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Frank Bretschneider, Steve Roden

Suite Nuit

Label: Line

Format: CD

Genre: Electronic

Out of stock

"Considered "lost" for the better part of the past decade, these two live pieces, commissioned for a performance in Berlin, has some unexpected moments for those familiar with these two composers.  Steve Roden and Frank Bretschneider blend their strengths of subtle electronics and improvisation, but also bring in some surprisingly conventional beats and rhythms, resulting in an unpredictable, yet diverse and gripping record. The first piece, performed live for the 2004 Suite in Parochial festival, immediately begins with a surprising use of beats.  The deep synthetic thuds, approximating 4/4 kick drums without fully sounding like a drum machine, lie somewhere between the electronic noise style of Raster-Noton and the submerged dub of the Basic Channel label.  The duo continue this bizarre techno sound via tiny synthetic outbursts and bits of noise, drifting towards bleepy skittering techno that never manages to go full on dance in its structure. From this misleading trip down rhythmic avenues, Roden and Bretschneider then choose to completely change things around.  Rather than beats, the performance becomes heavy with crackling drones and massive sub bass passages.  The middle segment features some stretched out DSP bell tones that sound nice in this context, but are a bit less distinctive than the rest of the performance.  The duo eventually mangles what could almost pass for a harmonica melody, and closes the piece on a rhythmic, synth heavy conclusion. The second piece, a recorded rehearsal, sounds like the duo working with the same settings and instrumentation, but the result is notably different in its style and structure.  They retain the bass heavy drones from before, but first focus on abstract synth loops:  a drastic departure from the beat centric opening of the live performance.  Organic clinking and dripping sounds appear, making for a more textural introduction. Compared to the performance, the rehearsal is less rhythmic and structured, instead seeing the two experiment with tones and textures.  The hints at melody from before appear as well, but contorted and processed to be even more deranged than what was heard by the audience.  The piece is just as dynamic as the other, but sounds even more experimental.  The final ten or so minutes of the piece drift into that glitch heavy techno sound that characterizes what became the actual performance. Considering that both of these lengthy pieces were performed solely by Bretschneider’s modular synth, with Roden manning effects, recordings, and various objects, the end result is far richer and nuanced than the instrumentation would suggest.  Having sat in some digital limbo for the past decade, these two related, yet thematically similar performances finally seeing the light of day is a very good thing." Exerpt from brainwashed.com

Cat. number: LINE_068
Year: 2014

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