LIZ ALLBEE & BURKHARD BEINS – Mensch Mensch Mensch


Liz Allbee: quadrophonic trumpet, synthesizer, noise boxes, electric motors, samples, tuning forks; Burkhard Beins: analog synthesizer, custom built hand oscillator, igniters, samples, loops, tuning forks

Every once in a while we need a superb record to save the day. No negative aspects whatsoever in the upshots of Allbee and Beins’ collaboration, epitomized by most everything one may look for in terms of concision, lucidity, tenseness and architectural effectiveness. The artists have managed to attain an unwavering proportionality of incisive elements conveyed with expressionistic chilliness, so to speak.

“Punch And Judy” starts with a fibrous delineation by Allbee’s trumpet. Airy/vocal noises, dynamic leaps and impractical burbles carve bizarre shapes, simultaneously incrementing the strain concomitant to a latent detonative perspective. A gradually expanding rumble accompanied by whistling winds and wheezy currents escorts the listener, lonesomeness in downright desolation reached before being subjected to the laws of imperial loudness. Briefly, though: a single piano note reiterated at regular intervals originates a new phase, silence broken by graphic features which include field recordings, heterogeneous electronic ebullitions and wealthy “harmonic” interference. The closing minutes depict a dilatory transition towards unquestioning hush.

The first half of “Tine Waves For Sunken Ships” applies the oscillation generated by closely captured tuning forks of different sizes and pitches, making for rather uncomfortable throbbing / piercing inside the ear-to-brain ramifications. Normally, the resonance of metals instigates a state of intellectual unconstraint; not so in this circumstance, our psychological tightness actually enhanced during a process of decentralization of the mechanisms of authentic learning. It happens, with sounds; not with words. The stratification of harmonics becomes (relatively) monolithic; antithetical timbres start creeping through augmenting the mix’s weightiness and depth, a crescendo defined by the materialistic command of the lower frequencies. As in the first stanza, an abrupt break in the hostilities allows a modicum of relief, although we experience a total lack of illusion concerning the sky’s coloring. It’s still cloudy – and utterly threatening.

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