Goem: Disco

An intriguing one, this: an hour-long album consisting almost entirely of sequenced beats, yet which manages to avoid all traces of tedium or repetitiveness. The work of Dutchmen Peter Duimelinks, Frans de Waard and Roel Meelkop, its nine untitled tracks unfold in dense salvos of electronic pulses. The rhythms and timbres of these are constantly shifting. Typically, a sharp snare drum crack or metallic texture establishes an arresting presence, gains in rhythmic interest and modulates into softer, less insistent textures.

Within this framework, there is a considerable amount of variation. At first listen anonymous and featureless, the music soon reveals itself to be highly controlled and organised by its makers. In other words, we are in the realm of electronic minimalism, where the slightest textural shift becomes a significant creative intervention.

Not that the majority of the shifts here are slight; far from it. Stripped of all melodic embellishment, the rhythms are infernal and malevolent. The BPM count is certainly too low to make dancing to this album a viable proposition, which presumably makes the title an ironic statement of some kind. So, rather than contributing to feelings of euphoria and release, Goem instead evoke tension and paranoia. These are forced into the listener’s skull like needles, carried along on invasive currents of static electricity. When relief comes, it comes in the form of soft, fuzzy beats and wispy, aerated drones, like being lowered into a warm echo chamber.

(Originally published in The Sound Projector 10, 2002)

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