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

2021-04-01
New Aristocrats Live Album on the Way – No foolin'! These supreme musicians toured Europe early in 2020, just before touring ceased to be a thing musicians could do, and there were some hot performances captured. On May 7, some of these will be releases as Freeze! Live in Europe 2020. » Read more

2021-03-25
Return of Jerry Lucky's Progressive Rock Files – After much consideration and surprisingly, positive feedback, Jerry Lucky is announcing the launch of the progressive Rock Files podcast, featuring the latest progressive rock music from around the world. » Read more

2021-03-14
Jewlia Eisenberg RIP – The sad news has come out that Jewlia Eisenberg has died. As a founding member of Charming Hostess, Eisenberg changed the face of music, bringing together Balkan klezmer, American folk, and experimental rock in a distinctive blend that garnered much praise. » Read more

2021-03-11
RIP Roger Trigaux – The sad news has come to our attention that Roger Trigaux, the guiding force of Present and former member of Univers Zero, passed away on the evening of March 10, 2021 after a long ilness. » Read more

2021-02-14
SoundQuest Fest 2021 – SoundQuest Fest, first experienced as a live festival in Tucson Arizona in 2010 was created by ambient music pioneer Steve Roach. This 2021 event will unite a worldwide gathering of artists and audience members together for a 3-day online event unique in the realm of ambient music. From March 26-28th a continuous flow of streamed performances, audio-video wonder worlds and deep immersion zones will burn bright on Roach’s YouTube channel. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Christian Vander / Simon Goubert - Welcome – These guys have just about got it right on this one! For the last several years, Christian Vander has been following the spirit of John Coltrane, particularly the Impulse years, Both he and Goubert...  (1996) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues