Watch: Renick Bell – ‘Empty Lake’ EP
Posted on 21 October 2016
It doesn’t get much more mind-blowing than algorithmic club music right now. One of the most exciting champions of “algorave” — a movement wherein sounds are “wholly or predominantly characterised by the emission of a succession of repetitive conditionals” — is Tokyo-based musician/programmer, Renick Bell. An affiliate of LDN/URL-based label Quantum Natives, he’s produced a string of edits and remixes of tracks by Emotional, Dane Law, and Rosen, which have cropped up in his mixes for aqnb and J. G. Biberkopf’s Unthinkable, O FLUXO and The Astral Plane. With these, Bell flawlessly sews his own Fractal Beats together with tracks by contemporary club music bastions and buttresses like Toxe, T-EA, and DJ Doraemon.
For the techies out there, Renick is also a doctoral graduate whose research includes live coding, improvisation, and algorithmic composition using open source software, as well as being author of Conductive — a library for live coding in the Haskell programming language. All the same, his music sounds made for the club. This might be down to those propulsive, go-to kick drum sounds that carry the load to not only blow the mind, but simultaneously punch the stomach. It’s no surprise to hear of allusions to more upcoming music on Halcyon Veil and Beatgatherers.
For Renick’s Empty Lake EP, Lee Gamble’s UIQ have embedded a stream of an improvised live coding session in a terminal in which Renick executes code to drive his generative music system. The promo video provides a nice insight into Renick’s music making seen in real time. It’s also worth noting that the record’s design and track names, like the music, are algorithmically generated based on the ancient Chinese ‘Book of Changes’ — the ‘I Ching.’