Hans Tammen, Joker Nies, Mario DeVega: endangered guitar, blippoo box, omnichord, circuit bent instruments, SPK®, amplified objects
Prologue: an improviser’s fearlessness can also be demonstrated by utilizing a blippoo box (sure, I had to look for that – but the creative principles that subtend its utilization are fantastic, if you ask me). Then again, artists characterized by the press release as men “who would win any title fight against the bastard sons of onkyo” (*) have to be cheered. Just let me be your Angelo Dundee, guys, and we’ll go far.
That brilliant music like what’s contained by this disc has to wait nearly six years to be published is beyond this writer’s understanding. Ever since the manifest absurdities of the initial track “Opening (Kassel)” the quantity of data conducted by Die Schrauber to the brain is amazing, exactly as the capricious richness of the trio’s palette. A bracing sequence of seismic dynamics, barbarous stabs of modified frequencies, snippets taken from heaven-knows-what-third-world-radio, children at play with their own atomization, ominous manipulations (“Strasbourg” is a masterpiece in that sense), problematic timbral layerings, rhythms that would not remain in place if nailed with a mallet. All sounds are entirely serviceable and often utterly splendid, merging inside the music’s clustered lineament thanks to a type of instinctive vision that certain theoretically emancipated ensembles could not brag about.
The recusancy of readying in the awesome plurality of acoustic inventions establishes a firm clutch on the concentration while enhancing our ability of simultaneous discernment. Headphones are totally recommended; too many micro-details in there that risk to be overlooked, and instead are essential. Shortly after the start, the feel here was already one of extemporaneous conversancy with the material, whose unmerciful naturalness is – for lack of a better adjective – healthful. The tedium typically associated to the circles of pedantic avantgarde appears remote as the blurred retention of an old bad dream: everything coming out of those circuits, magnets, strings and objects is discharged under the semblance of hyper-stimulating audible protrusions, with mere instants of “source recognizability”. As the concluding segments – “MS Stubnitz Finale” and “Wind Up (Bonn)” – hoisted us through the exit door via agitated pattern reduplications and propulsive irresponsibility, we were left fantasizing on an implausibly low-budget Steve Reich + Roedelius temperamental partnership culminating with the two swapping venomous words after their van has given up the ghost in the middle of a red-light district somewhere.
(*) = I had completely forgotten that the line was mine. Mr.Tammen has already been thanked for the reminder 🙂