A piece of paper accompanies this release, explaining that it is a quiet recording and to set the volume of your system accordingly. It’s an apt warning. Careful, high-volume listening is required to fully appreciate the nuanced sound manipulations of Belgian minimalist Ronny Van Hee – the man behind the Gart & Seekatze moniker.
Van Hee himself has described G&S as primarily a guitar-based project, so it’s odd that “Tardigrada” is composed of piano-driven pieces. The introspective quality of his music lends itself to practically any instrument, however. The live-in-the-room feel of the recordings, and the long, ringing notes of the piano lend a sense of anticipation, as do the extended periods of silence. Actually there is no silence in the truest sense; low-level hiss and room sounds can be heard if one listens carefully enough. The sound of buzzing piano innards at times provides a hint of drone, but it’s the extended, reverberating notes from the piano that are featured most prominently. When melodies appear, they vanish almost instantaneously in the near-stillness. “Tardigrada” demonstrates the unique relationship between sound and its absence, a relationship that is deftly utilized by a master of his craft. 8/10 -- Bryon Hayes (26 November, 2008)