This double CD encompasses several of the outstanding denominators characterizing Ulrich Krieger’s versatility across a wide spectrum of experiences, collaborations and investigations of acoustic environments. The German saxophonist has reached a complete integration between his role of researcher – rigorously without electronics, in this circumstance – and the willingness to democratically transplant the results in the body of a music that might even be welcomed by listeners not necessarily belonging to a radical elite.
Krieger elected to dichotomize climates rather evidently. The first disc’s dynamic gamut comprises amplified/superimposed insufflations with an infernal background (“Desert Center”), monstrous overdriven discharges turning into quasi-bliss (“Trona”), screaming excess in free-jazz spasms (the barbarian “Needles”), echoing powerfulness (“Shoshone”). The timbral concomitance is, for the most part, unambiguous in a generally callous temperament; the compositional frameworks suggest conciseness, in spite of corrosive liquids and thunderous barrages. In that sense, Joshua Carro’s percussive contribution in two segments reinforces what Krieger achieves via expert processing and sheer pulmonary action. And yet, almost to anticipate what will come later, “California City” – the initial half’s last section – begins with the ascensional magnetism of stretched pure pitches. As the minutes elapse, that positive current gets massacred by an evil force of doom, under the shape of drum-and-distorted-hum brutality.
The second part is entirely taken by “ReSpace”, a 74-minute projection of interior calmness enhanced by sax feedback inside a system of digital delays, with brief silent intervals. This one belongs to the “Radigue & Lucier” sphere, the soft shifting of unstable frequencies generating influential movements both around the auricular membranes and within the mind. At the same time inscrutable and cerebrum-cleansing, this piece represents another valid reason for checking out the whole release, superbly soothing the hurt of the earlier gut kicks.