Time Machine Volumes I&II
Double cassette (E95)
“The Time Machine project was conceived in order to find a simple
and immediate way to work with rhythm. I built two cheap and
imprecise, almost-square wave oscillators with a wide range of
frequencies. These oscillators can sweep and cross-modulate from
rare pulse to high audio signals. I use a mixer to create feedback
between the filters, CV and audio signals and simply record the
output; there are no overdubs.”
Renato Rinaldi studied drama, composition and electronic music.
After a number of years working as an actor he began composing
music for theatre, radio dramas and video installations. He has
produced several radio plays, documentaries and reportages for
the Italian national broadcasting radio (RAI). In music, his work
focuses primarily on the relationship between sound and environ-
ment. Composer Giuseppe Ielasi and photographer Armin Linke
are his frequent collaborators.
First edition of 60 copies (out of print)
Second edition of 40 copies (out of print)
Electronic music doesn’t get much simpler than this.
Two oscillators, a mixer, a couple of filters and straight-
to-tape recording. No overdubs and some mixing and
editing by Giuseppe Ielasi (a frequent Rinaldi collabo-
rator). At first glance, such an approach puts Rinaldi’s
Time Machine in stark company. The formal austerity
and gridlike rhythmic sense of these untitled pieces
brings to mind alva noto, while the dub-deep bass
pulse and percussive bed of tiny, clicking signals
suggest a low-tech Basic Channel.
Rinaldi’s means might be minimal, but minimalism
is not the goal here. On the contrary, Time Machine
is singularly engrossing and teeming with activity.
Rinaldi coaxes an admirable amount of textures
and phrases from his basic set-up and, crucially,
finds myriad ways to overlap and interweave them.
He builds mid-tempo head-nodders complete with
approximations of scratchy funk wah-wah figures.
Polyrhythms erupt in bursts of reedy high frequen-
cies and staccato passages of brassy hi-hat patterns.
There’s even an uptempo number with a bass
drum thump that could be seamlessly dropped in
a Techno set.
Rinaldi is no mathematician; he’s a sculptor, chipp-
ing away at a pure block of a signal to craft detailed
miniatures. His approach is tactile, not granular or
abstract. He’s not even out to reference any genres.
What he does might sound on paper like reduction,
but it’s really about maxing out the possibilities
of what’s available. By doing so, he leaves in an
essential ingredient: playfulness, the same joy of
messing about he must have felt when winding his
contraptions and seeing what they could do. Some-
times simple is better — and a whole lot more fun.
Matt Wuethrich in The Wire