XAVIER CHARLES / ROBERT PIOTROWICZ – ///

(emd.pl)

This performance was recorded in 2003 on the MS Stubnitz ship, of all places. The sounds summoned forth by Charles (vibrating surfaces, CD player) and Piotrowicz (analog synth, guitar) could probably have caused a sinking, had the set not been so short at about 22 minutes. The very first part is defined by a muzzled deformed voice of someone speaking (in Polish?) coughing and laughing, a manifesto for the repression of vital stymuli. In the background, “regular” music – I’m sure I heard Neil Young somewhere – appears and disappears like the ghost of normality, amidst a first helping of unsafe tumult. If you envisage something like Günter Müller’s creations, even more mashed and distorted by sulphuric treatment, you’re nearing the idea of how “///” sounds like. Even in its considerable fragmentation, the very hubbub, in a way, stabilizes the atmosphere after eight or nine minutes, its possession of the brain by now complete and constant. We are subjugated by a noisy mystique that reveals millions of facets, creates new openings for intuition and is finally set free by the final loop, an alarm clock that ends the piece. Excellent stuff that doesn’t need more time to affirm its meaning, and a great training for that often forgotten cerebral muscle.

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