Sunday, July 11, 2010

Annette Krebs/Taku Unami - motubachii (Erstwhile)

When this appeared (April?) I played it quite a bit, sometimes nothing but all day. It's a great recording, entirely unique in many respects, but I'll be damned if I could think of anything halfway intelligent to say about it. It just sat there, alive and glowing, an alien beauty that defied any attempt at penetration. After a few weeks, I put it aside, leaving it out on the stereo as a constant reminder that I needed to revisit and re-investigate.

Well, I've been doing so. Played it twice last night and, as I sit here typing, it's on the fifth go round today, early Sunday afternoon. And it's as beautifully impenetrable as ever to me. I could fall back on phrases like "internal logic" and, I admit, that's very tempting. It does sound very whole and self-contained, utterly consistent within whatever set of indecipherable rules was employed. Virtually every sound, sounds right, no matter how odd or (at first hearing) awkwardly placed it might be--tumbling drawers, a baby's bawl, an accordion waltz, snatches of German, abrasive, low buzzes--they all fit. Sometimes, I think the glue holding things together is the soft koto-like plucks that surface now and then, almost like fades between film scenes. In fact, I do tend to experience this music very visually, imagining a darkened stage with many props (perhaps influenced by the photo posted at IHM a while back of the drawer or box set-up), Krebs and Unami calmly moving from place to place, triggering an action here, avoiding doing so there but somehow not seeming random, each motion part of some arcane choreography.

Compelling. That's a word that springs to mind often. You know something is happening, something real but, like great poetry, it's impossible to pin down yet you're compelled to follow it, to try to understand. In the end, you do understand though, pace Wittgenstein, you're unable to speak about it. So you remain silent.

More or less.



1 comment:

JoeP said...

Thanks Brian. I was wondering if this review would come around.
I have been concerned about playing this one too much - don't want to loose the magic. But it's been weeks now - hope I have a similiar experience as you.