Keith Rowe and Sachiko M are two of the most pivotal and crucial musicians in experimental music today. contact marks their first meeting as a duo, consisting of their complete unedited sessions, both live and studio.
Keith Rowe was in the forefront of the initial wave of European free improvisation, co-founding the AMM collective in 1965 and originating the tabletop guitar. The tabletop guitar has remained at the center of his ever-evolving table of electronics and gadgets ever since, becoming increasingly stripped down and minimal in recent years. Having mostly performed within AMM until the late 90's, he's since been involved in a wide range of projects, including a slew of the most prominent Erstwhile releases. He's the cornerstone musician of the label, and his wide range of releases over the last decade stands with the strongest bodies of work of the last century in improvised music. contact contains the third of his four live sets from the AMPLIFY 2008: light festival in Tokyo, with two previously released in the ErstLive series and the fourth to come later this year, a duo with Toshimaru Nakamura, completing the tetralogy.
Sachiko M is best known for her innovative use of the sampler, extracting pure, piercing sine waves from the device's built-in test tones and forging an original and much-imitated sound. More recently, she has expanded her palette through the use of contact microphones. Sachiko has worked extensively as a solo artist, as well as in groups such as Cosmos, Filament, and I.S.O., and in duo with Toshimaru Nakamura. She shared the 2003 Prix Ars Electronica with Ami Yoshida and Utah Kawasaki, and founded the groundbreaking Amoebic label. This is her sixth record for Erstwhile, and she has an ErstSolo release in the works for 2010.
Rowe and Sachiko have primarily travelled parallel paths over the last decade, occasionally intersecting. They both recorded crucial duo CDs with Toshi Nakamura in 2000-2001, first Sachiko with 'do', then Keith soon after with 'Weather Sky'. In 2004, they both took part in the 230 minute long quartet set documented on ErstLive 005, along with Nakamura and Otomo Yoshihide. In September 2008, Rowe played four sets in three nights in the AMPLIFY 2008: light festival in Tokyo. The festival marked Rowe's fourth trip to Japan in his 40+ year career, and the primary purpose behind his visit was to record in duo for the first time with Sachiko.
contact contains the full unedited sessions from these two widely admired musicians who have deeply respected each other for the last decade. The two cds include the full AMPLIFY 2008: light performance, along with three additional pieces recorded in the same room two days later. contact covers a range of approaches over its two hour length, with the common factor being the always impeccable touch of these two gifted artists. The outside three panels of the digipak are a white on black drip painting from Rowe, one of a series of six, two others of which can be seen on the CDs themselves.