(Another Timbre)

The basic method used by Blondy and Lehn for “Obdo”, a record born from different recording sessions from 2003 to 2006, is feeding the analogue synthesizer’s external input with the audio signal of the piano, thus obtaining what the liners call a “cross-effecting real time sound processing”. This means that what would normally constitute the typical features of a piano note – attack, sustain, decay, the dampened metallic qualities of the hammer-on-string processes – are heavily disfigured. OK, not always so massively, but certainly in a most unusual way. Apparently marginal phenomena, semi-distracted touches or quasi casual hits are captured by the modulating network of Lehn’s machine, portraying the worrying presence of some intruder who creeps behind your relaxed posture with silently threatening attitude, content with letting its blurred image be reflected in the mirror, the listener wide-eyed and open-eared to understand what’s going on. There’s no attempt to our security, though, the music mostly belonging to the “discomfort zone” where the instrumental lexicon privileges morphologies previously unheard of, totally excluding rosiness in favour of jangling impingements and unquiet modifications of the surrounding reality. The whole remaining on the “subdued” side for large chunks of the album, which only towards the conclusion of the title track brings out a quantity of repressed nervousness, the kind of “boiling inside” rage that ill-minded individuals disguise with affected smiles and fake goodness while intent in unsettling the life of someone perceived as superior to them. Lehn and Blondy seem to sonically portray exactly that feeling at the end, their conversation finally erupting in harsh contrasts and noisier parallelisms, enough to let us declare this CD as the most “concrete” – at least partially – in the already significant history of Simon Reynell’s imprint. Fascinating stuff, like in all the other chapters.

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