Matt Howarth | Sonic Curiosity | June 2011
This release from 2010 offers 68 minutes of unconventional electronic music.
What we have here is a mixed collaborative release, in which half of the tracks were composed by Chocholak based on material provided by Ooy (who was recruited by Conrad Schnitzler to be a member of the recently revived Kluster), while the other half is composed by Ooy based on material provided by Chocholak.
The tracks tend to consist of minimal electronics, drones of a sparse nature designed to evoke introspection through their vaporous definition. Ethereal tonalities are seasoned with blooping electronics that serve to punctuate the flow with their curt unearthly expressions.
Melody plays only an incidental role here. In fact, the tuneage is often so sparse that even harmonics cannot be applied as a descriptive. The songs are soundscapes of a drifting character, frequently presenting themselves as if snippets from an aural sketchpad. The result is a journey through unpredictable terrain, where the listener has no notion of what to expect. One track might be barely audible texturals, while the next features grinding machinery blending with buzzing insects. This presentation of the unexpected tends to offer a constant source of surprises.
Music like this cannot be considered musique concrete since it is crafted to be soft and not jarring (as most musique concrete tends to be). Ambient is the best classification, although its content is clearly meant to be more experimental than conventional ambience.
Consequently, bereft of specific melody, this music serves as an excellent protagonist for inciting the listener's own creativity.
Stephen Fruitman | Sonomu | May 2011
A captivating, unromantic depiction of vast space and the mercurial nature of its material, including the vibrating bustle of our own planet.
Michael Chocholak and Masato Ooyama, whose common musical denominator is electronics pioneer Conrad Schnitzler (the former has collaborated with him, the latter has been a member of the reformed Kluster since 2007), each presented sound archives to the other, out of which twelve tracks were crafted. While the Large Hadron Collider after which it is named promises to unlock fundamental laws about the nature of the physical universe, the album provides it with a soundtrack.
It sounds like science, not science fiction. This is space music without the sentimentality or sensationalism of sputnik beeps or sucking, black-hole whooshes, but cosmic nonetheless. It is alluringly forbidding, but in an indifferent way, just like the real thing. There is beauty in it, but also risk. "Circle of Lethe" revolves gracefully, bathed in zero gravity starlight, while the pulsating, erosive rays of "Prometheus and Pandora" feel unhealthy, even to listen to.
Frans de Waard | Vital Weekly | issue 779 | April 2011
Best known for a few collaborative works with Conrad Schnitzler is Michael Chocholak, who also worked with Rik Rue, Schreck Electroacoustic Ensemble but who also worked with poets and writers. He teams up here with Masato Ooyama, who is best known as a member of Kluster, since 2007 along with Schnitzler and Michael Thomas Roe. Both like to work with sound, any sound. This collaboration was already realized in 2008 and sees them working together through the use of the internet for the exchange of sound material. Six tracks by Chockolak, using sound material by Ooy and six vice versa. Source material that no doubt found its origin in electronics and field recordings and which is further processed, altered and shaped using more electronics. The twelve pieces, spanning close to seventy minutes of music can be best classified as horror movie/science fiction music; a post apocalyptic nightmare on Mars. Dark and atmospheric, yet not necessarily drone based. But also not always rooted too firmly in cosmic music, this sort of stays in between both ends: it's indeed a bit droney but also a bit cosmic with its slowed down oscillations and arpeggio's generated from the most obscure kind of field recordings. This music here is very much along the lines of the double LP by Rick Reed, reviewed elsewhere, although the pieces here are somewhat shorter than on Reed's LP. But it covers a similar ground of cosmic music, drones and musique concrete, and it's perhaps a bit more monochrome in approach. But Chocolak and Ooy created a fine set of mood music anyway.