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coverpic flag Germany - Full Moon 243 - 06/20/16

Markus Mehr
Hidden Shoal Recordings

Markus Mehr has been around for some years now and he has come up with his sixth album, Re-Directed. He still drives the experimental lane, deep out and far into the left field of the experimental-ambient-drone landscapes of found sounds and field recordings. Come let us enter the land of sound director Mehr.

Re-Directed came as a 'birthday present' (released some two months ago, on April 29). It seems that Mehr is even "more digital" and abstract this time. Much more than on his earlier works. Even the song titles are more of an abstracted kind, as the seven songs/compositions included on this album are entitled/numbered: the four "Re-directed" tracks (parts 1 through 4), and the three (shorter) "Interlude" tracks (parts 1 through 3). Re-Directed is a more 'confrontational soundwork of digital surrealism' according to the splendid Hidden Shoal label, and the album's theme focus on 'our dependence upon digital technology and communication, and how this dependence renders us vulnerable to exploitation'. Brave New World and Nineteen Eighty-Four revisited, merged, sonically re-directed.

The Re-Directed project saw the light of day as an audio-visual performance collaboration between Markus Mehr and Stefanie Sixt. The pair started to work together in 2009, and their combined forces - Mehr's sound (audio escapades) and Sixt's visuals (vision-scapes) - are making a strong unit, presenting some effective and artistic works for sure. Almost as an audio-visual installation - as contemporary sound art. For this work, Mehr has recorded 'hours of sound from servers, hard disks and mobile phones using induction microphones, rendering the inaudible audible and bringing the background noise of digital life into focus.' Where his last album (Binary Rooms, 2014) was more of a warmer and a bit more glowing recording, this new album is more from the colder, icier world. That said, they are both records from the (living) man-machine world of Mehr. Re-Directed is tense and vibrant, it is both strained and spirited at the same time. Re-Directed is the sound of construction, de-construction and re-construction. DerriDadaism, anyone? Mehr is a true modern sonic sculptor.

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You may also want to check out our Markus Mehr articles/reviews: Binary Rooms, Gymnasium/Swarms, Hubble, In the Palm of Your Hand - The Remix EP, In, Lava, Off, On.

© 2016 Luna Kafé