Limpe Fuchs: percussion, voice, violin, piano, ballast string, wood horn; Christoph Heemann: Moog and Korg synthesizers, field recordings, tape delay, mixing console; Timo Van Luijk: autoharp, monochord, sanza, prepared trumpet, tape delay.
Macchia Forest comes on a vinyl album which stayed on my turntable for a prolonged time this week. It’s the consequence of a performance held in 2008 at Cologne’s Loft by three idiosyncratic musicians whose diversified capacities combined achieve remarkably undiluted results. The acoustic identity of each human nucleus arises straight away; Heemann and Van Luijk match the
gossamer (so to speak) constituents, whereas Fuchs is the one who supplies multi-linear materiality in a bucolically ritualistic, unstudied variety. The latter’s unadulterated conceptualization of improvisation is explicated through a proficient handling of diverse instrumental characters defining the music’s percussive and, if you will, canorous aspects. Heemann and Van Luijk – their dual plumbing of the aural abyss as In Camera already celebrated here and elsewhere – remain loyal to the cryptic qualities of profound creative symptoms. They build subterranean walls of mystifying frequencies, exploiting the analog essence of the synthesizers to purr, whir, pulsate and flicker along a path indicated by some obscure divinity of resonant matter, with a slight measure of ethereal string-based activity to add dimensions to the sonic surroundings. As the listener gets primed to be lulled by an illusory peacefulness, Fuchs chooses to materialize her offhand intuitions to displace expectations and disrupt suspensions: quirky vocalizations, vibrant violin pitches, rattling stones or – in the record’s very finale – a series of modestly poetic piano figurations. A classic case of sum of single parts totaling much more than meets the ears, engrossing materials for those who still believe in the art of closing the eyes and being driven towards the cuddling arms of vigilant transcendence.