The notes that accompany Laurian Bardoș’ extraordinary new release Current report that the work is influenced by psychology. “From this perspective the evolution of his music has been greatly influenced by the study of perception and the Gestalt theory, which connects the spatial (geometric) form with the temporal form (sound).”
Gestaltism comes from the Berlin School of experimental psychology. It focused on how we are able to understand the chaotic world around us. Its best-known contribution to modern day thinking comes from psychologist Kurt Koffka: “the whole is something else than the sum of its parts.”
It is a mistake, by the way, to translate Koffka’s observation as the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
What it all means to psychologists is that we are able to conceive of the world as a whole, and this understanding is separate from our perception of the various parts that make up the whole. Contrast that with structuralism, which fell out of favour in the 20th century. Its proponents believed we are more or less the sum of our individual experiences.
This ability to perceive the whole means that perception can be deconstructed. Which brings us back to Bardoș’ minimalist approach to glitch electronics.
Current (a lovely title that can be seen as referring to both electricity and a sense of relevance) feels like an electropop record stripped to its bare essentials and then reassembled as art.
This is not to suggest that this download (or SD card if you’re so inclined) lacks musicality. These eight tracks represent some of the smartest ear candy we’ve heard so far this year.