The story of The Heisenberg Compensators begins during the 2012 edition of
the annual ‘Glow’ light festival in the city of Eindhoven. On this occasion,
Allard Krijger (FRAKnoise) and Stefan Robbers (Eevolute, Terrace)
improvised electronic music for a live light performance. Following excellent
reception of their music, the duo decided to continue their collaboration.
After both became infected with the Modular Virus, Stefan suggested creating
ambient music together. Initially, two modular set-ups bleeped happily side by
side, but Allard soon started bringing additional gear into the already wellequipped
Eevolute studio. This could be anything from a rare Casio home
keyboard, mandolin or selection of eccentric effects pedals to an omnichord
or strange noise box. Anything that fit into his old grey suitcase could provide
the starting point for a new track.|
- Inner – 00:05:38.11
- Clearing – 00:08:15.63
- Gales – 00:07:55.36
- Question – 00:05:32.72
- Glory – 00:07:13.56
- Stroke – 00:06:04.72
- Dust – 00:05:16.24
- Dice – 00:06:39.23
This approach resulted in a first ‘album’: an exploration of their different
approaches to music and gear collections. This unreleased album served as
the blueprint for music on the new album ‘The Adventures of ‘Werner and
Random’. Main inspiration for this release was the track which involved guitar
embedded in synthy drums and pads. ‘The Adventures of Werner and
Random’ further develops this approach with Stefan playing his modular
synths, drum machines and other devices whilst Allard takes care of guitars,
loopers and fx.
The Heisenberg Compensators’ references the work of Werner Karl
Heisenberg (1901-1976), known for his ‘uncertainty principle’.
The Heisenberg Compensators organize chaos in their music, at several
levels. Quite literally, sometimes, with the aid of random generators. On other
occasion, the randomness and organization lies in the energy going back and
forth between Allard and Stefan.
The Heisenberg Compensator is, of course, also a vital component of
Federation Starship transporters.
The Adventures of Werner and Random – The Heisenberg Compensators
1. Inner – 00:05:38.11
“But if you look at it from within, what then?” Werner asked.
“I don’t feel like doing that. Not today, you know, with everything that’s been going on..”, replied
Random, whilst observing the small brown screen.
2. Clearing – 00:08:15.63
“Werner, you should see this!” Random gasped.
Werner was not impressed: “I already saw. It is clear to me. Has been for hours.”
3. Gales – 00:07:55.36
Random, finally breaking the silence, whispered an observation: “The grass is bending constantly,
with the force of the wind. I imagine the grass would be very tired at the end of such a day.”
Werner opened one eye, snored loudly, opened his other eye and articulated poorly: “And what’s
wrong with that?”
4. Question – 00:05:32.72
“Answers, answers, answers. And still, we’re getting nowhere!” Random was truly upset about how
the day was unfolding. Werner was less puzzled: “Answers rarely make questions obsolete. The
5. Glory – 00:07:13.56
“This is it,” said Random, as he gently placed his hand on the keypad, “The path to glory!”
Werner shook his head in pity: “Don’t count on it. It doesn’t work like that, I’m afraid.”
6. Stroke – 00:06:04.72
The door creaked open. Werner peered around the corner.
“Nope, nothing here.”
“So. Disappointment is once again our companion,” Random concluded, gloomily.
7. Dust – 00:05:16.24
Random drummed his fists on the table: “There is no wind in a vacuum!”
“No dust, either.” Werner added smugly.
“Oh yes there is!”. Random was certain of that.
8. Dice – 00:06:39.23
“In general, I feel rather uncertain,” Random pondered. “Sometimes, I think it’s a problem.
Sometimes, I think it’s just who I am.” Outside a flock of birds suddenly fluttered up from the
bushes, loudly chirping. For no apparent reason..
Werner smiled and placed his arm around Random’s slender shoulders. Together, they stood
before the tall window.
“You are uncertain. And I found you. I know I did.”
Gear list The Adventures of Werner and Random:
SCI sixtrak + Yamaha e1010 + Masterroom xl210+ Lexicon PCM91
Kawai K5000 + Coron compresoor 20 + Behringer DW400 + EHX Big Muff + Lexicon PCM91
Customized Low Budget Guitar (Founder) w Bixby Tremolo + Maestro parametric Filter + Art
DPSII + Korg SE300 + Eventide H3000
Boss Phaser PH1R, Jupiter 8, SH101
Kawai K5 + Digitech Quad, Casio VA-10.
Elektron Analog Rytm, Analog Four, Monomachine, Roland SH-101, Modular, Strymon Big Sky,
Casio PG380, Digitech 2120, Boss GX-700, EHX 2880 looper, EH Cathedral, FRAKnoise
Waldorf Microwave wave choir -> Eventide H3000, Moog Voyager C22 Snappy Bass, Rooster,
Clavia Nord Drum -> Thermionic Culture Ltd Culture Vulture.
Casio PG380, EHX 2880 looper, Gibson Echoplex, Digitech 2120, Boss GX-700
RLD Adrenalinn drums, Strymon Big Sky spring, Sony DPS-V77
Elektron Analog Rytm, Analog Four, Monomachine, Roland SH-101, Modular, Strymon Big Sky en
Casio PG380, Digitech 2120, Boss GX-700, EHX 2880 looper, EHX Cathedral, FRAKnoise
Elektron Analog Rytm, Analog Four, Monomachine, SH-101, Modular, Strymon Big Sky en
Casio PG380, Digitech 2120, Boss GX-700, EH 2880 looper, EH Cathedral, e-bow, FRAKnoise
Elektron Analog Rytm, Analog Four, Monomachine, Roland SH-101, Modular, Strymon Big Sky en
Casio PG380, Digitech 2120, Boss GX-700, EH 2880 looper, EH Cathedral, FRAKnoise
Korg MS20-MS50 SQ10 + Dynacord SRS56 + Micmix Masterroom
Casio PG380+Sony DPS-V77+ Fender Fuzzwah
Linndrum Tom + EHX Dr Q + Big Muff (sovj)
PPG Wave 2.3
Voss Jazzgitaar + EHX Big Muff (sovj) + Colorsound Supasustain + Pigtronix echolution + EHX
Cathedral + Behringer thunderbird BZ108 speaker/amp
Elektron Monomonachine, Analog Rhytm + Analog Four.
*) FRAKnoise pedalboard: EHX Ravish Sitar, Coron compressor, Boss Super feedbacker Distortion, Ibanez Flanger,
Earthquake Devices Arpenoid, EHX SuperEgo, LastgaspArt Laboratories Gomorrah, Korg Mikustomp, Zoom MS-
70CDR, Pigtronics Echolution2.
The Heisenberg Compensators is a project which saw the light of day within the framework of festival of the lights entitled Glow which is held each year in the city of Eindhoven in Holland. For this opportunity, Allard Krijger, guitarist of FRAKnoise, and Stefan Robbers, the keyboard player and synthesist of Eevolute et of Terrace, delivered a performance based on the improvisation during the festival of 2012. Following the excellent reception of the public, the duet has decided to pursue the adventure. Having been conquered by the capacities of the synth Modular Virus, Stefan Robbers suggested to create ambient music. One thing leading to another, and with the addition of other components as well as instruments forged and conceived by them, The Heisenberg Compensators, thus named after the work of the German physicist Werner Heisenberg, took shape. After a first sketch in sounds, either an album which was never released but which served as b lue print for “Adventures of Werner and Random”, The Heisenberg Compensators was ready to meet the requirements of the public consumer of contemporary EM. And let’s see how's that sounds …
Rather melancholic, "Inner" gets between our ears with a beautiful guitar rather melodious. Its notes, a kind of Flamingo for electronic souls, pour into a universe veiled by a blanket of synth layers in mode obstruction for ears and by good resonant, heavy and slow strikes of electronic percussions. It's very good and it flows up until the more acoustic introduction of "Clearing" which so reminds of old Pink Floyd. There is a metronome behind this wall of tones, as well as these too translucent electronic noises to be just white noises, which clocks a light hypnotic tempo. Pulsations, always in mode bitonality, are shaking a little our phase of bewitchment a little after the bar of 120 seconds, while "Clearing" derives slowly towards a structure difficult to identify, let’s put that we strum of the fingers with a taste to remain semi awake, where Allard Krijger's guitar gives me the taste to listen to Michael Rother. Very comfortable with a panoply of tones which dither between the known and the unknown, Allard Krijger and Stefan Robbers tame our ears with a good pallet of the genres in a sonic envelope which sometimes challenges the imagination. Sounds which stretch out into iridescent lines and which weakens their magic in the hopping and very Schroeder rhythm, except for the slip at the end of the ambient race, of "Gales". With its beat a little Cosmic Funk, "Glory" is the title which gets closer the most to Robert Schroeder repertoire. The play of the sequencer is very effective here.
It’s in vapors of white noises and of hums of pensive ectoplasms’ that rushes forward the rhythm panting of "Question". The pace increases appreciably to slip downright in spasms which pound nervously under a sonic sky multicolored of shrill streaks. Very intense and atypical, "Question" is the only drawback of an album all the same rather attractive. Well, in my case! "Stroke" offers a more ambient, but noisier, structure with some delicious disorders in the effects of the percussions which do not seem to disrupt the placidity of the loops treatments and the effects of guitar which in the end weakens its charms underneath thick layers of milky mist. The rhythm gets more vigor in the middle where "Stroke" becomes clearly more musical even with these effects of beyond the grave. And always this hammer which tinkers we don't know what! "Dust" is lively, nervous with its loops which roll non-stop with keen oscillations. This is good E-Rock with a touch of old Neu!. One could say the same thing of "Dice", but the Indus side makes of it a music which holds right in the middle of Electronica for Cybernetic zombies and Techno Pop a la sauce Düsseldorf with its Motorik approach. Fascinating, sometimes uneasy but surely splendid!
Such is and as a first album, The Heisenberg Compensators touches more or less everything in a too old sound envelope to be psybient and too rich to be only a facade for ambient music. The static and ectoplasmic noises are of an incredible wealth and divert very easily our ears of a beautiful variant of electronic rhythms. Contrary to what one could think, the loops and treatments of guitars are not so omnipresent to the point to undo the charms of a whimsical EM which feed of its multiple elements in a symbiosis between the noise and the harmony which fascinates. “Adventures of Werner and Random” is a nice voyage in time, but not as far as that, where the music again dared to be a surprise.
2017. Sylvain Lupari / gutsofdarkness.com & synth&sequences.com