Music Reviews

Artist: Sutekh (@)
Title: On Bach
Format: CD
Label: Creaked
Rated: *****
Seth Horvitz aka Sutekh (the Egyptian version of his real and enviable name!) is not a newcomer in musical operations concerning the restyling of classical music: he never neglected his passion for classical music and in 2005 he issued on his own label, Context Free Media, a 12' including one bizarre rhapsody inspired by Paganini. His obsession for classical composers slightly restrained for his love for sequencers, computers and other stuff belonging to industrial age (!) should have been noticed by the art directors of the historic Theatre du Chatelet in Paris, who invited him to perform for Bach To The Moon, an event dedicated to the 'original father of harmony' ' those ones were the words Beethoven used to describe the genial German composer J.S.Bach -, being the only electronic musician alongside a plenty of classical ones to join this sort of conclave and the industrious Sutekh astonishingly used some shibboleths belonging to his musical territories by acting almost as an eraser of conventional music standards in order to use Bach's intuitions and tunes for the hard-working fertilization of his creative fields! Well'¦many organ or piano students could consider such an operation a kind of personal revenge against fearful exercises on Bach's scales, responsible ' I'm not joking!!! - for many tendinitis, wrist dislocation or phalanx cramps, but the electronic surgery by Sutekh is definitively a brilliant opus even if it could sound like a daredevil outrage to certain puritanism still surviving in music schools.

It's not correct to speak about remixes or cover versions of Bach scores, as they act more as seeds feeding its logical and creative process, so that you can hear to excellent samples of manipulated MIDI data of Bach's chorales ' it borders on most demented Kid 606 tunes on tracks such as The Lips Of The Foolish Way ' or funny grafts of Bach's arpeggio on quirky mechanical monsters (in tracks such as The Glorious Day Has Downed ' you'll wonder how Toccata and Fugue in D Minor descending scales' samples could sound so aciiiiiiid -or Repulsion By Slit And Roundabout, Sutekh highlighted the obsessive aspect of Bach's music you could easily recognize even in some of the most famous scores by the German composer, insisting sometimes in a spasmodic way on the same note'¦) or freaky sound setting (have a listen to the way the Fugue for Organ in C Minor - or maybe it's the Passion Chorale'¦?!?!? - seems to resurface from the muddy depths of pond, full of sometimes dreadful sound life'¦).

In the intricate web of noisy balls where you can sometimes uneasily listen to Bach's traces, I appreciated the presence of a sort of tribute to one of the most bizarre Bach's interpreter of almost contemporary ages, Glenn Gould, and you'll enjoy the presence of some bubbling vocal samples by this crazy performer in All Men Must Die, the track tribute to this eccentric character! Sutekh's cannot end but with what seems an immersive remake of Come Sweet Death (Komm susser Tod BWV478), entitled The Last Hour, where a single organ chord grows in volume, intensity and is gradually enriched of different tones till it towers above the sound space by skimming over the initial crystalline and obsessive set of church bells. Evocative and sometimes sublime opus!

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