Artist: Arjen Schat
Album: Spectrum

Released: 3 November 2017
Label: Tresor D'argent

Spectrum Arjen Schat
While the current crop of man-with-a-sequencer albums seems to trace their success back to a substantial cache of electronic gear, the two items most essential to the impressive work of Arjen Schat are just the two ears he was born with on either side of his head. His release Spectrum (44'08") does indeed feature five striking works for synthesizers, and their associated accessories, but its most important attribute is a wondrous uplifting musicality. This album is so enjoyable to listen to that once it is over we will want to give thanks for how fine a listening experience it was. Schat has obviously fully absorbed the traditions of the Berlin-School, and improvised some new ones, but Spectrum is no mere homage to the early classics. In poetic precision note patterns echo out, glowing like sparks against a midnight backdrop. The multiple levels of reiterating tones taken together make for a fascinating, ever-evolving texture. These pulsing, crowded moments find order within the mind, as this music shows its ability to hold the listener. Sets of notes, marching out in exact machine order, prove crystalline enough to shine through dusky arrangements, yet raw and direct enough to put across complex emotions. Amidst all this serial mechanized winding do exist long lines of lithe synthetic chords. These ethereal sounds mysteriously soften the steady motoring and pumping at the core of each composition. Whatever challenges that were posed to Schat's skills in the making of Spectrum, were perfectly met. It is this mastery of detail that adds to its sonic interest - which has great impact upon initial exposure, and continues to grow with each subsequent hearing. In Schat's inventiveness we find hope for a new enlightenment - one born out of the heat generated during the making of this music.

- Chuck van Zyl/STAR'S END   16 November 2017

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