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The Twentieth Century - The Twentieth Century
CD Album
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The Twentieth Century

The Twentieth Century


Released: 21st April 2014 | 3 track ambient album

The Twentieth Century are an experimental duo from Vienna whose music is a cocktail of ambient, sound collage and electro-acoustic improvisation. Cellist Lukas Lauermann and guitarist Pieter Gabriel create and manipulate their sets live from beginning to end - without hiding behind laptops or anonymous canned sounds. Each of their real-time ambient live sessions, created using analogue instruments and an armada of effects pedals, produces a unique tonal piece which, depending on the direction it takes, can throw up references to Stars Of The Lid, Sunn O))) or ambient-godfather Brian Eno. In their more oblique moments they even reveal themselves as disciples of early tone artists like Luigi Russolo or John Cage - a kind of ad-hoc aural cinema.

For their first album Gabriel and Lauermann faced the challenge of reproducing the unique character of their live sets. Rather than going into a sterile recording studio they instead - in keeping with their experimental nature - set up an improvised pop-up studio in a Vienna auto painter's workshop. Over the course of a weekend The Twentieth Century secretly recorded their self-titled debut album, due out in April on Mosz Records.

In the workshop, where from Monday to Friday shiny 21st-century fetish objects roll out onto the streets, they recorded three interwoven pieces, using the same set-up as in their concerts. Rather than merely recreating a blueprint of their live performances, they integrated the character of the room itself into the music - drafty windows, squeaky doors and all. With the aid of recording engineer Stefan Deisenberger, who set up his mini-booth amid the silent chrome audience, the duo succeeded in preserving, over the length of an album, a moment which moves fluidly between drone, sound art and classical music.