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JOHANNSSON, JOHANN - IBM 1401, a User's Manual

Format: CD
Label & Cat.Number: 4AD CAD 2609 CD
Release Year: 2006
Note: first album for 4AD, based on old tape-recordings from the 60's made by his father with a vintage IBM 1401 computer system
Price (incl. 19% VAT): €14.00

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Nach den schönen TOUCH-CDs ein weiteres stark Filmsoundtrack-artiges Album des Isländers, dass uns stark an die emotionale Musik von ARVO PÄRT erinnert... sein Debut für 4AD !!

"Johann Johannsson ist Isländer und lebt in Reykjavik. Er ist Musiker (sowohl Solo als auch als Mitglied des Apparat Organ Quartets), Komponist, Produzent und Labelgründer (Kitchen Motor). Johannssons Name ist auch immer wieder in den Credits der Produktionen renommierter Künstler zu finden. So produzierte und schrieb er mit Marc Almond an dessen Stranger Things' Album, arbeitete mit Barry Adamson, Pan Sonic, dem Hafler Trio oder Jaki Liebezeit zusammen.
Als Komponist verzaubert er seine Zuhörer meist mit seiner stattlichen und eindringlich-melodischen Musik. Sein neues Werk ist bis dato seine am anspruchsvollsten instrumentierte und attraktivste Komposition. Die Idee zum Album basiert auf der Arbeit von Johanns Vater. Dieser war im Jahr 1964 als leitender Techniker bei einem der ersten Großrechnerprojekte Islands beschäftigt und es gelang ihm, den Rechner IBM 1401 mit einer Melodie zu programmieren und diese aufzunehmen. Diese Tonbänder, die Johann auf dem Dachboden seines Vaters fand, bilden das Herzstück des Albums. Für die Aufnahmen schrieb Johannson seine Komposition für ein Streicher-Sextett um und komponierte einen neuen finalen Satz." [Indigo]

"So here it is, Jóhann Jóhannsson’s eagerly awaited debut album for the 4AD label, and we’re very happy indeed to say that it’s the finest record he’s put his name to yet. I suppose the move from Touch worried some fans at first, but on hearing ‘IBM 1401…’ in it’s entirety it makes perfect sense as part of the 4AD catalogue. Jóhannsson found inspiration for the record after discovering his father’s IBM1401, a cumbersome 1960s computer system for which his father was a technician. Apparently these machines used to cost $2500 per day to lease and probably did a lot less than you’d think given the price, but Jóhannsson saw something intriguing to sample and in the same way that he utilised morse code receivers and ham radios on his Kitchen Motors disc, he uses IBM1401 training tapes as the thematic link on these tracks. An English voice can be heard describing the computer parts and how they work and how to engineer repairs on the machine and it’s peripherals, of course this is something that can ruin an otherwise good piece of music, but Jóhannsson in his restraint has managed to use the samples so cleverly that they actually become part of the music itself. The assertive voice becomes a symbol of nostalgia and that dusty sentiment, a picture of technology passed, or an electronic postcard from 1960, and never becomes there merely for the sake of it. Coupled with the simply stunning string arrangements they add a strange ethereal narrative, and while not telling a story as such, they bring vivid pictures to mind with great ease. Jóhannsson’s skill in merging sounds doesn’t end here either, as we heard on the stunning ‘Englabörn’ he can subtly blend his electronic production methods with the orchestral arrangements without it ever falling out of place. Synthesized chimes trip and fall in-between the orchestral swells and radiophonic bleeps to create soundscapes so breathtaking they can leave you totally lost for words. It would be almost offensive however to merely label ‘IBM 1401, A User’s Manual’ as cinematic, rather Jóhannsson has pushed the bar higher and taken the infant post-classical genre to the next logical place, creating an album which doesn’t just suggest visuals, rather with it’s oblique use of sampled voices and atmospheric sounds the visuals are there all the time and are simply left for us to interpret. A challenging, engaging and utterly breathtaking experience, Jóhann Jóhannsson has proved he is out there on his own. Essential purchase." [Boomkat]