Saturday, September 19, 2020
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Artist: Joe Rehmer / Paul N Roth (@)
Title: Tensil Test
Format: CD
Label: Creative Sources (@)
Rated: *****
The tabled double-bass that these American guys play could surmise the recumbent position of someone on the dentist's chair or on a morgue, but the sounds or the noises - it depends upon how you perceive it - by means of an amazing preparation of the instrument and a set of bows, foils, tapes, metal objects, a saxophone, a paper dog and as well as the interaction of their bodies - not only hands and arms, but also beards and some nose whistles - and surrounding chatting and reverberations (what they call "mayhem"...they nicely thank the "random theatre troupe, whose names we never knew, and whose voices you hear on track 1" in the sleeve notes) are really interesting and manage to evoke an almost ritual dimension. I wouldn't match their sound art to purely noisy experiments, as they get closer to improv music's modus operandi, and you can easily check it on this release. Named after a concept that should be familiar to engineering students - a tension testing by which a sample of some material is subjected to controlled forces until failure in order to check quality of the material itself -, "Tensil Test" collects eight more or less short untitled tracks they recorded in March 2013 in Marseille, ranging from the 10 minutes of the seventh track (maybe the more involving for its lenght, where a sort of trembling noise and a pile of easily perceivable hits and repeated rubbing got initially grasped into a somber double-bass tune - to shortest inserts that could sound like the grabbing of preparatory works.


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