Viable Systems cover

Viable Systems


The title’s the giveaway – with Viable Systems, Berry inaugurated a series of releases based on generative music, where Berry sets a process / system in motion and lets it do the work of composition. So far, so Eno, and yet that comparison significantly undersells what Berry achieves here. Sure, there’s a similar embrace of ambience, of music as a tint in the air, a perfume or flavour, but Berry’s systems lend themselves towards something both slightly more active – comparatively speaking – and more miniaturised; most all of these pieces drift in and out of view within four to eight minutes; they set up a mood, tease out some implications of that mood, and slip out of earshot before you get tired of their presence. Tonally, it’s all tactile electronics – buzzing bells, notes that crack and descend like stalactites, whispers and tranquilities that are churchy and reflective.

Jon Dale

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