JOHANNES FRISCH & RALF WEHOWSKY – Which Head You’re Dancing In?


Johannes Frisch, Ralf Wehowsky: all sounds, composition

Frisch is a bassist able to decompose formulas through a dumbfounding control of the instrumental nuances; Wehowsky stands beaming among the very few specimens of supersonic thaumaturge turning an earnestly problematic juxtaposition of injured sources into some bendable kind of nastily perverted gag. Given the combination of creative genii – and the album’s title, ironically saluting Ornette Coleman – one should easily gather clues on the materials lodged in the 43-minute span of this exhilarating release. The record is in fact chock full of – a-hem – rhythms. Only, not those taught at the music college. We’re talking of the fractal smash-up of a whole universe of eccentric throbs, snaps, contraptions, eructations, bumps and glimmers. The sort of things that make nescient robots recur to the worn-out references to the “divine laws of the cosmos” and the “seven notes” in order to run away from the inefficient persona reflected from their mirror when they shave. Poor people, never delivered from ages of wax, as mental as auricular. Still, one can hear them handing out trendy names, Fibonacci on the top of the list (Elliott Sharp might punish them adequately for the latter crime, but this is another story) before launching themselves into piteous philippics on “harmony”.

Let’s face it: to really perforate the invisible membrane separating this stuff from an unstable consciousness, you’d better be thoroughly reactive. Physical exercise, first and foremost. Attention to the apparently insignificant details of daily incidents that reveal the actual meanings behind individual behaviors. Oh, and do not get overly lax with consonance. In a word: the VU meters of perception must be on red more or less constantly. There is room for silence, though. All tracks are ended by mute segments, the artists definitely aware of the necessity of recalibrating the mind after lengthy barrages of acoustic uprising. A piece called “Theme For A Skyscraper” possesses enough chamberesque attributes to be attentively considered by someone in charge at the Ensemble Modern headquarters (or, just an idea, by Reinhold Friedl’s Zeitkratzer). Brief snippets elsewhere reminded us of the cynically intense research inside the nucleus of a sonic component typical of speculative overlords such as Asmus Tietchens (hey, I’ve been quoting Germans throughout; will the Weltmeister honor me for this?). But it’s the impossibly spasmodic paroxysm of traumatized techno-sequences that will make your day, especially when compared to the environment of bowed excoriation (“Which Cloud Are You Coming From?”) and pliable non-conformism in which they are situated. So, not everybody’s cup of tea of course, but a gas nonetheless.

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