With the craziness that is happening all over the world one of the things you need is consistency. Thankfully labels are still putting out physical music, albeit under adverse conditions (especially postal bans). One such label is the ever reliable n5MD with their latest release, a re-release of Gimmik’s “Entre les chambers”.
“Some may remember the name Gimmik whose experimental electronica compositions were piqued apexes in the Toytronic record label cannon in the early oughts. Martin Haidinger, the man behind Gimmik, also has recorded as Low Profile Society, and Num Num (among many other epithets). He’s returned to making music 15 after he left the music scene behind. It was his old Toytronic, and Abfahrt Hinwil partner Chris Cunningham, coupled with the growing popularity of Eurorack modular that compelled Martin to start creating music again.
Released initially on hand-numbered cassette on Martin’s own Hidden Reality micro imprint in October 2019, Entre les chambres gets the remaster treatment by n5MD for release on vinyl in summer of 2020. Those familiar with Martin Haidinger’s work as Gimmik might be surprised by a beatless return from Haidinger. However, those that have followed his music know that his synth work is undoubtedly his signature, and Entre les chambres’ two long-form works bring his trademark to the fore, free from the confines of the grid. Entre les chambres is Haidinger’s first new Gimmik music since he appeared on our MD8 compilation back in 2004.”
Originally released in a micro edition of twenty five copies on cassette, n5MD has re-mastered it and re-released it on Silver with Black and White splatter vinyl. In addition they have offered up slightly edited versions of both tracks with around five minutes taken off both pieces to fit onto the LP format. Moving away from IDM style of his early noughties work, Haidinger sets course for a darker form of beat less ambient that is as much as being taken on a journey as it is about light and shade. The two nineteen minute pieces “La peau de la femme” aka “Woman’s Skin” and “Mort d’une ombre” aka “Death Of A Shadow” exist within various forms of the ambient spectrum. I deliberately decided to avoid listening to his past works as it seems quite a life away from releases and styles. For that reason, I am not sure if there was an ambient feel to his music of the past.
With “La peau de la femme” there is a distinct shift noticed just after the eight minute mark. The music prior to this has a field recording soaked sound that has slightly muted but melodic drone arcs that rise and fall under a static soaked environment. It is the type of opening that can evoke many different feelings, but none that I would associate with the translation of the title. The music explores textures and contrasts and it conjures up different environmental feelings – I can picture as much a rain forest canopy during a storm as I can one lashing a shore line. The second half of the piece explores sharp tones which are embodied into drone scapes with a more present than buried position as before. The dense sounds that dominated the opening section of the piece still occasionally show themselves, but to a lesser extent. Almost sounding like a church organ in full flight, the music has an intensity and expressive feel and at times (especially around the fourteen minute mark) the piece feels exultant.
“Mort d’une ombre” has looped and distorted voice recordings that dominate over the lush swells of synth drones reminiscent of the second half of “La peau de la femme”. Once the music moves into it’s second movement around the five minute mark, we can concentrate on Haidinger’s glacial synths and pulses of air. The complexion and temperature of the piece changes throughout with later movements balancing the icy squall with melody, light and intensity. At times the music captures the church organ feel of before, but amplifies every aspect about it. The synths are in over drive and are built into a variety of layers and sounds to create a piece that is travelling in all directions at once. If you are to take the title on a literal basis the Haidinger is banishing the shadows with no doubts lingering over his intent.
So far this year (and what a year it has been), n5MD have dropped releases from the likes of Ocoeur, port-royal, Daniel McCagh and worriedaboutsatan. None of these releases have sounded the same and that’s why this release from Gimmik fit’s in. It is different to what you are expecting and it clearly could be ascribed to a bunch of genre classifications like Dark Ambient, Glacial Ambient, Synth Drone. It is also the kind of album I have been listening to for the past week and each time I tend to find myself focusing on something different. There are moments of beauty and then there are others when Haidinger leads you into the darkness. It just depends on what it is that you seek out.
“Entre les chambres” is released on July third as a limited silver with black and white splatter LP and Digital.