Kayn: A Little Electronic Milky Way of Sound CD review – a cosmic achievement – The Guardian

Twenty-two movements, 14 hours and 16 CDs worth of spangling cosmic sound play: this premiere release of the magnum opus by German composer Roland Kayn is a colossus and a marvel.

Roland who? In a profession that glorifies big egos and fetishises the kind of creative genius that demands total control, Kayn went to more selfless extremes. He worked in the pioneering electronic studios of Germany and the Netherlands in the mid-20th century and built fastidious command systems with the aim of making “self-sufficient cybernetic music”. Essentially, he set machines whirring and did himself out of a job. It sounds like some dark post-human dystopia but the results couldn’t be further from it. Dip into this monumental work (it has been lovingly restored by Jim O’Rourke) and the sound world is ungraspable and unknowable but never grates or alienates. The mystery, the grace, the boundless invention – Kayn’s machine music is a vast catalogue of very human wonder.

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