The Caithness Two​-​Body Problem

by Kymatik

®Tisendi 11:01


Relased in 1999, this album was later picked up by Paradigm Discs and released as Dar As Sulh Volume I (PD15), but Button Man For The City was replaced with Excerpt From Kandinsky's 'Im Blau' and Harry at Hogmany was replaced with 'Bees' .
This review is from the Paradigm releases page.

What could initially have been another addition to the legions of blip-bleep 'progressive techno' pabulum of the new century (note warning signs: gorgeous hi-tech digi-pak compu-graphics, ubiquitous '@' symbol in every fucking line of lengthy credits for 'Audio Hardware/Software') actually reveals itself to be one of the most conceptually and aurally intriguing excursions into sound-as-headspace-altering-energy since The Hafler Trio first recorded their own lower colons (or whatever) in the early '80s. Like these worthy compatriots, the enigmatic Kymatik (best lead to date: surname McNaughton) has dedicated a significant amount of time exploring the uses and effects of surround sound ('ambisonics' to you, chum). From the short field recordings (bees, crickets, a trawler leaving harbour) viewed as minimal audio soundscape, to the full-on concept-over-aesthetic approach of 'Excerpt From Kandinsky's 'Im Blau'â (yes, a tonal transposition of the painted surface electronically expressing the visual & tactile as a curiously undynamic tone-waver), Dar-As-Sulh Volume I provides an at times intense, often stimulating range of experiences. 'Dentists For Mice' is probably the most immediately accessible, creating a dense loop & cut-up guided tour of the landscape after the bomb's dropped in Negativland. Later, a wonderful collaboration with Mark Tamea, 'Tisedni', processes the sound of a spin-drier into the kind of music you always thought 'techno' should sound like. Finally, the remarkable and punishingly affecting 23-minute 'Lorenz Attractor': a mind-reaming drone-tone which threads and dances its way through the inner ear in such a way as to create a vertiginous and disorienting audio-drug effect. When the sound abruptly ceases, the listener's head chimes with the neural harmonics of echoic memory. According to supporting material, the word 'kymatik' is derived from the Greek 'kyma', meaning 'a great wave', and was first coined by Swiss physicist Hans Jenny as a descriptive term for the effects he noted using amplified tones to manipulate and create patterns in fluids and powders. By applying a similar methodology, Kymatik attempts to do the same to your brain matter. The fact that stereophonic reproduction can only give an approximation of the full ambisonic range of these recordings makes the whole thing even more intriguing. File along with the likes of Battery Operated and Morphogenesis as UK sound artists of the highest echelon. (Tim Cornelius)


released December 3, 1999



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Kymatik Since 1991. Previously "Central Nervous System" [C.N.S.] with David Mulligan and others. Kymatik Line-ups. 1991-2 McNaughton/Tamea/Dan Reade. 1992-4 McNaughton/Tamea. 1994-present McNaughton + various others except "The Paignton Anomaly" McNaughton/Tamea. ... more

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