When the Imposed Order LP arrived at WXPN back in 1982, the DJs were duly impressed. But one of us was quite shattered. The idea of a good-looking, expertly engineered, independently produced album of lofty new music, by someone somewhere way out in the USA, someone who probably did not know anything about our scene here in Philadelphia, who had founded his own record label for this and a number of other similarly weighty projects, this notion was beyond stimulating - it was moving.
It was such a pleasure to explore the nine tracks found on the original LP, which moved easily between cool textural ambience to Fourth World heat. Imposed Order seemed to reference contemporaneous works by Brian Eno, but to the extent that a typical listener would not really notice. This music truly inhabited its own distinctive space, a space which has never really been appropriated, or even approached by any other artist in electronic sound.
A lifetime later, the guy behind the label, the music and the aesthetic is still active and vital. Along with decades of forward-thinking, innovative releases and projects, K Leimer has now found it was time to re-release his original classic - with a second disc full of works realized for various purposes between 1983-1987.
The beautiful Imposed Order | Imposed Absence is an inventive album that is rarely made any more. The original Imposed Order was released in a time where border crossings were not forbidden, but rather encouraged. Its re-issue (with bonus material) feels like a retreat back to an era when this genre was new, and offered a world of possibilities. A marvel of musical precision, it reminds us that there was a time when we celebrated the sounds and moods of music, and not just the technology and process.
From the granular detail of ethno-drum loops, to slow, airy piano improvisations, and the dreamy atmosphere of vintage synths and reverb, Leimer's compositions move like a swift silvery ghost. One track may be as intimate as a whisper, while the next rolls over us like storm clouds coming in from the horizon. Absorbing and moving, Imposed Order | Imposed Absence deserves full immersion. However, it is doubtful that you will find yourself anywhere in this music. It will be better for the listener to avoid wondering what it all means - so as to notice better how it makes them feel.
If the art of music is about transporting the audience, then K Leimer is an unrivaled guide. His abilities elevate Imposed Order | Imposed Absence beyond the "Indie" category and into fine art. We are not really sure who made K Leimer, or what confluence of events has led him to make so much substantial music. In his early releases we can hear where Leimer began. By listening to his recent work we may learn where he is, but trying to predict where this artist will go next is completely impossible.
- Chuck van Zyl/STAR'S END 3 January 2019