Ricardo Villalobos and Max Loderbauer


Most listeners aren’t going to love this music as much as its creators, experimental techno musicians Ricardo Villalobos and Max Loderbauer. It’s sonic poetry, and it requires listening, being present, taking notice. Even those willing to devote the time won’t necessarily find their time rewarded. This is experimental soundscaping of the kind pioneered by Karlheinz Stockhausen some 50 years ago, minimalist music that emphasizes the silences between the sounds as much as the sounds themselves. I cannot claim expertise in this aural tradition, but I liked some of the 17 compositions here—remixes of modern jazz and classical music tracks from the back-catalog of Munich’s ECM Records; others, not so much. I wouldn’t even venture to say that the pieces I liked were the “better” ones since my reactions were entirely subjective. Walter Benjamin, the German literary critic, once said that “when we read a book, the book is reading us.” The same could be said of these sometimes ethereal, sometimes lovely, and sometimes grating compositions. This kind of electronica has always been about inward journeys. If you’ve got a couple of hours to take a reading on yourself, Re: ECM might help you get in touch.