Dialektik, Dialektik Podcast 12 Jung An Tagen photography by Geray Mena

12Jung An Tagen

Electronic technology permeates almost every contemporary music production. Its present ubiquity blurs the superficially consensual distinction between those musics that are usually described as “electronic” and those that are usually left out of the supposed category. By taking his recently inaugurated netlabel ETAT as an appropriate platform for aesthetic reinvention, Stefan Juster –better known as Jung An Tagen– invites us to reflect on the original conception of the diffuse but persistent (perhaps obsolete) term: “electronic” as an annulment of the previous instrumental tradition and as a simultaneous reversion towards the foundation of the sinusoidal oscillation in the path of aesthetic openness; “electronic” as the fragmentation of a theoretical or imagined or mythical musical syntax, replaced, as far as ETAT is concerned –“dissociative, psychoacoustic, computer music”–, by the pareidolic illusion, the moiré effect and other perceptual events-games; in short, “electronic”, beyond the intervention in music of electronic media geared towards sound synthesis and manipulation, as the ultimate split, estrangement, dehumanization, machinic strangeness, though still, of course, the direct result of human ingenuity and intentionality.

The proposals of those who make up the tracklist of the present catalogue –Eric Frye, RM Francis, Marcin Pietruszewski and Juster himself as Jung An Tagen– are not, however, limited to mere terminological revisionism. The gaze turned towards seminal “electronics” –a revolutionary maximization of control over compositional material in line with serial praxis– is complemented here, instead, with randomness, noisy chaos and inquiries into the discipline of machine learning, trial and error redirected towards those domains that may exceed the limits of human cognitive abilities. Ultimately, surrendering compositional control in favor of a new machine autonomy –synthetic intelligence that designs, executes, reviews and refines responses according to incoming stimuli– finds here its musical manifestation as a dialogue between obsessive repetition and sequential motivic mutations; furthermore, it recovers the perhaps lost notion of “experimentation” in strict Cageian sense, not as an “alternative” or deviation from aesthetic orthodoxy, but as the design and implementation of compositional systems that offer (relatively) unpredictable results.

Through Juster, who is backed up by more than a decade of discographic activity under multiple and diverse pseudonyms, ETAT may land on what Herbert Eimert identified as the excision, via electronic synthesis, of the “psychographic domain” in music. Setting aside any hint of expressionist gestures, one is left with form and “abstract” sound, auditory disorientation, emotional alienation: “dissociative, psychoacoustic, computer music”, or experiments in Elektronische Musik hailing from the Vienna of the 21st century.

Photography by Geray Mena.
Set design by Lúa Oliver.

Eric Frye – 19 trad (folding slip) (Blind Denoising by Self-Supervision)
Eric Frye – Glass Hall Extended (Automatic Junk Heuristic)
Eric Frye – Automatic Junk Heuristic (Automatic Junk Heuristic)
Eric Frye – 17percentbatteryjazzsolo ($ pwgen 20 – Pulsar.scramble)
Eric Frye – Smoke Bath (Automatic Junk Heuristic)
RM Francis – Eff Eff Eff Eff Eff Eff Eff Eff Eff Eff Eff Eff Eff (Nth White Dot)
RM Francis – 24oth minutes of…-ICE (CODE889)
RM Francis – “whe”.- – – 0.03778-89 (CODE889)
Jung An Tagen – Thimblerigger (Emergent Properties)
Jung An Tagen – Emergent Properties (Emergent Properties)
Marcin Pietruszewski – pulsarAutomata
Marcin Pietruszewski – sieveSequence(000110100110) ($ pwgen 20 – Pulsar.scramble)