STRØM – Fold


Gaudenz Badrutt and Christian Müller are Strøm, a Swiss duo arrived at the second release on Domizil. Although disciplined on piano and clarinet, they also specialize in a brand of electronica that makes the most of charged pulse and droning matters mottled with agglomerations of arrhythmic – or “spastic”, as they say – shapes, more or less startling when not plain cacophonous. Now, when I started spinning the CD and the initial sequences of throbs, clicks and buzzes began to flash their menacing smiles, the reaction was around the lines of “OK, another laptop album with mechanically well-designed sounds yet lacking significant compositional traits”. Not exactly: in a while, the combinations of morphing colourations and tactile events start showing stability and grit – features that often are deplorably missing from the conceptions of selected illustrious Einsteins of today’s synthesis – and the superimposition of frames, textures and geometries increase our perception of a definite direction, thus substantiating a measure of appreciation for the music. Still, the third and fifth movement are significantly superior to the record’s average, imbued as they are of mournful parabolic moans and mantric graveness. Not the first place where this happens indeed; but Badrutt and Müller seem to know their machines inside and out, and they’re not disinclined to display a soul (which lets us forgive the mandatory Deleuze quote in the liners).

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