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Gábor Lázár - Boundary Object Music Album Reviews

Gábor Lázár - Boundary Object Music Album Reviews
Recorded in real time and released without further edits, the Hungarian musician’s dizzyingly unstable experiments in rhythm and timbre revel in the plasticity of sound.

Sine waves are the blood and guts of music, and no one knows this better than electronic composers. Pioneers in the 1970s built the genre by subtracting: With a variety of analog tools, they removed waves from waveforms to forge eerie, pathbreaking sounds. Fifty years later, Hungarian producer Gábor Lázár does the opposite: He layers waves on top of each other, crafting uncharted timbres at the heart of harsh, serpentine, forward-thinking records.

Lázár is hardly the originator of this method, additive synthesis—it’s how the millennia-old pipe organ works, for example. But on his latest, Boundary Object, the 32-year-old producer manipulates his digital instruments with a demonic complexity, lavishing even more attention on tone color than he does on rhythm, and contorting each patch like a magician twisting balloons into different shapes. The album walks a fine line between precise and clinical, but it ultimately teaches us its own peculiar vocabulary: By the end of its 34 minutes, this glossary seems to have the far-flung possibility of an entire language.

Boundary Object marks a shift in Lázár’s style, technological and otherwise. The producer programmed his last couple of albums, 2018’s Unfold and 2020’s Source, using Logic, the ubiquitous software on which he cut his teeth as a young beat whiz frequenting Budapest clubs. Full of sinuous techno, these releases were deeply pleasurable and coyly nostalgic. Yet Lázár sought more control, so he produced his latest using the endlessly customizable software application Max. The album revels in the plasticity of sound, offering an unblinkingly serious technological immersion he hasn’t attempted since his early career. Newer fans may miss the propulsive grooves, but Boundary Object expands on many of Lázár’s strengths while pointing toward another kind of physical movement. The LP’s jerky tempos and frantic, arhythmic bass drum seem more modern dance accompaniment than soundtrack to a night out.

This might remind us of Jlin, who scored a piece for Company Wayne McGregor in 2018. But unlike the Indiana-based luminary (or another Planet Mu labelmate, RP Boo), Lázár’s low end lacks the malleability of liquid and the wobble of dub, and there are no vocal samples. His music is decidedly less luxurious; each of Boundary Object’s eight, eponymously titled tracks asks us to find our own handholds in the mix. The opener’s half-note kick drum feels like an anchor, but before we can learn how to move along with the composition’s thump, Lázár staggers his beat, introducing handclaps to undermine the song’s flow. On the second track, the midrange turns starchy and fuzzy with static, while the bass stumbles along like someone tapping nervously on a desk. There are flashes of danceability—on “Boundary Object III,” for example—but Lázár’s percussion constantly liberates itself from timekeeping duties, so we cling to almost-melodic squelches of noise, the way we might to a soloing saxophonist during a particularly dissonant free-jazz set.

Structurally, Boundary Object coheres thanks to symmetry. Handclaps from the opening track return, but this time in a catchy way, on “Boundary Object V,” and throughout Lázár introduces phrases and inverts them, all the while pacing his drum sounds with a sense of pressure mounting and releasing. The record’s inscrutability becomes a greater boon as it speeds along to its close. Lázár’s frenetic kick drum speaks directly with the rest of the elements, while he runs his patches through such deliberate, momentary changes that they resemble glissandos. We enter Boundary Object bewildered by its lexicon until we calmly parse each phoneme of sound. By the LP’s end, we’ve learned some idiomatic expressions from another world.

For Lázár, such an opaque language is innate: He performed each track in real time and then released the recordings unedited. His use of computer programs as an expressive tool conflicts with ordinary conversations about “naturalness” in the electronic realm—such a term usually refers to four-on-the-floor rhythms pounding like heartbeats, or digital timbres that feel acoustic. But what is naturalness, and how can music be unnatural when it’s just a collection of waves, moving periodically? Lázár’s sound is rawer in concept than his peers’, and manipulated with an implacable, impressive fussiness most producers would never attempt. But what truly sets him apart is something both universal in appeal and organic in spirit: He uses his art, in all its permutations, in order to be himself.

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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
Gábor Lázár - Boundary Object Music Album Reviews Gábor Lázár - Boundary Object Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on Thursday, March 03, 2022 Rating: 5

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