Frans de Waard / Martijn Comes

Various Weights

Mastering: Martijn Comes
Artwork: Bas Mantel

from the label:

In sound art, concepts often take precedence over the actual music. Here, there were none. For their first collaboration, Frans de Waard and Martijn Comes decided on a strikingly simple approach: Each artist compiled a pool of sounds for the other to use as a point of departure. Comes worked with various analog synth- and field recordings by de Waard (including, among others, a Korg MS20 and Koma Field FX). The latter was sent a processed stylophone recording, a sample loop as well as recordings of the Web's first Software-Defined Radio by the University of Twente.

The results, now released as Various Weights, are two epic and immersive pieces. On "Boundary of Intersections", Comes focuses on deep sonorities and harmonics, developing his materials into a mind-expanding drone zone. De Waard's "There are no two pianos" is more subdued, hovering mysteriously at the cusp of acousmatic research and sonic minimalism. Both pieces share a slightly uneasy, surreal feeling - perfectly captured by Bas Mantel's artwork, which was a direct response to the sounds contained on the disc.

The bonus-CD to this release, limited to 50 copies, contains a full 35-minute performance by both artists at De Ruimte Amsterdam after the project had been completed. Magically, the music appears to be a direct continuation of the album tracks. As such, Various Weights ingeniously juxtaposes live- and studio techniques, solo and duo work, spontaneous improvisation and meticulous composition. That, whether the artists intended it that way or not, probably makes it a concept album after all.