Music Reviews

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Title: Gelbe Tupfen
Format: CD
Label: Bowindo
Rated: *****
German experimental soundmaker and Selektion label member Ralf Wehowsky (aka RLW) is widely known for his sound-recycling activity, which has lead to monumental collaborative projects like the 5-cd set "Tulpas", where a theory of international artists re-read his music. Something similar has occurred with the recent "I. K. K. - Purpur" cd on Sirr Records: Wehowsky created some recordings using his daughter Sonja's singing of a Christmas carol, "Kinderlein Kommet", which partially ended up in a 7" released by Meeuw Muzak and were later re-used to assemble further sonic material. This was later sent to various fellow artists who re-interpreted the piece. The same basis and working method was used by RLW for this collaboration with Italian bassist, electronic musician and software-developer Domenico Sciajno, responsible for the first half of the cd. Don't be fooled by the Christmas carol thing: though you can spot some particle of child singing in the two codas, all the rest is quite a difficult journey. Both Sciajno and RLW offer free-flowing pieces where digital clicks and disturbances, droning frequencies and sharp, ear-irritating crackles form a thick fog of vaguely disquieting electroacoustic music. Let's say that, roughly, the former offers a more shifting and sparse set of sounds, while the latter opts for deeper drones, nearly silent movements and, here and there, more recognizable acoustic sources (looped and manipulated vocals, possibly a creaking door...); but the two visions of theirs intersect very well, so that the listen doesn't suffer from any abrupt change. This is surely not an easy to digest experience: both artists merge the sense of change and indeterminateness of radical improvisation with the algid results of digital electronics, coming up with an obstinately solipsistic work, which eventually grows with every listen thanks to his very uncommunicative approach.

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