Michael Mildren launches his Process EP series with Studies In Kraft
Melbourne-based electronic music virtuoso Michael Mildren launches his Process series, a collection of four mini-albums, each exploring a different facet of electronic music technique and artistic significance. Clan Analogue will release each installment in the Process series monthly between now and the end of 2017, beginning with Process 1: Studies In Kraft, an exploration of the seminal work of German electronic music pioneers Kraftwerk.
Michael Mildren has made his mark with several acclaimed performances in the Melbourne Fringe Festival. These include his 2015 Men/Machine performance, where he reworked classic Kraftwerk tracks with vintage gear and period performance techniques, and more recently with Music Non-Stop, a stunning 12-hour improv set in 2016, where an array of guest performers augmented his layered atmospheres and propulsive rhythms throughout the sonic marathon.
Studies in Kraft is the product of Michael’s intense study of the classic 1970s work of German electronic music pioneers Kraftwerk. Given their huge influence in electronic music, Michael aimed to develop his craftsmanship by exploring in infinitesimal detail the composition and production techniques used to produce Kraftwerk’s greatest work. To this end Michael scoured eBay to source the right vintage synths, drum machines and vocoders from all over the world, from Stylophones to Texas Instruments Language Tutors to Mattel Synsonics electronic drums. He analysed every bass note, synth tone and rhythmic pattern of his selected Kraftwerk tracks, spending hundreds of hours on sonic experimentation, programming and playing, until he achieved the perfect Kraftwerk mind-meld.
The results of Michael’s work on Process 1 are eleven tracks which trace Kraftwerk’s most influential work backwards from 1980’s Computer World album through to their 1975 breakthrough Autobahn. Although there have been many Kraftwerk covers released over the years, this is a rare occasion where their material has been explored with the level of detail and intensity applied by classical musicians to the interpretation of composers such as Mozart or Beethoven. This is not however a slavish re-enactment, but an interpretation of Kraftwerk as they themselves may have played the tracks in an alternative reality – less a re-enactment and more an inhabitation of the Kraftwerk sonic headspace. The results will be of interest to anyone interested in classic electronic music and its influence in our musical landscape today.
Process 1: Studies In Kraft from Michael Mildren is available now from Clan Analogue. Process 2 will be released in September.
1. Computer World
2. Pocket Calculator
3. Computer Love
4. The Robots
5. The Model
6. Neon Lights
7. The Man Machine
8. Europe Endless