Kretchmer – Music in the key of Major (2016)

Article by Lance Viggiano.

2016 has been a dismal year for metal in terms of albums one might want to carry with them for the rest of their aimless and futile material embodiment. Fortunately, other genres are not so bereft of endearing symbolic language. Kretchmer is an electro composer who draws from the “braindance” acid of middle period Aphex Twin and the romantic melodic sensibilities of Kraftwerk. Each track possess an underlying narrative whose structure reveals itself via the gradual buildup of layers to a moderate density. A primary motif is looped or varied upon through the course of a given track. To further fill space, chords occupy the background and often provide a resolve to the melody as it cycles. Par for the course for this music, the drum and synth bass tracks play with the open space in between musical themes and function as harmonic rather than strictly rhythmic components. The emergent polyphonic circuitry pays tribute to classical sensibilities but eschews the theatrical; drawing instead from the grounded drama of the moving body.

The result is a captivating mix of caution and hope as if one looks toward the future with a reserved anticipation. This is a fairly stark contrast from metal’s meaning in the aftermath of the realization of death in the personal, communal and cultural sense. Instead what one finds is a contemplative space within which one explores an idol of joy as a manifestation of the many ways in which the object gives itself over to the subject. Or as it might otherwise be said, one of the many ways in which we might approach the infinite and transcendent universe from our limited faculties. Music in the Key of Major explores the mythic arc of progress with uncertainty and acceptance; knowing full well that the future may hold a disaster but concludes that we ought to cherish the fruits of the trial regardless.

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35 thoughts on “Kretchmer – Music in the key of Major (2016)”

  1. Roger says:

    Sounds really like boards of canada, only much much worse. And it’s pretty camp, too.

  2. ANUSaanite says:

    Sounds like someone on MDMA made this. The problem is this music has no personality of its own and let’s be honest: we should probably just listen to Soulside Journey instead. Like the majority of this style (like later Autechre), I doubt anyone will listen to this more than once (if even that).

  3. Hræsvelgr says:

    Perfect music for soothing autistic children.

    #makedmugreatagain #firelanceviggiano

    1. ANUSaanite says:

      What I learned from his articles: Transilvanian Hunger is bad and electronic music of the Ultra fest variety is good… I think this genre started as a good idea and then got worse over time (Aphex Twin and Autechre). Boards of Canada only became good when they became more like 70’s electronic music. At the same time, and people will scoff at the alleged “metal background entryism” – none of this stuff is as good as both Neptune Towers albums or Burzum’s Hlidskjalf.

      1. C.M. says:

        LP5 and Exai are as good as Amber or Incunabula, and BoC was great all through their middle period (Hi Scores up to the most recent which is dull). Neptune Towers is great as well but not remotely related to post-techno/braindance stuff except that both genres feature synthesized tones as the main melodic element.

        What do you think of Suuri Shamaani?

        1. ANUSaanite says:

          I don’t think Autechre made an album that can hold interest all the way through, even if the first impression is “interesting”. When I mention Neptune Towers, it’s because when people think “electronic music” in general they usually think this dance stuff and I don’t blame them for turning away on the genre – this “braindance” genre reveals itself to be nothing more than the same old Ultra Fest music over time whereas Neptune Towers is more geared for “immersion in listening” as opposed to “another set of suburban background rhythms”. Suuri Shamaani is also something that’s “interesting”, but hardly worth listening to. The Beherit electronic albums had some good stuff and some bad as well, but overall better. Usually, people treat electronic music like an experiment and it either ends up as slightly unorthodox club music or aimless drivel.

          1. Lance Viggiano says:

            You can’t trust someone whose opinion on “the best” electronic music has to offer is fucking burzum. Klaus Schulz? The Berlin School in plenty autistic.

            1. ANUSaanite says:

              What’s wrong with Klaus Schulz or Tangerine Dream? What’s wrong with Burzum’s 2nd “ambient” album? Not enough hip hop samples?

              1. C.M. says:

                It’s not street level shit ya can relate to.

              2. Lance Viggiano says:

                Nothing they are great. Your only given examples of good electronic music were metal artists. Wew. Nil (Autechre) is a better ambient track than anything varg put to tape in that genre.

          2. C.M. says:

            “Braindance” isn’t even a genre ya tard. If you look up any Rephlex braindance comps you’ll notice that none of the artists are really using the clearly defined methods of constructing songs or generating tones that typically outline a genre. It’s just a catch-all term for stuff that is too complicated to be techno.

            Actually I wouldn’t even call Kretchmer “braindance” to describe them, it’s UK techno with an emphasis on harmonic development, which is unusual for techno but not genre-defining. I think you just hate fun.

    2. Immanentist says:

      You misspelled #firedanceviggiano

    3. Rainer Weikusat says:

      One thing to realize here is that ‘early Burzum’ is aesthetically (similar to) (certain) black metal but that’s more of a social accident. It was never meant to be black metal but (new-age, weird as this may sound) ‘meditation music’. The same done purely electronically is (at least here) usually referred to as ‘ambient’ but that’s not really correct: Ambient music was supposed to be ‘musical wallpaper’, something that adds to the atmoshpere of a location but isn’t usually noticed because of itself. In contrast to this ‘meditation music’ (I’ve made this up for want of a better term) is supposed to be noticed: It’s supposed to influence someone’s conscious thinking, not soothe his subconscious feelings.

      That’s where this slightly bizarre split situation comes from where some people praise something fairly tame/ harmless as “the blackest black metal ever” followed by pointing at all kinds of downright horrible electronic tralala music, “and this is even better!” (your mundane mind lacks the sensitivity to grasp this) while other people shake their head in disbelief, “well, ok, this sounds like black metal and it’s quite cool but this …”.

      This is a bit like a junction where some people coming from the left and travelling to the right meet others going in the opposite direction but just that these paths cross (or crossed) at some point in time doesn’t mean they have anything else in common.

      1. Rainer Weikusat says:

        I meant paths crossing in an X-shape, not a straight line.

      2. trystero says:

        All mature norwegian black metal is essentially “meditation music”. This is most evident and most directly evident in Ildjarn, but Transilvanian Hunger, Pure Holocaust, Pentagram, Antichrist and DMDS all express it. Note the track Pagan Fears (lyrics) on DMDS for a succinct description of what they meant to express. All of them, including Varg. He wasn’t an outlier and his stuff isnt an accident.

        1. Rainer Weikusat says:

          There’s a detailed description why the early Burzum albums were created in the way they were created available here:

          The first track was supposed to calm down or rather “prepare” the listener, and make him or her more “susceptible” to the magic, the next song or songs were supposed to exhaust the listener and put him or her in a trancelike state of mind, and last track should “calm down” the listener and carry him or her into the “world of fantasy” – when he or she fell asleep.

          That’s certainly not the goal behind Pagan Fears which was a part of the Mayhem live set in 1990 already. And metal gigs aren’t supposed to make attendees fall asleep. A 2013 DMU post quotes Vikernes as

          I made a few more or less successful metal albums, but they all always included at least some ambient music. With time I moved further and further away from metal, and today only the ambient music remains. Today (2013) I think I am done playing metal music for good.

          While some of the names you mentioned are studio projects (Ildjarn and Darkthrone), Immortal, Gorgoroth and Mayhem certainly aren’t. Gorgoroth is specifically about spreading theistic Satanism.

  4. C.M. says:

    Thanks for this!

  5. Anthony says:

    2016 had plenty of good metal releases: Master, Cóndor, Vektor, SDG, Necropanther, Wormrot… Don’t be such a queen.

    1. C.M. says:

      What is good about Vektor? They sound like Symphony X fans attempting Voivod worship IM”H”O.

      1. Anthony says:

        and Burzum just sounds like an attempt at late ’80s/early ’90s Eurodance music done by a Hellhammer fanboy… and Mercyful Fate just sounds like a ’70s metal knock-off with goofy vocals… and Morbid Angel is just Possessed with too much guitar practice…

        1. C.M. says:

          And you sound like a raging faggot withdrawing from long-term SSRI use.

          1. Anthony says:

            Oh please. Drink your cranberry juice and scrub that yeast out Barbara.

      1. Anthony says:

        Didn’t know there was a new Agatus album. New Zemial that came out a while ago was pretty cool, and the new Macabre Omen last year was outstanding. Greek black metal renaissance?

    2. Lance Viggiano says:

      Condor was less metal and more so like the eagles. The first track is about as metal as the album gets as it tries to focus on so-so doom riffs and clever Melodies.

      I didn’t know about Master but the release after New Elite was just OK.

      Vektor – wank. Like Dan said, Ripper is better.

      SDG – everything since puressence and the snowland rerecording has been the band on cruise control. It doesn’t bomb down the slopes on fresh powder.

      The last two I’m sure are generic rehash.

      Sorry Danny Brown probably made the album of 2016 for me not sorry. Fire me. Runner up is going to be RIPPER.

      1. ANUSaanite says:

        If Danny Brown is that Warp records guy, a cursory listen reveals… I should join the chorus of #makedmugreatagain #firedanceviggiano. The Diablo 2 Lord of Destruction soundtrack is better than any of the mentions here. By that I mean direct quotations of classical music in a soundtrack made for a game is better than anything made for the MDMA crowd – in composition and aesthetics. Money to hire an orchestra also helps. In the end, skip this crap and listen to the 2nd Burzum “ambient” album (more Dead Can Dance but WHATEVER man) and both Neptune Towers. Ripper was a surprise but it reminded me that I should just listen to early Sepultura.

        1. Lance Viggiano says:

          How to fish without using bait.

    3. Anthony says:

      Also there was Blood Incantation and Ripper

    4. The Sleeping Tyrant says:

      New Krypts album is damn good too, and a solid improvement over their debut. This year also saw good demo/promo releases from War Master, Solstice (UK), and Innumerable Forms.

      1. War Master and Solstice aren’t out yet.

        1. The Sleeping Tyrant says:

          I specified promo/demo releases referring to these:

          The official full-lengths from each band are not released yet, that is correct.

    5. trystero says:

      Every single one of those sucks (haven’t heard the Master).

    6. trystero says:

      Every single one of those is terrible (haven’t heard the Master).

      1. Anthony says:

        Every single one of those is terrible including the one I haven’t heard and have no idea what it sounds like durrrrrr

        Go back to masturbating over boring retro revival fetish shit like Blaspherian and Desecresy fag

  6. Baaaarp says:

    I like this. Maybe a bit too beat driven.

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