Toshimaru Nakamura: no-input mixing board
Thomas Lehn: analog synthesizer
Marcus Schmickler: synthesizer, computer
|Review||by Brian Olewnick|
As a trio, Keith Rowe, Thomas Lehn and Marcus Schmickler had been responsible for the fine and raucous Rabbit Run as well as a set on the AMPLIFY 2002: balance edition, both also on Erstwhile. Most of the former and much of the latter were characterized by a rough-and-tumble approach that verged on the brutal, further enhanced on Rabbit Run by the division of the performance into random slices and the advice to the listener to play the disc on shuffle mode. Injecting Toshimaru Nakamura into this mix, he of the no-input mixing board, was like adding a leavening agent into a stew threatening to boil over its cauldron. And indeed, from the first sound, the agitation level is on low flame in this live session, hums and staticky drones predominant. The blend of instruments is intriguing: Lehn's analog synthesizer and Schmickler's computer present two subtly different poles while, perpendicularly, Nakamura's sine-like tones of alien purity intersect with Rowe's rougher-edged attacks on his guitar spiced with several harsh radio samples (including snatches of the Who's "Happy Jack"). The music unfurls in petal-like fashion, not with particular forward thrust but revealing unusual and fascinating vistas, pausing briefly for contemplation and then moving on. Not that things don't turn rambunctious on occasion; rude noises bubble to the surface several times, but always underlined by a steady flow of sound in one form or another, a linear component that keeps the music from any appearance of disjointedness. It's a slippery journey, but by performance's end, the listener has traversed an extremely wide and open sound-field, one that's worth revisiting many, many times not the least because it will be heard differently every on each occasion.
2004 ERSTLIVE 002 (rapidshare/mediafire)