DNK 2: Australian / Swiss noise

The second of hopefully a series of rambling reviews of DNK-events, in which I will not try hard to stick to rules of good journalism, so there might be run-on sentences and you might stumble upon completely unrelated or irrelevant observations. Not to mention the spelling mistakes. Served here FYI.

[Oh, all the things you promise yourself to do. You really need perseverance, a bit of time, some stubborness, and a bit of being blind and deaf to other obligations, to keep those promises. Even quickly writing a few lines takes me more time than I’m willing to admit.]

I missed the second monday-concert of the 2009/2010 DNK-season which featured a solo performance by Kouhei Matsunaga and a reprise of the Avelãs-octet. Alas I also missed the DNK Local Noise! Night at the OCCII, with no less than seven acts, a.o. Brian McKenna, Johann Kauth and of course Andre Avelãs. Luckily I did make it to the jam-packed Australian night with a high profile program of 4 acts. I’ll give you my impressions here, and some reflections.

It started off with some straight-in-your-face hyperactive structured noise made by Australian composer/pianist Anthony Pateras on analogue stuff, and long-bearded Robin Fox on digital stuff. Though it was mostly impossible to discern which sounds exactly were made by whom, there was an element of dialogue, or maybe struggle, that made the flow of shrieks and noises interesting to listen to, apart from the element of constant discovery.

As if this was not enough (in volume and intensity), the Swiss saxophonist Antoine Chessex, started with presenting a true wall of noise, a hurricane blowing at the audience, generated by a massive distortion and heavy amplification of breathing into his tenorsax and sampled loops of it. I’ve hear Chessex before at DNK, and at the previous concert he started playing acoustically, and made a very captivating use of space and the contrast between amplified and non-amplified sounds. His approach starts where Brötzmann (and others) ended, he gives a new meaning to the tenor as an enormous “fog horn” sounding in from the sea. Chessex takes the most extreme elements of the “Machine Gun-tenor-approach”, and works wth them in a compositional way. (Also working with the space of sound). Standing waves (?) almost made the whole room vibrate and he sometimes blew almost inaudible on top of that. Reminiscent of Merzbow at its best. He ended with suddenly turning off all amplification and effects, and playing acoustically in the curtains. Then end. Again very impressive.

(Coming to think of it, it came close to what the grindcore band God was doing. I’ve heard them at Paradiso early nineties, the complete audience left, apart about 10 people, and at some point M., a friend of mine, held his ear in front of Tim Hodginkson’s sax and could not hear the sax-sound, although Hodginkson was blowing at the top of his lungs. But with God it was as if it was a case of badly balanced sound, here it was clear that it all sounded as intended).

The third set was a solo by Robin Fox, using laser. For me it was the second laser-performance in 4 days, and though there is always an initial sense of wonder on seeing the 3D-illusion, this set disappointed a bit. Or I should say that seeing Robin Fox, made clear how subtle, and complex LSP of Edwin van der Heide is, how much larger his repertoire and idiom is. Fox ony used one laser beam and no color. His mapping of sound to laser was rather dull in comparasion to Edwin van der Heide. It would have been fine for ten or fifteen minutes max, but the longer he played, the more it became apparant that the translation to laser of his improvised noise also took away the interestingness of the sound. On the other hand: the audience seemed to love it. Oh, and of course the fire alarm went off during the performance.

The night ended with the duo that I was most curious to hear: Pateras on piano with Max Kohane on drums. PIVIXKI is an ultra high energy piano-drums duo, spitting out ADHD metal-licks and condensed freejazz motives. Naked City in its hardcore-phase, only possibly more intense. There’s not one second rest, and after ten minutes of playing both are sweating ‘like hell’. The only negative thing I could say about it was that it was programmed as the last act: I was already too tired to enjoy it fully, intensely.

DNK,en,music | October 16, 2009 | 14:22 | Comments Off on DNK 2: Australian / Swiss noise |


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