Tobias Freund and Valentina Berthelon revealed their new album/AV show as Recent Arts, following previous debuts also at Atonal and Berghain. The new 9-track LP has been entitled ‘Hypertext‘ and is due out next February 2022 via Japanese Kosei Fukuda’s Reiten, as the first solo release on the label outside of Fukuda himself, following 2020’s VA ft also Renick Bell, Rabih Beaini, and Recent Arts themselves. Stay tuned, find full details below.
‘Hypertext’ album has been conceived by both Tobias and Valentina, with her putting her hands on Recent Arts sound for the first time, other than visuals. Droning soundscapes seem to be the sound of our transmuted internal voice, of our inner self’s computer. Samples float in and out faster than memories, blurring digital and biological, organically.
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‘Hypertext’ is the third album by Recent Arts, the A/V duo formed by media artist Valentina Berthelon and multi-disciplinary artist Tobias Freund. Out next February via Japan’s Reiten, its 9 tracks mirror Recent Arts’ new, forthcoming A/V show, following their previous debuts also at Atonal and Berghain’s Säule of the recent years.
‘Hypertext’ video projections and experimental electronic music synergise ideas of non-linear data and information processing, drawing parallels to computational thinking with the way our human brains biologically process information. Visuals are the catalysts for the music, inspired by the overwhelming amount of information and the speed at which we consume different media, featuring a cacophony of hundreds of different media, poetry, images of surveillance and clips of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning.
For the visuals, Valentina uses jarring and intense visual juxtaposition to create moments of both connection and displacement. References mix and intermingle, creating new meanings. Symbols become charged, inviting the audience deeper into the vortex. Computers similarly digest information, but unlike the human brain, their ability to generate information is not exceeded by their capacity to understand.
For the sound, Tobias and Valentina made droning, moody soundscapes together, almost as though the internal voice of our computer world was captured and recorded. Inspired by the visual aesthetic of hyperlinks’ collaged and non-linear nature, the album reflects this in the ambience, where samples float in and out of contact with the listener, catching and holding attention before floating away awash with more elements and compositions. There is a definite blurring of the digital and the biological, voices sound distant and robotic, but droning soundscapes feel natural and textured with an organic tone.
In the first track ‘Just Be There’ spoken word samples mix with ethereal chiming, reminiscent of the start-up modems from Web 1.0. The A5 ‘Pull The Emergency Breaks’ similarly mixes poetry with uncanny atmospheres popping in and out until it finally climaxes in a collage of sounds. On the B- side ‘Invisible Waves’ finishes off the record with a volatile dervish of digital strings and deep breathing.
Artist. Recent Arts (Tobias Freund &
Format. vinyl LP/digital
Release date. February 11, 2022
A1 / 1. Just Be There
A2 / 2. Automat
A3 / 3. The Game Of Live
A4 / 4. Atonal
A5 / 5. Pull The Emergency Break
B1 / 6. I’ve Got A Better You
B2 / 7. Digital Dictatorship
B3 / 8. Oneness
B4 / 9. Invisible Waves