Limited Silver Vinyl.
Three years after the original release date of Caterina Barbieri’s career defining album Ecstatic Computation, the Italian artist reissues the record on her newly found own label light-years. The re- issue features a beautifully reworked version of the original cover art and a previously unreleased song on the CD.
Caterina Barbieri is an Italian composer who explores themes related to machine intelligence and object oriented perception in sound through a focus on minimalism. Ecstatic Computation revolves around the creative use of complex sequencing techniques and pattern-based operations to explore the artefacts of human perception and memory processes by ultimately inducing a sense of ecstasy and contemplation. Computation is turned from being a formal, automatic writing technique into a creative, psychedelic practice to generate temporal hallucinations. A state of trance and wonder where the perception of time is distorted and challenged.
Equally nervous and ecstatic, the fast permutation of patterns can create a state where time stands still whilst simultaneously being in motion. Is this propulsive music moving forward or backward? As long as the perception of the present is constantly enhanced and refreshed in an endless sense of loss, re-discovery and the search for self-orientation this question lies mute aside the thrilling and perplexing moment of the matter at hand.
Caterina Barbieri is set to release the sister album of her 2019’s acclaimed “Ecstatic Computation”. “Myuthafoo“ will be out on June 2 on light-years, followed by the “Ecstatic Computation” reissue with an extra new track.
“Myuthafoo” was written at the same time as “Ecstatic Computation”, which Barbieri regards as a sister album. Both albums are based on creative sequencing processes that playfully unravel Barbieri’s deep- rooted interest in time, space, memory and emotion. And since she was set to re-release “Ecstatic Computation” on her light-years imprint, it made sense to accompany that album with this intimately entangled set of unreleased recordings. Barbieri had been touring excessively at the time, and her process began to shift in response to that nomadic, interactive energy. Using the Orthogonal ER-101 modular sequencer, Barbieri manually programmed patterns into the device and fed them into her arsenal of noise generators, trialling different combinations at each show.
If an idea worked well in the live environment, she would put it aside, letting longer pieces breathe and transform as they sprung to life and developed organically. It’s a process she relates to her interest in cosmogony, the study of the universe’s origins; her music is rooted in the limitations of a small number of options that branch out into a much larger structure, eventually reaching towards an open-ended cosmos of possibility. From ‘Math of You’, it’s clear that the sounds are grounded in a similar sonic philosophy, blipping synth sequences nudge alongside each other harmonically, disrupting trance’s addicting euphoria with filigree polyrhythmic pulses. Like ‘Fantas’ before it, the track is focused around emotionally affecting repeating phrases, but a closer examination reveals hidden intricacies as these phrases flicker like illusions, dissolving and dissipating as they snake and weave.