O.R.D.U.C.: “Shifting Times”

LP Album (45:43), 2021-05-17
Motok, MTK 018TP1, Test Pressing, numbered, on black vinyl: 5 copies.
Album (45:43), 2021-05-17
Motok, MTK 018, Promo edition, numbered, on black vinyl: 20 copies.
Album (45:43), 2021-05-17
Motok, MTK 018, Limited edition, numbered, on black vinyl: 82 copies.


A1. "Shifting Times" 4:43
A2. "Solstitium Aestivum" 7:18
A3. "Noon Shadows" 9:17
A4. "Mind Signal" 1:46

B5. "Four Warnings" 4:24
B6. "Solstitium Brumalis" 11:44
B7. "Deep Night" 6:31

The album "Shifting Times" has, as the title says, the shifting time as its subject. Not the beginning, nor the end point where everything comes together again in a different form, are the most important in this, but the changes along the way.
Although both sides of the LP seem identical in structure, those are about the only similarities.
Side A is complex in some pieces, while side B has more of an ambient character. But more importantly side A is about the day and the summer. Side B about the night and the winter. And these always go on together.

The opening track "Shifting Times" is the most complex one of this album, a kind of overture. Everything is in a different time signature. This piece was recorded in 2013 and released in a rougher mix on the album "EU13".
From the beginning "Solstitium Aestivum" seems lighter, but along the way there are in this one also many lines to follow, all of which end at the beginning.
Then it is siesta in the shade, with the minimal synthesizer sounds of "Noon Shadows".
The last part of side A is a relatively short intermezzo, a prelude to side B. "Mind Signal" is based on one of the many variants of the attention signal, which you can hear in almost every large station hall. The three notes are frayed here and woven again into a shifting minimal blanket of different chords.

Side B then continues with more warnings; "Four Warnings". All four come from an old computer. Despite the separate sounds do not really form a chord together, they do in the mix.
Besides the fact that "Solstitium Brumalis" is the cold counterpart of its opposite, it is also an illustration of my original inspiration. The piece is made up of triangle sounds that have been processed into church bells sounds. On the inner sleeve the listener is recommended to listen to this piece 2x3x7 (= 42!) times. By listening to the piece several times in succession, at a given moment one starts to hear all kinds of small melodies, instead of the chime.
The album ends - just like every day - with "Deep Night". Dark synth sounds lead you through a world full of dreams.

On both the front and the back of the sleeve, the idea of shifting minimal is visually represented by overlapping circles, which change color in different rhythms. This is reflected in a modified form in labels on the LP.

The album "Shifting Times" have been made in a total of 107 (!) copies, in two pressings.
The first pressing is a test pressing in an edition of 5 copies. That LP has white labels, which are hand stamped. The sleeve is also white with two holes, through which the labels are visible. These are also hand stamped and numbered.
The second regular pressing has full-color printed labels and outer sleeves. The inner sleeves are hand stamped. Both the inner sleeves and the outer sleeves are numbered. Two editions have been made of this pressing. The Promo edition is in an edition of 20 copies. The Limited Edition - which is for sale - is in an edition of 82 copies. Both editions are numbered.

Shifting minimal
Though "Shifting Times" is an album mostly recorded in 2020, it has its roots in music I made before "Pink & Purple" came into existence. Not my sources of inspiration from my early childhood, but the application of that inspiration. Already in the mid-seventies I was making music, which I then called "mathematical minimal". I was looking for a possibility to make the music that was played sound different for each bar by making a small change. Although I really liked Philip Glass his music (especially "North Star"), his way of working was not what I had in mind. I did not know anything about Steve Reich at that time and was totally ignorant of the music that is now called "phase music" and is related to what I wanted back then.
Some twenty years ago I accidentally bought the CD "Shift (From the Music of Steve Reich)" by Chris Hughes. That work gave me a boost towards my goal: shifting minimal.

Shifting minimal sounds like phase music, but there are differences.
In phase music, the shift is created by varying the tempo of the different music lines (melodies) and thus a shifting canon is created.
In the type of music that I call shifting minimal, the shift is created by polyrhythms at an equal tempo. In this way, different chords sound every time.

In 2006 I came across "Reich Remixed", featuring "Come Out" by Ken Ishii. That led me to the original, from which I made a re-shifted version; it has not yet been released.
The following year, I applied my ideas to Max & Bob's barking. That piece was released in 2007 on "Elektrik Underground 20YM".
In 2009 I released the album "E.M.M.", which includes shifting minimal, but also other forms of minimal.
Also on the album "107", which was released at the end of 2009, one can hear a few shifting minimal tracks.

As of 2010, a lot of work has been recorded. But despite the fact that there was enough material for three LP's, it was not possible to make one album of it. Lots of works in very different styles and themes.
The coronavirus opened up new possibilities. At the end of 2020 there was an album. Some minimal synthesizer and a lot of shifting minimal.

Nico Selen.

Last updated: 2021-05-16