An Moku is the ambiental music project of Dominik Grenzler, in the womb of this abstract architecture, the artist experiences the sound in the universality of cosmic experience and aspirations. The human mind cannot transcend existence in a dream except driven by sound. We know very well that when we sleep, the dream is corrupted by the sound spectrum around us. Well, I think that if we managed to listen to this album somehow in a twilight state, then the music proposed here would fully manage to take us out of ordinary existence.
All right, let’s get back to the artist a little bit and try to get to know him better. Dominik Grenzler is a restaurateur, sound artist, and bass guitar player with a spot for experimental and ambient soundscapes. In 2008 he began with the initial recording sessions for An Moku. The literal translation of the Japanese word «Anmoku» is «tacit, unsaid, implicit» conveying that an idea or thought cannot be put into words but is subconsciously understood. Inspired and animated, with this approach, Dominik’s abstract, cinematic music gives the listener room for imagination and interpretation. His approach to ambient is highly personal, as he manages to generate tension with a hidden musicality, drowned in a miasma of organic, yet manipulated, sounds. Dominik describes An Moku often as experimental, dark ambientish, glitchy, lo-fi music with a slice of hauntology and atonal madness or if you like it better, simply something beautiful. «It is up to you. Art itself shouldn’t explain, art should tell.»
Born in 1977 in Gdynia. Raised on a soundtrack of bubbly 80’s synth-pop and early 90’s guitar music. Playing e-bass in several bands in Germany’s former coal-mining hub, the Ruhr district, from 1993 to 1995, he gained experiences in a wide variety of musical genres. This is followed by numerous performances with supporting acts for Whitney Houston, Joe Cocker, Marla Glen as a hired bass-guitar player by the singer and songwriter Daniel Denecke amongst others from 1998 through to 2001. Inspired by many experiences during travels, encounters and further training Dominik started to explore sound in different and uncommercial ways and founded the music project: An Moku.
Privately, Dominik Grenzler is living and working in his adopted hometown of Zurich, where he co-owns a café with an artisan cake bakery section known as Miyuko. Since 2015 he is the founder and curator of the micro-label EndTitles. In 2016-2018 he co-opened a pop-up-café in Reykjavik called Kumiko.
Regarding this album, the artist says that “‘Less’ was my most difficult album to make”. Frustrated by his lack of progress on a concurrent project, he turned to his bass guitar and his effects boxes, and over two sessions produced a kind of music that was a departure for him: “Less is an approach to Hauntology and drone-like I’ve never done those before.”
‘Less’ is a textured, sensual audio fabric of electricity, the sound of voltage flowing through equipment, pushing against impedance, expanding into a sonic architecture of places: the sound of still life, objects, haunted spaces.
I wanted ’Less’ to be abstract. I wanted to limit myself and had to rethink. My limitation on this release was bass, a bunch of pedals on two pedalboards, some dusty vinyl crackles, and field recordings on “A better tomorrow” and “Blur”!
This is something of a hardware album, a duet between Grenzler and his boxes, especially the Zoia modular effects synthesizer. He created a patch in the device “named ‘Melancholia,’ that loops, chops, and pitches down,” looking for a darker and more industrial bottom than in his other music. Out of that came the track ‘Melancholia’. The central “location” of the album, it’s a place into which the music directs the ear, a churning soundscape of uneasy memories and dramatic stabs of sensation. From here, An Moku guides the listener back out through the final track, “Absent.”
“Less“ was produced using a bass guitar, many effects pedals, some dusty vinyl crackles, and a few snowy field recordings.
Photo: (c) Danique Wiesli
Artwork: (c) John Whitlock
Mastered by Taylor Deupree at 12k
All tracks composed and produced by Dominik Grenzler (aka An Moku), autumn of 2020 in Zürich, Switzerland.