BT (Brian Transeau) has crafted a spiritual successor to 2006’s ‘This Binary Universe’ and 2012’s ’If The Stars Were Eternal'. Right now, there’s no right or wrong way to articulate the title of _. It’s open to interpretation. It’s hard to predict with a trace of Future Sound of London and an evident edge of John Cage. It’s assembled, classically, into six tracks, bridged by three Movements. It’s also a musical composition in the truest sense of the expression. Linking the album’s tracks are its 'Artifacture', 'Indivism' and 'Ω' Movements; BT’s modernist take on the classical composition structure. They make up a 25 section sequence of (as BT defines them) “inter-compositional-themes”, creating 45 minutes of constantly flowing, ever-developing tonality.
Every section/Movement - some as short as a minute - is represented by an Italian language subtitle. 'Artifracture’s middle section bridge for example is made up of ‘La Vita Sotto il Mare’ and ‘Niente di Tutto Qualcosa’ (or ‘Life Under the Sea’ and ‘Nothing, Everything, Something’). Using wordplay, metaphor and nuance, when translated, each one subtly relates to what’s occurring musically within the composition.
The album is impelled as much by advancements in technology and technique, as it is mood, emotion and inclination. Alongside its more discernible breakthroughs, are far less perceptible and more complex ones. Deep within its cortex, innovative techniques and (per BT) “insane” amounts of new sound design modalities come in to play.
Working alongside the music are the album’s visual components. The nine pieces are completed by companion videos, each shot by BT himself. Each, in someway, either inspires the location of the video, or its location has inspired the music. End-to-end, they form a featurette, which - with each passing minute, draws you further and further into the album’s AV relationship.
Location, itself, plays a substantial part in the culture of the album too. It was recorded in places as close (relatively) as Maine & Maryland and as far apart as Iceland, China, Poland, Bora Bora and Australia. The composition of 'Artifracture’ alone, took place in studios located in countries on all seven continents. The title’s connotations are occasionally as apparent as ‘Found In Translation’ and ‘Tokyo’ (both recorded primarily in Japan). More often though their associations are more suggestive and undertone-like in nature - there for the listener to absorb after looped plays.
It’s out now.