I think I’ve bought everything on Recollection GRM to date… but I can’t say I reach for any of these Undisputed Masterpieces Of Electronic Music very often… they’re like the aggressively highbrow books you buy when you’re a teenager, you genuinely think you ARE going to read them, but you rarely, if ever, do. And, like those books, you just can’t get rid of them – you should, to make space for the celebrity sporting memoirs that you REALLY love. But you don’t. It’s not that they look impressive the shelf – on the contrary, they make you look like the amateur/grasper you are or were - but to get rid of them would be to admit defeat, to admit that your whole idea of yourself is fundamentally wrong. You want to feel like you’re the kind of person who would be into this stuff. So you cling on. You haven’t read it, or listened to it, this book or this record, but you WILL, one day, honest. That rainy day that never comes, even when it’s SHITTING BUCKETS outside.
However, this here record by Christian Zanesi is the ONE GRM record that a desperately middlebrow melon like me doesn't have to trick myself into listening to. This one is an unmitigated pleasure, at least with the context of, er, glacial electronic minimalism. It’s hard to say exactly why it's such a pleasure. I think it’s the MOODINESS of the thing… there’s a very cold, grim, dead-eyed feeling to this record that aligns it not only with the bleakest minimal techno but also industrial, but PROPER, without recourse to anything overly bludgeoning or darker-than-thou or otherwise over-cooked…Zanesi demonstrates amazing powers of restraint, creating a work that is essentially suspenseful rather than cathartic. Made in 1991, the repetitve, hypnotic nature of this work suggests he was at least aware of contemporary currents in electronic dance music at the time, but who knows... compared to most '91-era techno/ambient this sounds LIGHT years ahead, and in a blind test you'd almost certainly assume it was from the turn of the millennium, something from that Fennesz / Vainio / Oval / Hecker / late Whitehouse milieu. Today it still sounds utterly pristine and mysterious and future-proof, and it's without doubt one of the very best pure electronic music / concrète works I've come across. But then what would I know... I don't really ever listen to any of the others.