Kilchhofer ~ The Book Room



Pitchfork
“To listen to Benjamin Kilchhofer’s music is to enter into an unfamiliar universe. Working with modular synthesizers, percussion, and the occasional field recording, the Swiss musician creates rippling, finely detailed soundscapes with one foot in the natural world. Repetitive but always morphing, never playing a given loop the same way twice, and interwoven with real and synthetic birdsong, his burbling sequences suggest rushing water, arrays of leaves, fog banks, and dewdrops. Perusing The Book Room’s track titles, meanwhile—“Anzu,” “Chogal,” “Nihic,” “Thorron”—feels like flipping through the pages of a yellowed atlas in a foreign tongue. There’s no indication of what these words might mean, but to say them aloud and savor their strangeness makes a fitting complement to the music’s pervasive air of mystery.”

The Wire - Issue 409
“The first full album by Basel based artist Ben Kilchhofer runs to 20 tracks of modular synth manipulation with traces of Boards Of Canada tape-melt, Mouse On Mars wow and flutter, and Jon Hassell-style Fourth World tropicalia. But the patient, exploratory growth of each track is a mood of Kilchhofer’s own. If there’s a comparison it might be to Brian Eno’s ideas about electronic music as a form of network gardening or cultivation, as that’s the light touch direction Kilchhofer applies to his material – not imposing order, but nudging it towards a particular place in the light.”

XLR8R
“Kilchhofer’s skill is in invoking a kind of electronic pastoralism, vividly human and alive, but prone to moments of moodiness and occluded atmospheres.”

Bleep
“Very peculiar album from the visual and recording artist Benjamin Kilchhofer. Based in Switzerland, Kilchhofer crafts playful and melodic electroacoustic music that had us falling into a trance upon our very first listen. Opening with little more than some keys and bird noises, we’re suddenly under the spell of the four minute ‘Varen’, a delightful sound painting that somehow reminded us of Anthony Manning. No soon does that draw to a close and we have the epic eight minute kosmiche/krautrock homage ‘Leng’, another one that left us at a loss for words. Favourite recent arrival in a while, grab this while you can!”

The Quietus
“Crucially, perhaps, a nexus of familiarity with the unfamiliar is achieved - propulsive repetition segues into gliding sonorities and criss-crossing melodies that are almost breathtaking in their singular niceness and their ability to induce near-joyful contentment. This is an LP to get lost in, whether you’re marvelling at the technique, diversity and dexterity of the production or just allowing the music to sweep away the cobwebs and cares of the world.”

Piccadilly Records
“If Kilchhofer's world is created by pieces of modular equipment - sequencers, filters, CV-control devices etc, then it's surely populated by a hybrid of organic and electronic lifeforms - cyborg birdsong, mutant frog croaks and the hiss of electro-static solar winds permeating through each and every track as Kilchhofer navigates the plasma-stream cutting right through the centre of this cybernetic rainforest. [...] Once you've reached the end of the record a content feeling of deep resonance with artist and record are reached.”


Inverted Audio
“‘The Book Room‘, Kilchhofer’s new collection of modular synth jams, takes us through dreamy panoramas of tropical exotica, alpine warmth and moonlit glades with plenty of highlights to spare along the way. Over a monolithic 74 minutes and 20 songs, this ecocentric debut album demands an immersive, uninterrupted listen ...While other modular synth albums suffer from being too undefined, this one succeeds at cohesiveness without the tunnel vision. Despite the length, it doesn’t feel monochromatic and ultimately benefits from the fine-tuned direction and pseudo-story it tells. If you’ve got a machete at hand and a willingness to explore, then set this one on the platter, close your eyes, and let the room get hot.”

Fact Magazine
“‘Skimo‘ is the first taste of Kilchhofer's forthcoming debut full-length, The Book Room, and follows a deliriously good run of EPs. It's loping tearjerker of a track, with breathy analog tones gently pealing over shuffling African-influenced percussion. Electronic music rarely sounds quite so sincere and so human.” (Skimo Review)

Honest Jon's
“Like shuffling through an imaginary library — a wondrous mixture of explorers’ logs, diary entries and correspondence, fairytales, lists, legends and spells — ordered not by category or alphabet, but by an intricate dream logic of emotional affect, magic, memory and fantasy. Suspenseful story-telling by way of early electronic music and krautrock, tribal drumming, minimalism and microtonality, and seams of dance and club music. Luminous, beautifully constructed music, precise but funky, exquisitely presented by Marionette. Warmly recommended.”

Juno
“Benjamin Kilchhofer is back on the exquisite catalogue of the Marionette imprint, home to the likes of Max Loderbauer, Burnt Friedman, and what promises to be a whole lineage of electronic legends. The artist has only released albums to date, and The Book Room is his third one, comprised of an impressive 20 tracks of aural bliss and deep-minded experimentation. More than anything else, this is an album that revels in improvisation, which is what we love to hear from producers operating in the more abstract side of the spectrum, and so it is near impossible to reduce these sonic episodes into words or genres. However, if you are into the rawer, looser sort of ambient and electronica, then this will be a TIP worth remembering...for you and anyone else you choose to share it with. Excellent.”

Resident Advisor
“Kilchhofer's debut album is caught intriguingly between the two. On the one hand it's a kind of "environmental music" a humid, birdsong-drenched exotica full of fluid hand drums and kalimba-like arpeggios... On the other hand it's sepia toned and melancholic.”

Bandcamp
“Delicately crafted electronic music that calls on folkloric rhythms, early modular synth experiments, and grimy club floors in equal measure.”

Electronic Sound - Issue 39
“...a vibrant electronic stream of consciousness.”

Test Pressing
“The Book Room fuses electronics, percussion and live recordings in a way that feels human and totally modern...”