Paul Hubweber: trombone; DJ Sniff: turntable & electronics
Hubweber and Sniff have been playing together for years now, showing the kind of imaginative expertise typical of reciprocally confiding (and slightly neurotic) partners; that the products coming from these kindred minds are definable as “challenging” constitutes a taken-for-granted quantity. In the case of No Litter – recorded in two days at Amsterdam’s STEIM in 2011 – a potential problem that might arise for the nonchalant listener is the surplus of stimulus, such is the level of prolification of acoustic information reached by the duo. Needless to say, this is not an issue here: the type of entropic outrageousness enjoyed throughout this lively album is characterized by enough doses of uptight intelligence and noticeable origins, thus permitting the adjustment of our conceptualizations to the differing velocities and eccentric changes of rhythms, fragments and noises.
Hubweber’s personality as he blows, gurgles, moans and spits through the trombone’s tubes emerges as a never-pessimistic, semi-logical annihilation of the “immediate reward” factor. He emits sounds that appear as the manifest consequence of a wholeness at work, his own organism entirely melted with the instrument – inside and out. Showers of blasting irreverence are followed by amusing technical gimmicks useful for escaping from the claws of solemnity, and then again by chains of innocent questions that really demand no answer. But Sniff, who specializes in improvising with records by improvisers, knows some of those answers. As the audience’s permissiveness is ascertained, clangorous pulsations, technological irritation, segmented talks and rust-tinged foams give life to a self-financing complexity where looking to discover the “what” and the “how” becomes a ticket to hydrophobia. Still, the firmness in the pair’s beliefs about the value of the “moment” during a performance remains at the basis of everything. As an individual who is totally available to put any private foregone conclusion under the threat of dissolution, this fine aural litterature provides large quantities of treasurable commonplace-murdering stuff.