quadruple-cassette / digital
While he’s only been recording for a half a decade, Kyle Landstra has already released more than a dozen cassettes on some of the most renowned imprints across the globe, including certainly not limited to Sonic Meditations, Tranquility Tapes, SicSic, Already Dead, Moss Archive, and Baro. But it’s only now that the Chicago-based dronesmith releases his magnum opus. After the exquisite permutations of Mass Solitude (SP-32) in 2012, Landstra now returns to Sacred Phrases with Unshared Properties, Vol. I-IV, a quadruple-cassette that unfurls its aural sprawl and upends the modes of expansive experimentation and droning, modernized new age. Throughout the nine extended sonic drifts, Landstra positions his mass of synthesizers and effects as an unbelievable agile arsenal of contemplative, meditative sound. Each tape finds Landstra honing in on a select setup, exploring facets of various combinations of gear – from gear Landstra is intimately familiar with and used for years, to borrowed gear he is discovering in real-time.
For Vol. 1, Landstra dives deep into the (un)known limits of the Korg EA-1, feeling out a simple and intuitive sequencer. The first volume maintains a certain simmer of arpeggiated, fluorescent melodies foiled by waves of tonal textures with a listlessly careening sense of motion.
Vol. 2 sees Landstra explore similar but ultimately vastly different territory, relying on a recently-obtained Yamaha QY-100 for inspiration and exploration, finding an endless outpour of micro-rhythms and expansive subtlety that riff into infinity.
On Vol. 3, Landstra lets go of the guardrails to float asunder into the ether, bobbing through space without direction and entirely unencumbered, serving as the perfect foil for the paced dynamism of Unshared Properties’ first half.
Vol. 4 finds Landstra exploring the capabilities of Waldorf’s hallowed synthesizers, primarily the analog warmth and eccentricities of the Blofield.
This is more than a life’s work. Unshared Properties, Vol. I-IV is confirmation of Landstra’s place in the halls of pioneers of synthesizer music.