Exposé Online banner

Thomas Brinkmann — A 1000 Keys
(Editions Mego EMEGO 224CD, 2016, CD)

by Henry Schneider, Published 2016-10-28

A 1000 Keys Cover art

It takes a special kind of dedicated listener to make it all the way through an ivory tower release like A 1000 Keys. In full disclosure, A 1000 Keys is not for everyone, and if you find monotonous experimental avant garde music boring and without any redeeming value, then by all means skip this album, it will be 75 minutes of your life that you will never get back. Thomas Brinkmann is a German composer of experimental minimal techno music, and over the years he has released a number of albums and EPs. His approach for A 1000 Keys was to deconstruct the timbre and notes of a grand piano into binary code, building frenetic and dissonant note sequences. Each of the 18 tracks, ranging from less than a minute to eight minutes, is different but similar. And it sounds like there are 1000 notes in each piece. At first glance the track titles look are random three letter groupings, but on further examination, these are international airport codes — which is a mystery to me, as the random note clusters and violent clashes do not convey any impression of air travel or location. In most cases the tracks are three to four times too long to maintain anyone’s interest. It sounds like he set up his algorithms, started the program, pressed record, took a break for a cup of coffee, came back, stopped the program and recording, and committed it to the disc. A cat walking on a grand piano’s strings would be as interesting as this album. Thomas dedicated this album to Conlon Nancarrow, but Nancarrow’s player piano compositions are orders of magnitude more interesting. So if you love minimal music, with barely any structure or movement, and that lasts forever, then A 1000 Keys may just be your ticket.


Filed under: New releases, 2016 releases

Related artist(s): Thomas Brinkmann

Latest news

2017-07-27
Yestival Dates Beef up the Beat – Word reaches us that Dylan Howe (son of guitarist Steve Howe) will be joining Yes on their "Yestival" tour, drumming alongside longtime band member Alan White. » Read more

2017-05-19
First ProgStock Festival Set for October – October 2017 will see the inaugural edition of a festival called ProgStock in Rahway, New Jersey at the Union County Performing Arts Center. With a definite slant towards neo-progressive music, the event is sure to please many fans with the inclusion of such artists as Echolyn, Glass Hammer, and Aisles. The festival will take place October 13-15. » Read more

2017-05-05
Clive Brooks RIP – Word reaches us today of another sad passing in the music world. Drummer Clive Brooks, best known as a member of such Canterbury bands as Egg, Uriel / Arzachel, and Groundhogs, has died at the age of 67. Details are sketchy at this point. The news was reported on Nick Mason's Facebook page — Brooks was Mason's drum tech. » Read more

2017-05-02
Col. Bruce Hampton RIP – The phrase "He died doing what he loved" is almost a cliche, but in the case of Col. Bruce Hampton, it couldn't be more true. Hampton, who was born Gustav Berglund III, collapsed on stage at his own 70th birthday celebration and later passed away. The event took place at the Fox Theater in Atlanta. » Read more

2017-04-16
ProgDay 2017 Announces First Bands – Flor de Loto, Sonar, and Infinien are the first three performers to be announced for the 2017 edition of the long-running ProgDay Festival. The 23rd ProgDay takes place Saturday and Sunday, September 2nd and 3rd, at Storybook Farm in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Synergy - Semiconductor, Release 2 & Metropolitan Suite – In 1986, the first era of Synergy releases came to an end with Metropolitan Suite, which in some ways is the culmination of Larry Fast’s original musical vision. That does not make it...  (1999) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues