released February 1, 2017
Line Gate was formed in Michalovce, Eastern Slovakia in 2010. Since then some personal changes were made and now a solo incarnation is residing in Prague. After two years of solitary bedroom experimentation and almost four years after the debut “Split Lines”, Line Gate is coming with a new album, Den.
Mappa presents Den, a simple concept with a clear vision. A deep dive into endless repetition without any disturbing intervention, with only soft modulation of a hurdy-gurdy drone resonance. Den reveals minimal shifts in repetition and the possibilities of perception without the horizon of time.
At forty minutes long, the basis of the recording remains constant. What differs, is the listener’s awareness and the wakefulness of the performer himself. Tension retreats to sensibility, release, and an opportunity to totally merge with the instrument and the physicality of sound fulfilling the room. Den is a burrow where inattention dissolves into calm perception of fluid measureless soundscape.
…in ocean where Poseidon, Eliane Radigue, Phill Niblock, Charybdis, La Monte Young, Moby Dick, … are throning
hurdy-gurdy, voice and samples by Michal Vaľko
violin by Simona Deščičková
recorded, mixed and mastered by Róbert Geci in Bardejov, Slovakia
design and handwork by Jakub Juhás and Zoltán Czakó
released by mappa as MAP05
This is the world of Line Gate’s Den. Its bedrock is a grinding hurdy-gurdy drone – so beautiful, that left on its own, it would have been nearly enough. As tones drench the ear, the impossibility of perfection becomes a primary theme – the flutters and stalls of the instrument’s gears, presenting an image of the arm and humanity that makes them turn – accident and loss of control, elevated and giving form. Subtly modulating tones are met and doubled by shimmering passages of violin and vocal drones – sorrowful moans – flirting with melodies just out of view. A total immersion – sheets of sound, celebrating the beauty and meaning found within those dreams of what can never be… Bradford Bailey (The Hum)
The strings are played on an endless sustain and has various layers, all sounding at the same time, and has a strong hypnotic effect on the listener. The whole piece sounds like it was recorded in one take in a very live room and I think it sounds really great. Throughout it has that fine sixties, NYC loft atmosphere (not that I would know this first hand of course). Excellent release!… Frans de Waard (Vital Weekly)
Not that Den is a single unchanging tone otherwise, it has plenty of room for minutiae and movement, amplified or minimized as the listener modulates their awareness. Simona Deščičková’s violin contribution also adds a pleasant, muted tension and extra detail around the cassette’s midsection. To say it was meditative also risks a misleading impression, because it is undoubtedly a sound that invites consciousness. Like other natural supplements though, Den might be best when taken on a full stomach… Dwight Pavlovic (Decoder)
Den is a worthy extension of the “deep listening” tradition and in fact is very reminiscent of some of Pauline Oliveros’ music. Presumably the beginning is part of that meditative aspect behind the playing, allowing the sound to naturally emerge from the performers’ silence. The notes talk about variations in “the listener’s awareness and the wakefulness of the performer himself” but listeners attuned to La Monte Young (or Oliveros) will probably stay attentive throughout. The main caveat is if you’ve had enough of that type of sonic meditation, then this probably won’t say anything new to you… Ben Harper (Boring Like A Drill)
Niněra (anglicky hurdy-gurdy) je středověký nástroj, který v současné době zažívá renesanci. Jeho schopnost vytvářet intenzivní dronový zvuk samozřejmě zhusta využívají experimentátoři s hudebními formami. A tak není divu, že jej využil pro svou novinku Den také Michal Vaľko, nyní jediná tvář projektu Line Gate. Nahrávka vyšla na MC i jako digitální album na značce mappa editions, malém progresivním labelu z jihu Slovenska… Jan Hocek (HisVoice)