Thomas Koner
Novaya Zemlya 

Touch 

Thomas Koner has reaffirmed his stature in the experimental music world during the past two years, mostly due to the string of reissues from his early solo career and the 1996 debut album from the duo Porter Ricks.  These recent editions came via Type, but for his first new album since 2009’s “La Barca” Koner finds an even more appropriate home: Touch Music, the purveyor of all things oblique and subtle in forward-thinking sound.  ”Novaya Zemlya” is the most minimal album in ages for the label as Koner focuses the album’s three extended tracks on a variety of low-level hums and obscured field recordings that are crushed into fine bits of dust.  The album’s quiet, barren soundscapes hint at vast worlds as seen through a keyhole, providing mystery and intrigue rather than explicit detail and description.  Traces of barely identifiable sounds occasionally waft through the atmospheres – cracks of thunder appear on the first track while the last holds distant piano notes – but Koner’s focus lies in abstract restraint, just as it always has.  - Ryan Potts

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