The dual laptop and video screen presentation of Flüux :/ Terminal perpetuates SKOLTZ_KOLGEN's eight-year tradition of innovative audio-visual performances. Having presented it to strong reception in Montreal, Mexico, and Italy, Montreal-based sound sculptors Dominique Skoltz and Herman Kolgen have now issued the extended, single movement work (indexed as eleven tracks, with the shortest more than a minute and the longest over seventeen) on MUTEK's record label.

It's an amoebic work that develops meticulously through multiple moods and episodes. Opening serenely with an elongated tone punctuated by soft whirrs and pops, see-sawing glimmers, and hushed voices, it evolves into a sensual digital pond of incessant activity that escalates in intensity with the emergence of crystalline flurries, blurred tones, and panning clicks. The addition of repetitive organ tones segues into a fuzzy, prickly drone joined by muffled scufflings and thrumming crackles before deflating to softly lapping shimmer. While the work tends to be arhythmic, in track eight bells softly chime atop a repeating bass pulse which suggests some faint connection to Vladislav Delay's Entain. As the work nears its end, it quietens to become progressively more meditative and still before expiring altogether.

In concert, the geometric beauty of SKOLTZ_KOLGEN's abstract visuals forms a powerful synchronic complement to its music. During Flüux :/ Terminal's presentation, geometric shapes and skeletal models flow across the two screens, while abrupt sonic ruptures morph the shapes into new configurations. Given the indelible connections between its aural and visual dimensions, it's therefore disappointing that it isn't presented in a DVD format like 2003's Rechenzentrum's The Director's Cut. But even without the visuals, Flüux :/ Terminal impresses as distinctive soundscaping that unfurls at an appealingly languid pace and never surrenders to cheap theatrics in order to establish itself. Most critically, the recording proves that the piece succeeds quite effectively as a pure sound experience.

September 2004