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Neu Gestalt  

Genre: Electronica
Description:

NEU GESTALT
Biography

 


Les Scott is an electro-acoustic music producer on Edinburgh-based Alex Tronic Records (ATR), who has now delivered four albums for the label as Neu Gestalt. His releases are “Altered Carbon” (2008) “Weightless Hours” (2012) “Inside The Rain Chamber” (2014) and “Controlled Substances’, which will be released on 8 February 2019.

His one-minute miniatures were selected for 3 separate years of the New York-based Vox Novus 60x60 music project and also a related one-off microtonal project.  60x60 has shown in various venues around the world as hour-long dance performances with 60 dance groups, each interpreting a minute, timed to a stage clock. Pauline Oliveros and Laurie Spiegel were also among the one minute contributors. One of his miniatures also featured in a 60x60 video project by Patrick Liddel which has been shown in venues in the US and beyond including the LOOP Videoart Festival, Barcelona.

Several Neu Gestalt tracks have appeared on Germany’s Yellow Sunshine Explosion compilations and he has arranged/remixed artists including Alex Tronic (Paul Croan), Mick Chillage, Terrorboy and MetalTech. The Australian theatre company, One Step at a Time, employed music by Neu Gestalt as part of its “En Route” project in Edinburgh, and director Julian Rickert again employed Neu Gestalt music for his ‘Angel Moments’ project in Melbourne.

A guitarist from an early age, Les initially felt that, although a daily pleasure to play, it didn’t fit with the earlier music he wished to record, only increasing turning to it along with keyboards, as developments in modular synth systems began to offer processing options radically more appealing to him. He has used his shakuhachi as a prominent sound source for treatments on earlier work, though its inclusion is all but invisible on Controlled Substances.

Fond of antiquated technology as well as recent developments in modular synthesis, he creates music on a 32 year old Atari ST, preferring recording software wherein key features are not buried in over-design, and where the limited features provided offer no opportunity for option paralysis.  Using several aged Akai samplers, his hardware synths, other instruments and found sounds, he most often creates in the region of 500 - 900 samples per track as part of a lengthy but, for him, critical process.

He is a qualified architect who also studied urban design. He has also worked as an illustrator.


Selected review quotes

Ambient music isn’t for everyone. It’s too easy to dismiss its spa connotations as the background soundtrack to a day’s relaxation. That’s not the purpose of Edinburgh-based Les Scott’s release under the Neu Gestalt moniker, however. There’s too much detailed thought and artistry here, too many elements designed to engage the attention rather than dampen it down, for Inside The Rain Chamber to slip to the back of the listener’s consciousness.
Alan Morrison on ‘Inside The Rain Chamber’ - Sunday Herald (Scotland)

It is a minimal set that makes the most of every colour in its sonic palette. It is not, in other words, an immediate album. This again works in its favour. You will think that you heard something, maybe a faint scream, a switch or even a click that has leapt out and clipped the tastebuds of your sonic palette. And, not being quite sure, you will return to the album afresh and hear something quite brand new. And then you’ll hear of something else quite brand new…  It is the kind of music which paints pictures in your head as you listen to it, memories past or present will drift across the insides of your eyelids as the while sound slowly swallows you.
Jonathon Robert Muirhead on ‘Inside The Rain Chamber’- Is This Music

The track Capsules – our Track of the Month for December – features fragments of Japanese language reassembled into new words, set to fretless bass lines and exotic noises. If you need an antidote to horrendous Christmas hits, darken the room, put on Rain Chamber and embark on a musical journey with Neu Gestalt.
Olaf Furniss on ‘Inside The Rain Chamber’ - The Scotsman

With ‘Weightless Hours’, Les Scott has created an album of almost indescribable beauty…. Weightless Hours is not the sound of what should be done to make for a better tomorrow. It is the sound of that better tomorrow, or at least the beginnings of it. Besides being such an admittedly “abstract” discussion of the album, I cannot help myself in indulging in a philosophical soliloquy about it as well. This, in essence, is the power of the 12 songs that make up the record. It is the result of listening to an extraordinarily moving hour of music.
Greg Barbick - Blinded by Sound

The album’s material can sometimes seem like ambient music, given the ease with which it merges with the background in its most atmospheric moments. But a closer listen reveals that tracks such as “Saturn Park,” “Winter,” and “On Haunted Shores” include a wealth of detail that rewards one’s full attention. The echo of a pinging percussion instrument, the tinkle of piano, the near-subliminal scratch of a turntable, the flutter of processed sound textures, the incorporation of field-recorded train and water sounds—consistent with the very definition of gestalt, all such elements coalesce to form richly evocative moodscapes of intricate design. …’Abandoned Cities’ suggests that Neu Gestalt’s music could legitimately be seen as perpetuating the fourth world associated with figures such as Jon Hassell and David Toop.
Ron Schepper on ‘Weightless Hours’ - Textura

… Technoid exotica at its most adventurous!!! “Weightless Hours” skillfully explores very personal sonic visions of Les Scott, who has managed to bring to us superb work, musically, sonically and visually!!! This album will grow on you with every listening, and don’t forget your headphones!!! Highly recommended to all aficionados of downbeat/ambient electronica!!!
Richard Gurtler on Weightless Hours - Relaxed Machinery

Moody atmospherica at its finest …one of the hidden pearls of the ambient electronic realms!!! Richard Gurtler on ‘Altered Carbon’ - Relaxed Machinery

A passion for everything to do with emptiness; the sorcery of the unknown and the barrenness of huge spaces that Les Scott tries to convey here with drifting clouds that travel through your head. .. “It’s difficult to link the album with any other.  Neu Gestalt lies halfway between ambient and electronica and produces a slow, soft melodious music set against rhythms which are noticeably present but are deep in the mix.“
Fabrice Allard on ‘Altered Carbon’ - Etherreal [translation from French]

An astonishing tour de force. Indeed, it is one of my five favourite electronica albums ever.
Baxter Tocher on ‘Altered Carbon’ - Eartickles

A tempo akin to flickering diode sparks, these beats are almost seductive in their softness.
Matt Howarth on Altered Carbon - Sonic Curiosity

 

Discography  
Controlled Substances Controlled Substances