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Kouw, Matthijs

The Great Image Has No Form [CD + DOWNLOAD]

Kouw, Matthijs: The Great Image Has No Form [CD + DOWNLOAD] (esc.rec.)

With the haunting impression of spiritual peacefulness and inner contemplation, Netherlands sound & experimental musician Matthijs Kouw blurs synthetic sound, field recordings and acousmatic sources into a reflection of his interest in Daoism and his visit to China's Wudang mountains, where he studied Chinese meditation and martial arts.
 

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product information:

Personnel:



Matthijs Kouw-composer, performer


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Label: esc.rec.
Catalog ID: esc.rec.64
Squidco Product Code: 30520

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2019
Country: Netherlands
Packaging: Digipack
Recorded by the artist. Mastered by Jos Smolders.

Descriptions, Reviews, &c.

"On this album, Matthijs Kouw presents pensive and melancholic drone-driven music driven by his long-time interest in Daoism and inspired by his visit to the Wudang mountains in China in 2007, where he studied Chinese meditation and martial arts. Much like the Chinese landscape painting that provides the artwork for this release, the drones on The Great Image Has No Form slowly coalesce, evolve, and morph into metastable structures that linger on, only to slowly evaporate and dissolve into the undifferentiated. Daoism teaches us that the fa

"On this album, Matthijs Kouw presents pensive and melancholic drone-driven music driven by his long-time interest in Daoism and inspired by his visit to the Wudang mountains in China in 2007, where he studied Chinese meditation and martial arts. Much like the Chinese landscape painting that provides the artwork for this release, the drones on The Great Image Has No Form slowly coalesce, evolve, and morph into metastable structures that linger on, only to slowly evaporate and dissolve into the undifferentiated. Daoism teaches us that the foundational cannot be named and identified, but rather has to be experienced firsthand. This album is an invitation to the listener to dwell in this space of the unnamable and the mysterious, and to embrace it wholeheartedly."-Esc.Rec



"In this feverish, identity-bludgeoned, algorithm-driven world, it's more than refreshing to hear work driven by pure process. Work where the listener can grasp for their own form of understanding, however fleeting. It's liberating.

This is the chance we are given with The Great Image Has No Form by Matthijs Kouw; a mammoth, very inclusive four-track essay in human reflection; inspired by Kouw's interest in Daoism and his visit to China's Wudang mountains, where he studied Chinese meditation and martial arts.

Musically the record begins by dragging up memories of that other great sonic barrage balloon, T-Dream's Zeit. In fact some of more noticeable sonic forays on opening track The Dao is Achieved Through Discipline, give a strong impression of Froese's gang in action. If we descend to the astral plane, we can maybe also draw comparison to stuff on Type or Kranky; Anjou's recent work springs to mind.

Drones are what we get, and then some. But, unlike many other records in this field there is a strong sense of movement, or physicality; of ideas actively formulating as the work progresses. I suppose this is how we are meant to hear Kouw's experiences of the Chinese landscape. There are plenty of switches and changes of course that go hand in hand with this impression. For example there is a noticeable ramping up of pressure and hardening of the sonic palette during "Immersed in the Roar of Crickets on Approaching the Temple". Was this linked to a particular memory of a (solitary) decision taken in real life? It certainly feels so.

Unsurprisingly perhaps, given the story behind the making of this release, there's a quiet sort of individual romanticism at play. Tracks like "But To Whom Will They Be Told?" and the glorious "Sword Practice" evoke great feeling - even if gradually. This "human" element to the work reminds me of the approach of another great contemporary Dutch electronic artist, Martin Comes.

Over all The Great Image Has No Form is a very refreshing, even invigorating listen. In fact it's rare to be compelled to write in a feverish state of excitement about an hour or so of drone music inspired by Daoism, but there you have it."-Richard Foster, Louder than War

oundational cannot be named and identified, but rather has to be experienced firsthand. This album is an invitation to the listener to dwell in this space of the unnamable and the mysterious, and to embrace it wholeheartedly."-Esc.Rec


Get additional information at Louder than War

Artist Biographies

"Matthijs Kouw is an experimental musician based in The Netherlands exploring the relationship between movement and stasis. Using analog synthesis, software, field recordings, and recordings of various objects, Matthijs combines long-form drone with elements from acousmatic music, noise, and microsound."

-Matthijs Kouw Website (https://clinamen.nl/about/)
11/29/2023

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.


Track Listing:



1. The Dao Is Achieved Through Discipline 8:52

2. The Being-within-form Is The Mother Of The Myriad Things 7:23

3. Immersed In The Roar Of Crickets Upon Approaching The Temple Where Sifu Lives 13:20

4. But To Whom Will They Be Told? 4:54

5. Sword Practice 16:34

Related Categories of Interest:


Electro-Acoustic
Sound, Noise, &c.
Electronic Forms
Field Recordings

Solo Artist Recordings
New in Experimental & Electronic Music

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