Tackling a whole album with a single instrument is a difficult task in itself; when that instrument is not a guitar or a cello, but a hackbrett (or cymbalom, or hammer dulcimer) the chore becomes even more prohibitive. Heribert Friedl, who certainly is not the kind of glossy useless virtuoso who isolates himself from the rest of the world releasing sterilized plunk-plunking records, decided to record his improvisations on the hackbrett in a naked, crude setting, then subjected the live playing to an effective processing which lets the sounds breathe and fluctuate at one moment, then modifies them radically the next. The instrument is at first intuitable in a stark, almost scrappy aesthetic, a cross between the raw yet delicate shining of Rhodri Davies’ harp and the rusty noise escalations of Michael Vorfeld’s selfmades. When the electronic treatment comes in, the shapes get morphed and reconfigured according to a not-too-bizarre scheme that, on a distract listen, could appear as the result of some sort of stochastic mechanism but, in reality, is totally self-sufficient. On a pure level of aural pleasure, this is not one of those nerve-caressing releases which one plays for hours; it’s rather the documentation of a honest, no-frills experimentation which Friedl decided to make public and – given his artistic depth both as an improviser and a composer – represents an important chronicle of one of his creative phases.


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