Live At Honen-In Temple



New CD out in May 2013 on Macro.

Wire (UK) Stefan Goldmann’s set strings together vignette after sonic vignette: short explorations that are shuttled as if in a slideshow, the one constant being the rate of turnover from one small chamber of intriguing sound to another. Here you can feel Goldmann prodding, poking and pulling sounds apart as if with his bare hands.

Q Magazine (UK) “The one to buy!”-recommendation // This live album is characteristically out on a limb – it’s an hour of abstract ambient performed at the Buddhist temple near Kyoto, Japan, and sounds like intense meditations in sonic form. The music unfolds from sparse scrapings to voluptuous beauty, edginess to bliss, but doesn’t give up its secrets easily. Live At Honen-In requires real commitment, but is all the better for it.

Mixmag (UK) Berliner Stefan Goldmann is one artist from whom you should always expect the unexpected. (…) Parts of it are tough going, parts veritably euphoric, but if you give it your attention, it’s the transformation from the one to the other that makes it worth the effort. Strange, magical and brilliant.

Fact (UK) Live At Honen-In Temple was recorded at the titular holy site in Kyoto last year. The performance, arranged as part of Goldmann’s Villa Kamogawa residency in the city, took place in front of a tiny crowd “while daylight faded into the dark of night”. Goldmann’s set is a decidedly ambient affair, focusing on musique concréte, microtonal music and beatless soundscapes. The album promises a glut of previously unreleased material, alongside familiar friends like ‘Lunatic Fringe’.

Musikexpress (D) Alles wird zu einem großen Fluss. Es gibt Anklänge an die Pioniere der elektronischen Musik, Tracks zwischen Avantgarde und Atonalität, Minimalismus der als tiefgefrorenes Schaben aufs Maximale ausgereizt wird, lyrische Repetition. Techno Not Techno, aufgenommen während Goldmanns Künstlerresidenz an der Villa Kamogawa in Kyoto.

Groove Mag (D) Durch die Dodekaeder-Boxen des japanischen Herstellers Sonihouse schickt er düstere verzerrte Klänge in die Nacht und inszeniert somit auf extreme Weise die Stille des Zen-Gartens. Das Konzert im Honen-In, besucht von begeisterten jungen Japanern, die der Musik barfuß auf Tatami-Matten sitzend folgen, stellte den Höhepunkt von Stefan Goldmanns dreimonatigem Japan-Aufenthalt dar.

Resident Advisor (UK) Goldmann’s output has certainly included plenty of house and techno-oriented material, but he’s also shown a penchant for avant-garde experimentation, as heard on many of his prior LPs. It’s perhaps unsurprising then, especially given the setting, that Live At Honen-In Temple sees him veer far from the dance floor to focus on abstract (and often beat-less) soundscapes. Heavy on unreleased material.

Zeit Online (D) Der beeindruckendste Ort, sagt Stefan Goldmann, an dem er je gespielt habe, ist der Honen-In-Tempel in Kyoto. Eine buddhistische Stätte, durchzogen von verwinkelten Gängen aus Papierwänden und geheimen Zen-Gärten. Bis auf wenige Tage im Jahr haben nur Mönche Zutritt. Kurz vor der Heimreise wurde Goldmann die Ehre zuteil, hier Musik machen zu dürfen, in einem Raum, der sich an zwei Seiten zum Garten hin öffnet. Die Gäste der Techno-Zeremonie blickten auf dahingleitende Koi-Fische, schnurgerade Bambusstämme und schlürften ihren Tee.

Textura (CDA) Goldmann’s material is as carefully tended as a Japanese garden, and the meticulous music he created for the performance makes for a natural complement to the setting, which is documented in photographs within a full-colour mini-booklet. Electronically assembled, the music, new and unreleased material that Goldmann created suggests connections to Japanese culture and its musical tradition (…) with Goldmann attempting to balance bold experimentation with austerity and reserve.

A vocal choir warms the cool surfaces of “Lunatic Fringe,” but Live At Honen-In Temple is for the most part an instrumental excursion of constantly mutating character. At times, the metallic electronic design is softened by the faint chirp of birds, and its transformations occur unhurriedly and smoothly, with Goldmann generally opting for languid flow rather than jarring transitions — though he’s not averse to dramatic cut-up treatments, such as the ones liberally applied to Tuomi’s voice during the cool shimmer of “Mourning Eyes.” The sound design draws from acoustic and electronic realms, with ample arrays of percussion, synthesizers, bowed strings, electric guitars, and electronics dotting the stereo spectrum. Spurred on by alchemical weaves of bleepy electronic patterns and rabid bowing, “XNR/Echoes of an Era” could be seen as a microcosm of the project as a whole. This is an arresting addition to a wide-ranging body of work by an artist who’s never afraid to venture into new territory, confident that the adventurous listener will be as open to exploring it as the creator.

BPM Magazine (SA) Stefan Goldmann’s compositions are textured, quirky and imaginative, albeit in a pretty serious, dour, chin-stroker kind of way. Not immediately easy listening, 17:50, his 2012 album, is certainly varied and some of it even danceable… but the trademark to Goldmann’s sound is sonic exploration that is off the tried-and-tested path of much of the minimal-tech stuff out there. Live at Honen-In Temple is a live recording of his one-off performance on the slopes of the Eastern hills of Kyoto, Japan and is a completely different beast to 17:50, further endorsing this avant-garde techno producer’s reputation for sonic dexterity. Significantly this live performance is devoid of a single kick drum and given the right mood and setting, proves to be absorbing listening. If you’re an electronic music trainspotter (and we sure have a few of those in these parts) impress your friends with some left-of-centre techno. Recommended.

Mixmag Info (RU) Однако, немецкий музыкант довольно часто склоняется к звуковым экспериментам. Это заметно и по релизам его лейбла, а еще больше — по его собственным альбомам. Именно в долгоиграющих пластинках, как правило, Голдманну есть где разгуляться. «Live At Honen-In Temple» обещает быть таким же далеким от танцполов и наполненным абстрактными звуковыми формами, как и сам японский храм Honen-In от повседневной суеты.