Christopher K. Koenigsberg
prod/dist: PWOA productions
3 ii 1998
Melody is not the first word that comes to mind when describing the pieces on this album. Though a signature runs through it, it can almost be split in half. Chris Koenigsberg's "BRAINS" CD doesn't fall between the cracks: you either can't stand it (bad) or you can't stand it (good). It won't leave you cold, but it might render you still, silent or screaming for an hour or so.
A certain aggressiveness in compositions 1 and 2 is surprising at first; the wide dynamic range inherent to electronic music is fully used.
This is the reference mark and it is out there!
Piercing tones and sharp attacks are characteristic of the beginning of the album, it will take over control of your cerebellum, à la shock treatment. A release follows with the haunting "Free Spirit". Speechless voices and time-expanded-source-material contain the listener into submission between a pair of speakers. The title piece is well located as the fourth track, leaping from unrecognisable speech to a simple sample containing the words: "That's it! No more you understand?". It's as if your subconscious had become a ventriloquist!
From there onwards the album steers into slightly more rhythm driven pieces. The explorations are at quite a different pace. A slower rub-a-dub style with a foggy notion is what I can make of it. It stands on the fringe of an experimental semi-pop category... But you can't dance to it.
CK gets under your skin and if you could mainline some electronic music, maybe that's how you'd feel? Sharp tensions with releases like freefalls.