BETTINA WENZEL – Mumbai Diary

Gruenrekorder

Bettina Wenzel: field recordings, voice, akappaikinnari

The idea underlying this release from 2010 is not really awful, namely juxtaposing vocal improvisations to au naturel field recordings, trying to get the essence of both efforts working in communion. However, Wenzel – as nicely impenitent as she sounds, and her studies notwithstanding – does not possess such a broad assortment of phonemic tones to choose from in spite of her rather flexible pitch emission. She’s two floors under Ute Wassermann or Shelley Hirsch, being honest enough. The result is an excess of uniformity in a setting that – quite absurdly – should theoretically warrant something of a relative unpredictability. To find a few positives: I do like some pharynx-injuring broken partials and the final solo excursion; the echoes of Indian quotidian activities can surely be greeted without problems, even considering the scarce weight attributed to them in this context (another oddity, given the record’s title). Fundamentally, an occasionally amusing scribbled postcard more than an actual journal.

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