Christian Fennesz/Sachiko M/Peter Rehberg/Otomo Yoshihide (lossless)
Lossless AIFF (16bit/44.1kHz)
Live performance of Christian Fennesz, Sachiko M, Peter Rehberg, and Otomo Yoshihide. Recorded on 6 May 2004 by WDR at Stadtgarten, Cologne as part of AMPLIFY 2004: addition.
1. Untitled (23:44)
(released January 20, 2005)
Christian Fennesz - computer
Sachiko M - sinewaves, contact microphone on objects
Peter Rehberg - computer
Otomo Yoshihide - turntables
recorded on 6 May 2004 by WDR at Stadtgarten, Cologne as part of AMPLIFY 2004: addition
ErstLive 004 is from the quartet of Christian Fennesz, Sachiko M, Otomo Yoshihide, and Peter Rehberg, from the first night of performances in the Cologne half of AMPLIFY 2004: addition. The Cologne shows consisted of six well-known duos of electronic musicians rotating into three new quartets each night, and ErstLive 004 contains one of the most successful results, the initial meeting of these two pairs of electronic pioneers, short and extremely focused.
Signal To Noise, Jason Bivins
The prolific Erstwhile label has been at the forefront of electroacoustic improvisation - or simply eai - for several years running. Live recordings have been a staple of Jon Abbey's brainchild since the beginning - as is often the case with improv music, which lives for those coalescences of intense moments - but recently the label has been documenting live music more intensely. Abbey has curated several festivals under the AMPLIFY moniker, one resulting in a box set and one yielding the first four releases of the Erstlive imprint. The Erstlives are semi-regular releases documenting concert recordings, released in a slimline case with a distinctive and consistent graphic style. These festivals like to mix things up, bringing together new configurations of players from the fast-moving scenes feeding into this music or throwing monkey wrenches into relatively settled lineups. On these first four recordings, we get to listen to both approaches, and the results are fantastic.
Each of these releases is a document of the May 2004 AMPLIFY: addition festival in Köln and Berlin, with co-curator Keith Rowe (guitar and electronics) featured on the first two releases.
The briefest of all these live recordings - the first-time meeting between electronicians Christian Fennesz, Sachiko M, Otomo Yoshihide, and Peter "Pita" Rehberg - is in some ways the most intense. Beginning with a cluster of hints - a squeak, a guttural scraping, a crackle - one can almost sense the musicians quickly getting a feel for each other. But thankfully, any tentativeness is soon subsumed in the music's gathering intensity - things quickly evolve into two axes of contrast being explored, one of pitch (very intense and eruptive blasts of low end mixing it up with sine tones) and one of proximity (in your eardrum, crackles seem to shoot forth from distant sounds of metal being dragged on concrete). There is a sudden, head-clearing blast of feedback 1/3 through that is impossible to ignore; it almost leaves you dizzy as the music thickens palpably over the next few minutes, not so much leave behind the axes of contrast as sharpening or intensifying them. There is a great pressure release, though, as midway the music shifts and seems to carom between a vast cavernous rumble and persistent fade-ins of gnarly feedback. As the piece nears its end, the music slowly thins out until only a lone muffle is heard irregularly, like a death rattle.
Taken as a collective document of this festival or as single pieces, these four discs are each of a very high quality and provide a vivid portrait of artists working hard to create music that is both immediate and which challenges expectations. Next up in the Erstlive series is a final document from AMPLIFY 2004, a triple-disc set featuring Rowe, M, Nakamura, and Otomo. If these four are anything to go by, that one should also be a must-hear.