Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Günter Müller - Cym Bowl (Mikroton)

This, along with the subsequent disc, are the first two CD releases from the Russian label, Mikroton (after several MP3 issues). Müller, for this album, has processed a large amount of recordings derived from cymbals and singing bowls, molding and twisting them into a steady stream of vaguely cymballic sound. Listeners familiar with his work will have a reasonable idea what to expect: a pulse that's at least implied (often overt), a blurring of edges, a generally warm tone even at its most industrial. Fair enough, but there's something of a progression in play from the blandly attractive opener to the more troubling "Third Cym", where Müller manages to evoke more than mere sonic effects. Still, the overall tilt is toward the kind of relatively featureless, anonymous music he's been, more often than not, producing over the past few years; I always find myself yearning for someone to throw some sand in the gears.

Alan Courtis/Jaime Genovart/Christof Kurzmann/Pablo Reche - Palmar Zähler (Mikroton)

Kurzmann (lloopp, clarinet, voice) spends a good bit of time in South America and is here joined by several musicians from Buenos Aires: Courtis (homemade violin, contact mic, mp3, tapes, processing), Genovart (recording, synth, soft [sic]) and Reche (minidisc, ipod, alesis nanoverb, korg MS10). At its best, as on the second track where Kurzmann wields his clarinet (a crucial element in the whirling drone), the quartet creates a very rich swirl of thick, nodose textures with more than enough interior detail to satisfy. Kurzmann intoning "As Tears Go By" over threatening hums and rumbles works fairly well also. Elsewhere, they succumb somewhat to the homogeneous, if pleasant, kind of electronic improv often heard from For 4 Ears in recent times. Not bad but not special.


available stateside via erstdist

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