These improvisations, recorded at Berlin’s Podewil in 2005, were performed on inside and prepared piano (Friedl) plus percussion and “stringed instruments” (Vorfeld). We’re talking a fractal kind of beauty here, an aural chiaroscuro landscape hardened by contrasting overtones running through the whole length of the strings to their maximum frictional degree. The sounds are forced to find a difficult equilibrium in a sonic body whose pigmentation tends inexorably to “metallic harshness” and “dynamic stridency” gradations; the softer sections woke up memories of +Minus in my mind, but another term of comparison is certainly “Message urgent”, the CD that Vorfeld and Friedl recorded with Bernhard Günter, both trios working in the same realms of extracurricular string bowing. “Pech” really takes off when the opposite harmonic forces clash, sharp acute frequencies and acrid streaks invading the space and propagating in a sort of cajoling threat that won’t sound extraneous to the adorers of the Organum/Dave Jackman sacrament. Without the need of fathering a new breed of monsters, Friedl and Vorfeld manage to have us sleep with one eye open, scraping sapient nails on the surface of a blackboard containing the mathematic formulas for captivating apprehensiveness.


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