managed to demonstrate that the low-end of the range evokes in us humans an uncanny connection to the murmur of the cosmos.

Kate, Nicole, who are you?! Come out in the limelight!!