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Old 10.30.2008, 01:36 PM   #1
al shabbray
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anybody got this and know if it is worth purchasing?

H\ybrid S\ound S\ystem
Tourette TICK5 (2CD)

by Dan Warburton

H\ybrid S\ound S\ystem is a spin-off of Berlin's Zeitkratzer collective featuring Reinhold Friedl on piano, Ulrich Krieger on saxophones and Burkhard Schlothauer on violin. All three compose, too, and their work is featured on the first CD of this set along with Manuel Cecchinato's "Four Constellations Before A Dawn" and Cage's "Two", for saxophone and piano. The second CD brings together nine remixes of the material by Carsten Nicolai, Lee Ranaldo, Rene Liebermann, Boris Hegenbart, Craig Willingham, Masami Akita (aka Merzbow), Marcus Schmickler and Dean Roberts, who contributes two pieces. The title, which is also the name of Friedl's piece, is a reference to the Kronos Quartet's bestseller "Winter Was Hard", a timely reminder that Zeitkratzer have followed Kronos' lead in smashing down the fences between contemporary classical and popular music by commissioning figures from the world of rock and leftfield electronica to produce or arrange work for them. While Zeitkratzer's most prominent crossover coup of recent times was their arrangement of Lou Reed's legendary "Metal Machine Music", it's worth bearing in mind that their roots also lie in the extremely quiet, slow moving lowercase style that has been associated with Berlin now for quite some time (and against which several musicians are now feeling the need to push). Schlothauer is also active in the Wandelweiser Group, with Antoine Beuger, Jürg Frey and Radu Malfatti, and his "Something Lost… Töne" for sax, piano and slowed-down sounds is in keeping with the radical Wandelweiser aesthetic in which silence plays an important structural role. Krieger's "Fallen From Grace" starts with a bang and incorporates some gritty multiphonics, scratchy violin sonorities and thudding inside piano work, but keeps the slow heartbeat, despite some spiky rhythmic interjections. Cage's austere "Two" sounds almost baroque in comparison, after which the extended techniques employed in Friedl's composition come across as opulent, impressionistic even. George Crumb comes to mind on several occasions listening to this and Cecchinato's piece, whose extraordinary sonorities seem due in no small part to studio treatment, reverb and spatialisation (though the booklet lists no electronics as such).
And so to the remixes. Though the musicians are undoubtedly sincere in their wish to break down barriers and open the world of modern composition up to a generation of punters reared on techno and rock, it's probably fair to say that more copies of this album will be sold to rabid Akita and Sonic Youth completists than in the discerning niche market of contemporary classical music. Thankfully though, there's not the slightest whiff of sell-out - though quite what John Duncan's recollections of Tokyo porn actress Toki Ruriko have to do with the project is frankly beyond me - all the contributions are clearly sourced in the compositional material and respect its leisurely pace and serious character. Nicolai's "Alva Noto.z1" imposes a somewhat ominous three-note bass line and a haze of bleeps and clicks onto isolated piano chords to create a rather forlorn landscape. Sonic Youth's Lee Ranaldo's mix starts off using the same loop, but abandons Nicolai's regular pulse in favour of a cloud of violin tremolos and thuds from inside Friedl's piano. The stock-in-trade touches of ProTools are in evidence, but used discreetly and sensitively, the piece ending in a spine-tingling upper register crescendo. Liebermann's "..\." is busier, superimposing dozens of tiny clicking loops over a background of rumbling piano resonance to create a veritable rainforest of activity, while scrupulously respecting the character of the original pieces. Hegenbart's "re:remerge" is similarly austere, recalling his fine collaboration a while back with Werner Dafeldecker on Grob. Dafeldecker (shame he wasn't invited to take part in this project) also turned out a magnificently morose album with Dean Roberts ("Aluminium" on Erstwhile) in 2000, and Roberts contributes two fine pieces to this collection that move further away from the instrumental source sounds to create a web of tingling pulses and sustained bell-like tones. Sandwiched in between them is I-Sound (aka Craig Willingham)'s ".{.." (dontcha just love these titles? I haven't had as much fun with my computer keyboard since fällt's invalidObject series a couple of years ago), which cooks up a gurgling broth of rasps and buzzes into which handfuls of Cage chords are tossed like spices. Similarly, Masami Akita goes straight for the gut by sampling and looping one of Krieger's dirtiest multiphonics. As Merzbow pieces go, this must be one of the prettiest he's done in recent times, but it can't resist an odd blast of viciousness about halfway through. Unlike all the other remixes, it strays just a bit too far from the feel of the original source material for my liking, though as Akita's presence will probably guarantee a good few hundred sales off the bat, one imagines that the project instigators didn't mind too much. Fortunately, the album goes out on a high note with Marcus Schmickler's "friedl.krieger.extension", further dazzling proof that Schmickler is one of the brightest laptoppers out there with a pair of ears to match his software. A satisfying way to round off an intelligent, well realised and highly recommended piece of work.
Old 10.31.2008, 05:41 AM   #2
al shabbray
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Old 10.31.2008, 03:27 PM   #3
al shabbray
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one last try
Old 10.31.2008, 03:46 PM   #4
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you can get it here and find out fo yourself.
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Old 10.31.2008, 03:52 PM   #5
al shabbray
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hahaha thanks for replieing I know where to get, but I just wanted to know if its worth the purchase...
Old 10.31.2008, 04:12 PM   #6
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it doesn't look too good Al, i wouldn't bother.
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