MATT EARLE, JASON KAHN & ADAM SUSSMANN – Concerts Melbourne + Sydney

Avantwhatever

To begin with some fun, the net label from which this work can be downloaded wins – hands down – the first prize for “best name” this year. The music is not a joke, though: no doubt about it when one is greeted by the kind of compression of the nerves that several of these propagations cause. The trio, captured in two consecutive evenings in January of 2011, utilizes a straightforward palette (Earle and Sussmann on electronics, Kahn on analogue synth) that belies the music’s inherent richness. Despite the non-abuse of concussive contrasts and startling shocks, there’s a number of unexpected events in both improvisations that fully justifies the press release description: “dense with frequencies and activity, the recordings nonetheless possess a remarkable stillness”. On-and-off pulsations in the subsonic areas are enhanced by stripped spurts of pitchless action and insidious pops and clicks in grainy sauce that complement the intermittent humming efficiently, at times worryingly. Shrewdly placed interferences (including the sudden appearance of radio snippets) and slight obstructions to a “normal” flux of interrelated emissions appear as the indispensable trait of attractive excrescences where the collective aim – leading an attentive listener within the realm of brain stimulation – is achieved without too much of an effort. The skilled receptivity of the participants in manipulating the sonic components of their reduced arsenal makes sure that concave spots and lifeless zones are all but missing. In any case, approach this at 5 in the morning or very late at night to avoid intrusive external influences. Once more, real silence becomes crucial.

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