CATALOG: mikroton cd 54
RELEASE: March 2017
Kurt Liedwart ppooll
Andrey Popovskiy viola, electronics, objects
Martin Taxt tuba
Mikroton Recordings is proud to present a full length release from three masters of quiet sound. Martin Taxt is a Norwegian musican who plays tuba and runs Sofa label, Andrey Popovskiy hails from Saint Petersburg and plays violin with objects, Kurt Liedwart plays ppooll using mostly sinewaves and quiet noises and one can notice his current transition to a more noise oriented sound.
"Hjem" is a joint adventure of constructing the soundscapes of mysterious clouds of harmonic and microtonal sounds. Acoustic instrumentation lost its human quality making machine-like sounds and computer imitated organ-like sounds and emitted cracked sounds of everyday life. The alchemic processes and procedures of working with the constituent parts reinforced by a beautifully conjured Toshimaru Nakamura's mix highlight the unique approach of each player to sound and their ability to build an organically sounding organism with unexpected turns.
Die 28 Minuten von Hjem (mikroton cd 54), im September 2015 im DOM erklungen, sind eine Demonstration der elektroakustischen Essenzen des Miniversums. Mit der surrenden und fauchenden Tuba des microtubistischen, mudderstenistischen Trondheimers MARTIN TAXT, dem ppooll-Zauber von KURT LIEDWART, dem Alberich und Oberon des mikrotonalen Elbenreichs, und kratzigen und klackenden Lauten per Viola und Krimskrams von ANDREY POPOVSKIY, dem ständigen, auch schon mit Birgit Ulher, Stefan Thut oder Ernesto Rodrigues feinschlifferprobten Begleiter von Ilia Belorukov. Schwer zu sagen, ob ihre bruitistische Geheimniskrämerei etwas ver- oder entbirgt. Und, falls ja, was? Aber das machte ja immer schon den Reiz des Schleierhaften aus, an dem hier zuletzt Schritte entlang gehen, geübt darin, schmale Wege und überwachsene Pfade zu gehen.
Schauplatz für hjem von Liedwart/Popovskiy/Taxt (Kurt Liedwart, e; Andrey Popovskiy, v, e, objekte; Martin Taxt, tuba) war das Moskauer Kulturzentrum Dom. Kurt Liedwart, das Künstlerpsedudonym des Labelinhabers Vladimir Kudryatsev und außerdem zuständig für die optische Gestaltung so gut wie aller Mikroton-Covers, arbeitet vorwiegend mit dem von Klaus Filip entwickelten ppooll-Computermusikprogramm. Auf hjem kommt es in einem einzigen, 28-minütigen Stück zu hübsch weit auseinanderliegenden Klangforschungsergebnissen zwischen ganz unten, wo die Tuba wohnt, über Perkussives in der mittleren Etage bis ganz oben, wo Elektronik und Viola hausen. Es ist diese Mischkulanz aus unterschiedlichen Ebenen, die dieser Trioplatte ihren besonderen Reiz verleiht.
And finally label boss Kurt Liedwart is also a fanatic user of 'ppooll', and in September 2015 he played a concert with Martin Taxt on tuba and Andrey Popvskiy on viola, electronics and objects in Moscow, which was mixed by Toshimaru Nakamura. All of the recent Mikroton releases this is the shortest one at just twenty-eight minutes of mostly closely tight in sounds that only in one small section falls apart in some sort of rhythmic ticking by all three. Otherwise everything stays close together with longer sustaining notes on especially the tuba and the computer with the violin opting for a freer role, adding small bending notes, little objects being carefully played adding small textures to the proceedings of the overall sound. It gives the whole thing a bit of sinister character, with those sustaining drones lurking and filling the background, while never staying too long in the same place, and those small sounds on top of that that sounds like the murderer in this flic is never far away. Following the previous heaviness this is one of an entirely different one, but it works equally well.
“Hjem” is a relatively short (1 track, 28 minute) collaboration between Mikroton label founder Kurt Liedwart and his analogue synths and electronics, Andrey Popovskiy’s work with “quiet and miniature” sound generated by “violin and objects” (the domestic objects ranging from baking trays to electric toothbrushes), and founder of the SOFA label Martin Text playing tuba. The tuba notes roll absurdly long and deep, while the electronics and acoustic elements gradually attack and decay over the top. The result is a slowly transmogrifying drone with a tone that’s part pure, part industrial, sometimes smooth, sometimes a touch muddy.
You wouldn’t think that a tuba would be a good bedfellow for “miniature sounds” but a careful and judicious bit of mixing balances things out fairly nicely. The tuba dominates for the first third, but the electronic hums gradually supplant it at the piece’s core as it progresses. These analogue tones slowly get a bit more pulse-driven and rapidly undulating for a while before plateauing into a steady and simple drone that draws us to a close.
It’s a succinct and tightly-arranged short work with a very crisp outlook, and worthy of addition to the collection of anyone with a penchant for rich avantgarde drone.
Effective team-up of electro-acoustic improv players on hjem (MIKROTON CD 54), featuring the two Russians Kurt Liedwart and Andrey Popovskiy playing with the Norwegian Martin Taxt and his now-famous microtonal tuba. Got a lot of time for Andrey Popovskiy’s work lately, and he’s emerging as a real all-rounder of composition and unusual recording effects judged on previous efforts. Here he’s playing the viola covered in objects, and fiddling with live electronics in some way; a lot of the gritty texture of hjem, what little there is, emerges from his clonky junk set-up and his gifted fingers, working like some Russian tailor with shears and needles into the night. He’s a busy bee, while Taxt is pretty much content to offer his signature low-register drone for this 28-minute workout. But it’s a strong and heavy drone, like seawater laced with traces of zinc or steel.
As for Liedwart, he’s gone down the software route for the sesh, fiddling with with patches in ppooll to generate very unobtrusive sinewaves. Yet they’re effective in some subliminal way, enough to give you a blinding headache without knowing the cause. Apparently he’s pursuing a more “noise” oriented route just now, trying to escape the “trap” of recognisable musical notes. Ditching a keyboard is just the first step. The set was mixed and mastered by Toshimaru Nakamura, no doubt making many appreciative nods as he did so, seeing as how he’s now the Grand Panjandrum of controlled feedback. Great stuff, although I continue to find the slow and steady pace of this style of music a hindrance; at times it seems to prevent the emergence of any actual musical “event”, so intent are the players on maintaining the mood or sustaining the fabric of the playing. I won’t say that hjem is just another slice of improv wallpaper, but at the same time it’s not quite solid or three-dimensional enough to constitute the four walls of a room. From 19th April 2017.
The ppooll system makes another appearance here, this time in the hands of label boss Kurt Liedwart, in a trio with Norwegian tuba player Martin Taxt and St Petersburg violinist Andrey Popovskiy.
This is quiet noise of a superior kind, Taxt and Liedwart ganging up to create laminal extended horizons through which Popovskiy scratches rough and ready paths. Taxt’s tuba is great, its long brassy parps calling out like the mating calls of mysterious sea monsters, the affectless playing unable to banish the final traces of the instrument’s characteristic pathos. Liedwart’s electronics fizzle and splutter in parallel, muddy splatters morphing into frothy sploshes before emptying into micromanaged arpeggios.
If this were a duo, this would all be rather too symmetrical for me. Fortunately, Popovskiyis a wild card, his viola, electronics and objects adding welcome wayward notes to the meditative jam. At one point, a sound like a rusty gate cuts through the cool drones, soon followed by a load of bashing and banging, as if the janitor of the Dom Cultural Centre in Moscow (where this was recorded) has chosen the worst possible time to repair the central heating system. It’s a cue for things to get scrappier, with various rustles and clonks prodding Taxt into exhausted, erratic honks, while by nervy gusts of electronics chatter their support.