Missing Ap’strophes Now Provided

AP’STROPHE – Objects Sense Objectes

Ap’strophe is the union of Ferran Fages and Dimitra Lazaridou Chatzigoga, on acoustic guitar and zither respectively. The pair is obviously interested in making the instruments resound in unusual ways, an aim achieved through different methods – detuning, adjacent pitches, relative contrasts between upper partials – and apparently constituting the project’s one and only focus. In Objects Sense Objectes activities start with a sweet enough exploration of slide and glissando amidst tolerably inharmonious chords, sporadically recalling Fred Frith’s early sides. Shortly thereafter, this suggestion of cleanness disappears completely as eBows, preparations and other assorted techniques give birth to moments of tension cleverly alternated with mind-relieving emptier spaces. Throughout the improvising process, Fages and Lazaridou Chatzigoga keep their feet in variously shaped shoes: strident timbres, toneless rubbing and scratching of the parts, percussive utilization of the bodies, gradually sloping harmonics controlled by hand. Periods of absolute aural pleasure are followed by hard-to-accept discordance, which is supposedly the way to circumvent the latent tiresomeness typical of monothematic investigations. A sparse composure is restored in the final track, perhaps the best synthesis of the duo’s fundamental issues in researching vibrational trends. (Etude)

AP’STROPHE – Corgroc

In this set, a chapter of Another Timbre’s guitar series, Ap’strophe remain anchored to few essential types of idiom, avoiding ineffectual dispersions of energy. Beginning with a long, subtle tone à la Lucier that goes on for a while disturbed by capriciously grating emissions, the music continues across a systematic rotation of opposite dynamics. Penetrating single plucks break the silent spell generated by the absence of movement; in the background of lengthily resonant chords, someone’s fingers tamper with some of the instrumental constituents. Harsh comparisons of notes occur – like a fight between akin entities to determine which is the brightest – then it’s silence again, immediately cracked by even thinner held pitches. Despite an apparent frailty, the record is infused with significant tenaciousness; the restrictions of certain constructions are just theoretical, the substance not in discussion. The magnetism of fixity against the ceaselessness of frictional conflict, concentration versus annoyance. Within these contrasts, several openings towards the brighter lights of acoustic inquisitiveness unexpectedly appear, delivering the listener from the grip of the most occlusive sections. At a given point, one doesn’t care if aesthetic laws are respected (they are, for what it’s worth), stopping every scrutiny to admire instead the lucidity of the performers. It takes patience, but the effort will be rewarded after a number of plays – possibly loud. (Another Timbre)

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