Thomas Köner is one of the most influential modernist minimal composers. Alongside Wolfgang Voigt’s “Gas” project, Köner has been centrally responsible for electronic music’s fascination with depth and reduction. His signature sound is vast, seemingly endless, which at first seems homogenous and infinite, but once exposed to it, when our senses calibrate to the fine nuances of changes, we discover and immerse into abundance of textures, richness of modulations and almost infinite range of sonic titilations. Köner’s work was inspired by his frequent travels in the Arctic, and listeners feel his music as a journey to mysterious worlds of the Arctic region. The experience of being exposed to the extreme cold, the hightening of our senses and ability to notice even the slightest changes in color, sound, light or density that creates this dangerously reductive environment, is like an immersion in the sonic world of this German artist, where masterfully crafted layers of sound open into colossal spaces, teeming with aural life, waiting to be discovered by those who venture into it. The titles of Köner’s highly regarded albums from the 90’s ever so often play with this affinity – Nunatak, Permafrost, Teimo - all reference to the world of the Artic region, just as his album Nuuk that points us to the capital of Greenland. Subdued and minimal at first glance, this album is brimming with low-end frequences, shadowy resonances and boreal ambience, but at the same time, constant fluctuation and vulnerability of sonic events, makes it very organic, human and almost comforting, like the tiny harbour existing in the sea of ice, it is named after.
Originally published as one of four CD’s on the 1997 compilation Driftworks, which also included albums by Nijiumu, Pauline Oliveros& Randi Raine-Reusch and Paul Schütze, the album was re-relased in 2004 by MillePlateauxMedia. It also served as the source of music material and inspiration for Thomas Köner’s video art by the same.