Absurdities

Difficult to imagine a brand whose sonic output is more variegated than Nicolas Malevitsis’ Absurd (and related sub-labels). You can integrate these short reviews by visiting this website, further details and a lot of additional interesting things available for the reading appetite of the most curious.

AL MARGOLIS & DAN BURKE – Live April 5, 2008

More If, Bwana than Illusion Of Safety, this recording captured at Le Bonheur in Brussels is a classic meeting of low-key geniuses interested in the generation of pseudo-static electroacoustic miasmas where silence is banned and fluctuating muck that slowly turns into barely repressed rage is a given. Music that starts from near-immobility to accumulate tarnished layers and myriads of loops replete with human imperfection, radioactive pollution, labyrinthine inhospitableness and not-too-effusive contemplation. The core tissue is at times augmented by unexpected reed-and-whistle-driven predicaments (electric guitars, also?) manifesting puzzlingly upon a foundation of metropolitan textures, the whole thoroughly informed by artistic rectitude. At the end of the day, the pastiche sounds galvanizing and entrancing at one and the same time, each new listen revealing additional particulars which contribute to the sense of consistency that the performance in its entirety exudes.

LARRY GUS – Iasmos

By looking at the lovely cover artwork – a childish collage made of a sketched train with the protagonist and a lot of beautiful children’s faces stuck on it – we realize that this is not exactly hard-to-swallow music. In fact, the recording is described as a “memento for the second birthday party of Orion which took place at Iasmos, on Saturday, April 15, 2008”. Although the large part of the explanations are in Greek (therefore incomprehensible for me), I suppose that the miniatures presented by Gus – which range from cheap-yet-effective minimalism to pleasantly superficial electronic disjointedness interspersed with taped fragments from the very shindig – were mainly conceived utilizing the toy instruments visible on the CD sleeve, with a slight measure of ensuing manipulation. Some parts of this are quite congenial to the ears, other segments are just a waste of time. It lasts 32 minutes, no serious damage in any case.

RAIONBASHI – In Teufel’s Küche

Unacquainted with Raionbashi and currently deprived of internet at home (ah, the joy of inexistent technical assistance in rural areas…) I set myself to listen to this 10-inch without any kind of prejudice. First of all, I played In Teufel’s Küche at 33 rpm despite not knowing if that was correct (it worked OK). The music appears to be mostly constructed via tape manipulation, human components definitely present (slowed-down breathing, warped mutterings and so on). This mix of bodily modification and unspecified instruments is prepared with a certain degree of consideration, not sounding as a bunch of illogical events but apparently following a scheme, several of these previews of transience even fascinating in their complete indescribability. There are looping accelerations, murky signs of instability, gurgling stomachs of some sort of evil creature, the whole constantly permeated by an impending sense of hopeless despoliation. Sinisterly unsettling stuff, well made if a little rough on the edges.

ANTOINE CHESSEX – Terra Incognita

Wonderful artwork and great music, a complete package indeed from Antoine Chessex who – armed with amplified saxophone and electronics – produced a fine album of blasting violence that sounds a little more “educated” and, to some extent, controlled in respect to certain recordings I’ve heard from him. This LP runs at 33 rpm on a side and at 45 on the other (you have to drop the needle where the grooves really begin, halfway through face B) but I had to discover it by looking at the tiny details engraved in the vinyl itself. Massive distortion a go-go, with just a few interruptions (a single sax note is left lingering at one point, unbelievably for this French warmonger) and sections – in truth lasting mere seconds, such as at the record’s start – in which the unaccompanied electronics diffuse a somewhat entrancing aroma, then it’s scorching mayhem all over. Borbetomagus, Merzbow, make room for this gentleman. Among the best noise releases in a long time, the right adjective is “pulverizing”.

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