1. Above Ground
2. Below Ground
CATALOG: mikroton cd 65
RELEASE: April 2018
Günter Müller iPods, electronics
Kurt Liedwart electronics
Norbert Möslang cracked everyday- electronics
Recorded by Kurt Liedwart at Ground Hodynka Gallery, Moscow on September 30, 2017
Mixed and mastered by Norbert Möslang
Producer and designer: Kurt Liedwart
Thanks to Pro Helvetia, Evgeniya Diamantidi, Serge Kolosov, Marta Rukazenkova
Norbert Möslang had been playing in Voice Crack duo with Andy Guhl in 1972-2002, they’ve been working with “cracked everyday-electronics”, modifying and recontextualising the use of home electronics. After the split he continued working solo and in different musical combinations using “cracked everyday-electronics”, among them a duo with eRikm with whom he played in duo from time to time since 2002. He released numerous solo albums as well as collaborations with Günter Müller, Jason Kahn, Ralf Wehowsky, Tomas Korber, Aube, Christian Weber, Katsura Yamauchi. He is part of Signal Quintet and MKM. “Ground” is his fifth album on Mikroton after "Stodgy" with eRikm, "Five Lines" with Casey Anderson, Jason Kahn, Günter Müller and Mark Trayle, “sale_interiora” with Kurt Liedwart and Ilia Belorukov, and “Instants // Paris” with MKM.
Kurt Liedwart, a Moscow-based musician and curator of Mikroton Recordings, developed his own art and sound that cross genres, mixing music practices such as electroacoustic and improvised music, noise and glitch, and art movements such as actionism and Fluxus. He plays a wide-ranging array of instruments such as analog synthesizers, electronics, light-controlled electronics, electromagnetic devices, laptop, sinewaves, field recordings, percussion processed electronically in real time.
Günter Müller, formerly a percussionist and known for his unique explorations of the possibilities of drums and percussion using electronic devices and self-built instruments, now concentrates on his setup of two iPods and electronics. For thirty years he’s been a part of innumerable projects, including long-term musical dialogues with many musicians like Jim O’Rourke, Norbert Möslang, Andy Guhl, eRikm, Oren Ambarchi, Toshimaru Nakamura, Keith Rowe, Ralph Steinbrüchel, Philip Samartzis, Alfred 23 Harth, just to name a few. He used to run the critically acclaimed FOR4EARS, a label for improvised music. This is his fifth release on Mikroton, following his solo album “cym_bowl”, “Limmat” with Jason Kahn and Christian Wolfafth, “Five Lines” and “Instants // Paris”.
“Ground” was recorded in GROUND Hodynka Gallery during SWISS NOISE festival in 2017. The music they played is playful, analytical, mentally disturbed where they mix a wide selection of timbres, textures and sonic entities to form propulsive rhythmically based layers of perfectly arranged chaos and ecstatic order.
The 'cracked everyday-electronics' that Liedwart is no doubt inspired by his acquaintance Norbert Möslang, who has been playing this for a long time, with his duo with Andy Guhl and with Voice Crack, but in his recent solo and group work, moved from improvised cracks to a more coherent sound, to avoid the word rhythm. These days he plays a lot with Jason Kahn and Günter Müller. With the latter and Liedwart they played a concert in 2017 in Moscow. Liedwart here plays electronics and Müller plays electronics and iPods; funny to think that it once sounded very futuristic to play 'iPods', whereas these days people would ask 'what's that? A broken iPhone?' Here there are two pieces, and they are both around twenty-eight minutes long. Just like Liedwart's collaboration with Vrba the pieces sound partly improvised and by editing and mixing there is something very much not improvised about this work. It might be becausethere is an extended use of rhythmic particles in this stuff, for which I think Möslang is responsible (for no good reason other than hearing some of his solo work), which is at the core of these two lengthy pieces. Around that everything flies about. Most of the times these are long form sounds, like drones of electronics creating a very odd feeling within the music. Lots of big and small textures are created and all of this sound pretty rough but also great. There is an excellent drive throughout these two lengthy pieces, which sound now (maybe because of its length, I think) a bit more improvised but the three players keep it all together very well; almost like a very weird minimal dance music, in some places. In other places it is just a massive spaceship circling through space.
GÜNTER MÜLLER x KURT LIEDWART x NORBERT MÖSLANG, Swiss Noise meets Mr. Mikroton, cracked everyday-electronics mischen sich, live in Moskau, mit iPods und Electronics, für Ground (mikroton cd 65), above & below. Als lang gezogenes Pfeifen oder Rauschen auf körnig tickerndem oder tuckerndem, schnurrig und wummrig bedröhntem, impulsiv beklirrtem, gestanztem, überwooshtem, umsirrtem, von verzerrter Stimme zerkratztem, rhythmisch beknarrtem Grund. Linear, zirkular, ambient, mobil, motorisch, polymorph, groovy, eine Summe der Summen von Noise-Art in zwei knappen halben Stunden.
On Ground (MIKROTON CD 65), we have an all-star teamup of EAI musicians performing two long half-hour tracks…there’s Günter Müller with his iPods, Kurt Liedwart on electronics, and Norbert Möslang with his famed cracked everyday-electronics. For nearly 20 years, Müller operated his label For4Ears our of Switzerland and it used to produce a considerable number of releases of this sort of music, quite often featuring himself duetting with Möslang; I’m sure that around 2005 I must have felt myself sated with the over-familiar sensation of these teeming, saturated digital drones, where ions of sound seemed to be dancing like microscopic flots in a gaseous sea of sound. Today’s spin of these 2017 recordings, made in the Ground Hodynka gallery in Russia, leaves me with a much better feeling however; either the music has improved, or I’m feeling better disposed towards it.
It’s still all very maximal, with non-stop continuous noise and sound filling every available space, and mostly made from non-musical abstracted electronic humming, but within this wide canvas the musicians find every opportunity to add interesting surfaces, gestural marks and micro-events with their respective set-ups. At the same time, they evidently must take care not to disrupt the hypnotic mood of the overall sway and swim, and so remain attuned to advancing the total effort. The time passes in a most unexpected way as we explore these semi-underground caverns in the sky. From 30th October 2018.