Before the identity of FFT (Fast Fourier Transform) was revealed in an article written by Matt Blair in August 2018, only one EP, titled “fft1” and released at the end of 2017 as the first reference of the aptly named label Uncertainty Principle, had been enough to arouse the expectation of dignitaries like Grant Wilson-Claridge or Ed Upton, better known as DMX Krew; after mastering the EP in question, the latter even acknowledged that this was the best recent artist he had encountered in a while. Comprising five pieces, “fft1” set up the meticulous materialization of an aural plan whose anamnesis drew a line between the aesthetic resources of glitch –clicks, noises, hums– and a background in the use of some of its characteristic elements, such as the bleep, in a sort of technically complex, strangely accelerated and digitally incorruptible braindance conjunction of Alva Noto, Warp’s lilac maxi singles, Unique 3, Aleksi Perälä or Jodey Kendrick.
However, following the unveiling, Briton Josh Thompson, who had previously operated as Alma Construct, has worked on the project’s concept by expanding its limits in a rationally justified manner. Firstly, the “in-side” EP –released in December 2018 on Super Hexagon, the label he co-owns with J. Wiltshire– showed Gerald Donald’s influence, exposed some autechrian inclination towards entropic geometry and gloomy, cold emotion, and increased the importance of melody and the tendency to treat the material through precise procedures characteristic of avant-garde sound sculptors. Secondly, the EP released four months later on The Trilogy Tapes, composed of two extensive pieces of almost ten minutes each, continues with the obsession with detail but exploring, on the one hand, rhythmic inflections, textures and colors of the timbric palette of the more complex techy dubstep, and, on the other hand, Uwe Schmidt’s artificial pop, in an ambiguous and permanently changing song over its two sections. FFT shows a great ability to converse with different aesthetics of the immediate past but without drowning in the stagnant waters of doxography, clearly differentiating between previous models and a design that proposes the emergence of new terms.
Recorded at the end of May 2019, the podcast unfolds and completes with unreleased tracks the entire aesthetic offered by FFT. At first glance, the most striking thing is its wide dynamic range and rich stereo image. In attentive listening, the internal consistency of the work, determined by dialectical relationships between consecutive pieces, parts and sections, reminds that not only is there here an obsession with the sound aspect, but that there are also analogies with the theories and laws of physics underneath, such as Newton’s third law –”for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction”–. Here lies an observable chain of events constructed at different velocities and scales: molecular movements, expanding nebulae, stellar collisions, red giants disintegrated for all eternity.
We recommend playing back the recording through appropriate speakers or headphones, at full volume and in total darkness.
Photography by Geray Mena.