Finding absolutely nothing to enjoy in the electronic gumbo of Von Tesla on his Ganzfeld (BORING MACHINES BM095) double CD set, but apparently that is the point of the release. Von Tesla is a solo turn from Italy who has evolved his own personal take on post-Techno electronic music, works with both analogue and digital equipment, and likes to be highly unpredictable as he advances his personal line of research into this contested area. For one thing, he uses “asymmetrical rhythms and pulses as sounds”, a strategy which may account for the non-linear nature of the odd music I’m hearing today on this monstrous Ganzfeld sprawl. He certainly doesn’t like to leave any space…not a moment goes by here but the surface is filled with pulsations, textures, layers, noise, music, bleeping sounds and abstractions a-plenty. But he steadfastly refuses to play a tune, and denies conventional musical pleasure at just about every turn. Even his beats are weird, wrong-footing the listener at every turn with unexpected intervals and twists.
If that’s what you experience too, then Von Tesla is succeeding. He has studied something called the Ganzfeld effect, which is nothing to do with music, but the result of quasi-scientific research into human perception. Mostly visual perception, I might add…apparently if you leave someone sitting under a red light for a long time, then their ability to see normally is massively disrupted. The capacity to perceive depth of field vanishes, and we lose our sense of dimensions and space. Von Tesla wondered if he could recreate something like this in sound, and this release Ganzfeld is the result. He first tried it in 2017 when he had a residency at an art festival. He layered together melodies that aren’t tunes, beats that behave randomly, and something vaguely described as “other electronic trickeries”, which may refer to the distorting filters he applies to just about every ugly sound that crawls out of the speakers. His work has now led him to create this unpleasant, disjointed record; further, he rejoices in the fact that it creates an “alienating atmosphere”.
To me it sounds like disco music from Hell; and I strongly doubt if there is any substantial “scientific” knowledge 1 underpinning this ghastly experiment. Boo. From 20th May 2019.
- The scientific value of the original Ganzfeld experiments is also questionable. They were trying to prove the existence of ESP and related psi phenomena. The methods used have been contested by many, and the findings deemed inconclusive. ↩