Hanno Leichtmann’s ‘Nouvelle Aventure’ renders a remarkably layered and cut-up tour thru the prized, 70 year archive of the Darmstadt Summer Courses for New Music, for Karl Records
Given carte blanche to rifle the IMD’s (Internationales Musikinstitut Darmstadt) tapes and memory banks, Leichtmann returns a blinding set of recombinant collages, using his patented system of micro-loopers, as well as era-appropriate techniques such as tape editing and manipulation of amplitude/pitch/playback direction/repetition, to whisk up and create sparking new synaptic connections between his thematically fixed selections.
Like Leichtmann’s preceding release of the ‘SY4’ recordings of a drum machine, and his ‘Skin, Wood, Traps’ study celebrating 100 years the drumset, these decimated deconstructions of the IMD archive were conceived as installation for physical spaces - in this case a 6 channel mix - and later reduced to stereo for release. The results form dizzying microcosms of atomised sound, exploding the archive like the big bang of electronic music that it arguably is.
In 16 parts, the shrapnel of Darmstadt’s conceptual thought bombs and concrète recordings become unanchored from their original moorings and reshaped with Leichtmann’s unique logic. Traces of Stockhausen, Xenakis, Nono, Ligeti et al are recontextualised, remixed to provide the listener with the perspective of a fly-on-the-wall time traveller, siting in on lectures, or overhearing experiments, but all scrambled by strange quantum mechanics with heavily psychedelic side-effects. By nature it’s a respectful yet daring approach to this end of the avant garde, which we’re sure the originators may well approve of, or at least find good reason to criticise.