Drøne * Rand – Ambientblog
Written by ELF Radio (Team) on 29.09.2023
DRØNE – THE LONG SONG
The core of Drøne is the duo Mark van Hoen and Mike Harding, but on their album, they are ‘assisted by many’. On The Long Song that means they are assisted by a choir of seven female artists ‘which reasserts the feminine while the male world falls apart’: Galya Bisengalieva, Ipek Gorgun, Bana Haffar, Alex Hoang, Bethan Kellough, Jana Winderen and Anna von Hausswolff. And apart from the choir there’s also Claire M Singer playing the organ from the Union Chapel.
An impressive list of names, but both Anna and Mike have an extensive network: Anna also runs the Pomperipossa Records label which released (almost) all of the Drøne albums. Mike Harding is also the publisher and curator of the Touch label.
With a name like Drøne, one might expect pure ‘drone’ music. There are definitely drones involved, but The Long Song is much more than just that. Along with (perhaps even opposing’) the female choir is a ‘miasma of field recordings, modular synth, static, electronics, found sounds, and ‘musique concrete”.
Unearthly and fascinating music, which I think is not unlike some of the work of Holger Czukay.
The songs on both sides of the album have different titles but play continuously. In the digital version the two sides are simply The Long Song I and II.
The 12″ vinyl edition comes with a poster with black & white photos by Nico van Hoen. As usual, the album is also available as a download.
RAND – PERIPHERIE / PERIPHERIE REMIXES
Rand is the name of the Berlin-based duo formed by Jan Gerdes (piano) and Frank Bodganowitz aka Dr. Nojoke (electronics). Peripherie was originally recorded in 2020, but released in September 2022.
The album shows both artists’ fascination ‘for the frontiers of contemporary piano music and experimental club electronics and the acoustic and performative interweaving of individualized, poetic and lyrical piano sound with the overwhelming, orchestral and bizarre soundscapes of electronic music’.
Their ‘jazzy-IDM’ combines many different styles: ‘minimal, romantic and contemporary music as well as to jazz, ambient, drone, glitch, clicks & cuts and club music’.
All these lengthy descriptions may suggest their music could go in any direction – but the opposite is true: their music is actually very focused and coherent. The piano and the electronics complement each other seamlessly, it’s as if the compositions were improvised on the spot.
Peripherie is now completed with the release of Peripherie Remixed, a 25-minute EP presenting remixes of four tracks from the original album. Lucid, San Gimignano, Hoola, and Siegfried 2.0 are remixed by Steevio, Deadbeat, Dr. Nojoke, and Andrea Cicheki. The remix artists show their respect for the original music but also add their own dimension, taking the tracks to another/different level. Steevio and Dr. Nojoke add a solid beat; Deadbeat and Cicheki counter-balance this by focusing on the ambient side of the tracks.
The remixes are mastered by none other than Stefan Betke (Pole).
The only downside is the fact that this is such a short EP with only four of these remixes. It would’ve been great if the other tracks from Peripherie got the same treatment by some other artists too to complete a full album. But hey – who knows what’s to come in the future.
Peripherie Remixed is released on (Dr. Nojoke’s) Clikno label and is available on vinyl (including a poster) as well as a digital download.