An Moku - Less

An Moku - Less

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Label: Pure Magnetik

“​Less​ was my most difficult album to make,” says Dominik Grenzler (aka An Moku). Frustrated by his lack of progress on a concurrent project, he turned to his bass guitar and his effects boxes, and over two sessions produced a kind of music that was a departure for him: “​Less ​is an approach to Hauntology and drone like I’ve never done those before.

“Most of my recordings are only with the bass guitar and effects,” he points out. "I have used ​field recordings on "A better tomorrow" and "Blur" and have treated vinyl crackles a bit at the end of "Melancholia" so that they generated an electronic vibe. All in all you might be surprised how the bass guitar is able to sound and fool you being a synthesizer." Less​ ​is a textured, sensual audio fabric of electricity, the sound of voltage flowing through equipment, pushing against impedance, expanding into a sonic architecture of places: the sound of still life, objects, haunted spaces.

During the pandemic lockdown, he listened to hauntology recordings and wanted to direct his efforts at the genre, “somehow, with my own ideas. I wanted ​Less ​to be abstract. I wanted to limit myself and had to rethink. My limitation on this release was bass, a bunch of pedals on two pedalboards, some dusty vinyl crackles and a few of my field recordings."

This is something of a hardware album, a duet between Grenzler and his boxes, especially the Zoia modular effects synthesizer. He created a patch in the device “named ‘Melancholia,’ that loops, chops, and pitches down,” looking for a darker and more industrial bottom than in his other music. Out of that came the track “Melancholia.” The central “location” of the album, it’s a place into which the music directs the ear, a churning soundscape of uneasy memories and dramatic stabs of sensation. From here, ​An Moku ​guides the listener back out through the final track, “Absent.”

“I knew I wanted to let the bass sound differently,” he explains. “You hear walls of sound full of movement and voltage, but less of the bass. All in all it is less of everything.”

But less of everything, on ​Less,​ produces more. Like the ​natura morta​ paintings of artists like Giorgio Morandi, tracks like “A Better Tomorrow” and “Forgetting” seem to just turn on, there before our ears in the way an image sits before our eyes. Sounds hum and expand with the tactility of the vibrating strings of Grenzler’s bass guitar, the loops of voltage that run through his effects.