I have always had a weakness for the conceptual side of art, the structural and theoretical background and form imposed by the ideas. perhaps it comes from my fascination with a continuous cross-disciplinary fusion of art, science and media, perhaps a desire to re-contextualize and find new expressive means. xabec's electric mandala series consist of four 7" vinyls showcasing different sides of xabec; the inside of the envelops contain the notes explaining where the source sounds came from and how each of the tracks came into existence. all four sleeves put together (when the series is complete) form a certain symbol, working as an invitation for the prolonged meditation.
for this is indeed the music most suitable for contemplative states of mind - manuel richter has come a long way since his initial experiments with xabec; an accomplished musician, he has worked in various styles until arriving to his very personal sound that is heavily based on processed field recordings and analog sources. if his early works were grainy and unpolished, "tank sonique" on this particular vinyl creates a wall of strikingly emotional sound - a massive drone-based structure that is interspersed with small organic noises. it is a dark cinematic composition that possesses a peculiar enveloping softness - analog warmth aligned with colder caustic frequencies and hypnotic rhythms. the main theme remains the same, but the atmosphere around it comes to life with assorted organic sounds - obscure and yet reminiscent of something very earthly. "bombenflug" (that served as a source for the previous track) is a spine-chilling piece - equally emotional, possessing detached, almost otherworldly cosmic darkness; slowly building oscillating drones and washes of deep resonating frequencies fade towards the end into spacious emptiness filled with almost "tangible" crackling ambience.
what I particularly enjoy about xabec is his dedication to collecting and creating original sounds, a combination of very organic and technological means, a sense of darkness and subtlety, a feel for space and time that reveals itself in the slowly building nature of the music. unlike many peers in the genre, xabec strikes me as someone that possess integrity and vision that goes beyond simple emotions and sound manipulation; his recent work in the field of sound therapy only confirms that.