Drone Records
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Format: CD
Label & Cat.Number: Zeitkratzer Records ZKR 0004
Release Year: 2008
Note: one long-studio piece (51:44 min) and three live-extracts, all music composed by CARSTEN NICOLAI (ALVA NOTO) & performed by ZEITKRATZER
Price (incl. 19% VAT): €15.00

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"This cd documents the cooperation between Zeitkratzer and Carsten Nicolai, started nearly a decade ago; a cooperation between an avantgarde ensemble and a non-academic electronic musician. The electronic music of Carsten Nicolai - partly being of even aseptic clearness and quality suddenly becomes sensual and physical through Zeitkratzer's instrumental sounds. Inversely, Zeitkratzer sounds different too: in '5 min' the musicians play only electric sound generators: humming of plugs, the peeping of the synchronised Zeitkratzer-clocks, white noise, TV cheeping at 10 kHz. 'Synchron Bitwave', the latest piece is the most sensual and warmest; no other sounds than a small third and its electric derivates, finally leading to high, dabbed string spiccati. While 'c1' transfers electronically conceived asymmetrical loops into a 19-16th rhythm. A strange undertow results, partly because of the pieces' grounding with merging split sounds. Here, Carsten Nicolai virtually becomes metaphysical, perhaps even romantic...'
[label info]

".. So, when taking on a collaboration with Carsten Nicolai, who is best known for his swaggering rhythms for pure tone and minuscule glitches as Alva Noto, we had to ask how this would work. Well, essentially, Nicolai has adapted his sound for Zeitkratzer, not the other way around, which might have been a real challenge for Zeitkratzer to attempt to adopt the thud and rumble of something like the Transall series. Instead, Nicolai and Zeitkratzer pursue long-form compositions, mostly for electronics, but occasionally with the assistance of a particular instrumental coloring from say a clarinet, a cello, or a piano. Each of the three pieces here were performed live, commissioned for this sound art festival or that in Europe. The first of which swarms around static-laden drones and crackling hiss which spirals around a Niblockian drone from a sustained clarinet, eventually a rhythmic undercarriage from a softly tapped piano ebbs against the slow- building arc of sound. The second piece seems to be staged from prepared piano, amplified televisions, and tone generators, offering another skeletal rhythm to the clinical frequencies. The third piece returns to the ideas of the first with the reprise of that piano, but here a semblance of a melody encroaches the slow-motion raga drone from low-thumbing electronics and rasping sustained strings. It's not all that far from another of Nicolai's storied collaborations, with Ryuichi Sakamoto. Both Zeitkratzer and Nicolai are guilty of playing it safe on these three pieces, but the results are striking and lovely nonetheless." [Aquarius Records review]