In search of neoteric and alluring sound-sources, the Vienna/Tokyo based noise Artist Manuel Knapp has departed from his analog home-turf to go exploring in the digital fields. Through this work, Knapp has employed a range of freeware audio plug-ins (sequencers, synth modules, sound processors) first examining their innate features and then irreverently pushing them beyond their limit into a more austere obstruction. The resultant debris is the substance of this release entitled AZOTH.
Though Knapp’s previous audio works were made by employing exclusively analog devices, the artist is in familiar territory with digital media. Digital machinery is central to Knapp's award-winning, internationally acclaimed computer-art. The application of the digital approach to sound manipulation brought an exploratory fascination into Knapp's workflow, which can be clearly heard on this album. AZOTH offers us an insight into the process beneath the overarching aesthetic of the artist. It is a demanding and challenging work that consists of grating noise punctuated by jarring transients, yet offers moments of respite in clean digital pinkish noise. This music is well-arranged, balanced and is begging to be played loud. AZOTH is always ear thrilling, mind twisting and without compromise.
Knapp has been celebrated internationally for his inventiveness as a visual artist. Here, he employs this deftness to create a very limited run of hand-made covers for 15 unique physical Vinyl 12’’ releases of AZOTH. The cost for purchasing one of these LPs / Artworks is set to 666€, creating a situation were you might think about price-policy in general. For Ventil-Records it was the fastest Break-Even ever. Who is it who buys the records? What is music today?
Ventil Records 2020