When my German friend Kai Hanekken proposed that I make a composition using vinyl sounds I was sceptical at first. This idea has been used and abused by (especially) electronica in the mid-80s and onward; it is by now a cliché par excellence and I felt it to be a rather pointless undertaking. However, thinking a little bit further, two things struck me. First, I realized that no composition (that I have heard of) had really gone deep into the investigation and exploration of vinyl noises before, so that there was in fact a rather virgin field hiding therein. Second, just because of its obvious cliché status, the idea could be worthwhile, if I could somehow twist it in a new and original fashion.
When Kai then offered me to digitize all of the various vinyl noises from his large vinyl collection I could not resist the idea anymore. I would have access to a very large amount of material that I would not have been able to extract myself (not to mention that I probably would not have had the time nor the energy), and when I finally had the chance to create it in the 43-channel Klangdome of the Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie (ZKM, Karlsruhe, Germany), the game was on.
It came out as the single most hardcore piece I ever did to this date. Rough, aggressive, dark and generally obnoxious but in a rather pleasant way (in my mind).
I wanted the piece to gradually get to the point of “the ultimate crackle” spreading the vinyl noise over the full frequency spectrum and in the full volume of space. This can of course only be made in a rather big multichannel sound system so in its stereo version, the sound image gets very dense, overcompact and even more ear scattering than intended. Feel free to listen and like or dislike it, but remember to play it loud!
Grooves was realized in May 2011 with the 43-channel Klangdome of the ZKM_Kubus of the Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie (ZKM, Karlsruhe, Germany). Thanks to Kai Hanekken and the ZKM.