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Signal to Noise by Robert Henke

On this daintily constructed outing, Robert Henke explores one of his favorite electronic keyboards, the Yamaha SY77. In the liners, the artist describes the qualities of the instrument and how he filtered sounds and embarked upon other engineering-type processes via what he calls, "granular synthesis." Well, it’s quite apparent that Henke knows the mechanics of such matters. But at the end of the day, this delightful ambient-electronic affair sparks notions of those ‘70s and early ‘80s Brian Eno recordings.

Henke implements swashing synth patterns and subtle shifts in pitch among other fabrications. It’s an airy and largely minimalist style program as the artist’s music gravitates toward subtle peaks and broad horizons in a leisurely sort of way. It can be whatever you want it to be, whether it is intended to soothe the soul, serve as background music or something that divulges understated alterations upon repeated spins. Regardless, Henke took great care developing this project. And it’s not that often that music is composed or perhaps manipulated, based upon homage to any particular instrument, especially within the electronics realm.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Robert Henke
  • CD Title: Signal to Noise
  • Genre: Electronica
  • Year Released: 2004
  • Record Label: Imbalance Computer Music
  • Tracks: Signal to Noise I, Signal to Noise II, Studies for Thunder
  • Musicians: Robert Henke (Yamaha SY77)
  • Rating: Three Stars
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