Sunday, 28 March 2010

Sweet Grittiness

CELER – Fountain Glider

A rather atypical but nonetheless very effective release by Celer, especially in virtue of what my expectations were after having seen the CD’s cover and read the sources (glider cabin during flights, runway wind, cello, violin, electronics). Let’s immediately clarify that the only identifiable sounds are the ones that weren’t generated by the “regular” instruments, as cello and violin were rendered utterly unrecognizable by broad-minded electronic treatments. There’s also a knowledgeable use of distortion, quite an innovation in the duo’s music (which, as a rule, is founded on undying reverberations and murmured fluxes of frequencies). The mastery lies in letting the adjoining constituents unfold without urgency, so that we feel like being shut within the cabin one moment – wonderful muted drones underlining the experience – and close to a nuclear plant the next, a strange sort of semi-harmonic defoliation of timbre going on and on, first shockingly then entirely welcome. This grainy invariability characterizes the disc’s second half pretty seriously, still possessing the enticing qualities that have stunned us in past releases by the Long duo. Given both the rarity of the edition and the unusual temperament of selected parts, I warmly thank Will for sending me a copy of this excellent work, although it’s by now out of print (a reissue has already been planned). (Students Of Decay)


Never I would envision, by reading the name Luigi Archetti in Krautrock chronicles of many years ago, his records standing among my favourite listens, independently of the genre, in 2010. Archetti’s work is multifarious – recordings, installations and whatever you could imagine from a bright 55-year old who left a depressingly decaying place (Italy) as a kid to go living in a wonderfully civil one (Switzerland). But, most of all, this man’s field of research deals with the analysis of the relations between the small constituents of an instrument and, at large, of the sonic consistency. He steers clear of styles and definitions, utilizing his axe as a generator of multitudes of different emanations. Drones are present, of course - intelligently deployed and with the right dose of gravel. Then, prickling granules of harmonics, portentously misshapen loops and gripping oscillations, often in the space of a single track. Music that expresses disagreement with the norm, yet doesn’t need noise to become another piece of obviousness. There’s nothing that can be described as comforting in the thirteen episodes of Null; still, the record has been spinning endlessly for two days and its qualities keep shining. Coldness revealing a heart, turbulence masked as immobility, breathtaking vistas apparently confined by structural limitations. Either percussively or with some kind of bowing technique, the radiance expressed by these detachedly calm sabotages is something unique. One of the few masterpieces heard in the year’s first quarter, an outing that will put guitar-manipulating pretenders to shame. (Die Schachtel)