This is the way the world ends. Not with a whimper, or a bang, but with a dense undulating stream of strobing sound... We approach the supernova, we travel through it, we vaporise.
This album comes from Luke's ongoing PORTAL project, which is based upon the pre-set auto-chords and arpeggios of some vintage electronic keyboards, namely the Yamaha Portasounds from early 1980s. By themselves, the pre-sets can sound super cheesy, but when combined en masse, the effect can be mesmerising, almost orchestral at times.
One crucial technical element has been the collection of many units of the one model of keyboard, which means that the auto-chords/arpeggios can be set to the same sound, harmony and tempo. But it is never exactly the same. The micro-differences of these thirty-year-old machines creates complex micro-phasing in which the musical patterns go forever in and out of synch. No moment of the music is ever quite the same as the next. And underneath the frenetic surface textures, the structural elements of harmony and density slowly morph. Nothing much changes, and yet everything does.
PORTAL exists as spatial installation (in galleries, homes and more), as live performance (on stage and on radio), but now for the first time in album form. To create each track, Luke used up to sixteen identical Portasound keyboards (eight PS100s and eight PS400s to be exact, but whilst different models they have the same sounds and pre-sets).
released September 16, 2014
Each track recorded in a single take in the artist's studio, Brisbane Australia, in July-August 2014.