Keith Rowe / Sachiko M / Toshimaru Nakamura / Otomo Yoshihide (3CD)
ErstLive 005 is from the quartet of Keith Rowe, Sachiko M, Toshimaru Nakamura, and Otomo Yoshihide, the centerpiece show of AMPLIFY 2004: addition, the "four hour quartet". Recorded on May 14, 2004 at Backfabrik, Berlin as part of AMPLIFY 2004: addition. It was the second performance of this quartet, after a brief set in Cologne the week before.
The 3CD box contains three individually packaged slimline CDs in a slipcase with original artwork by Keith Rowe, which wraps around the entire box, front, side, and back, as well as liner notes from all four musicians and numerous pictures from Yuko Zama.
For lossless (16/44) files, go to this page.
1-1 Untitled 20:00
1-2 Untitled 20:00
1-3 Untitled 19:58
1-4 Untitled 19:39
2-1 Untitled 20:00
2-2 Untitled 20:00
2-3 Untitled 20:02
2-4 Untitled 12:55
3-1 Untitled 20:00
3-2 Untitled 20:00
3-3 Untitled 20:00
3-4 Untitled 18:22
(released April 7, 2005)
Keith Rowe: guitar, electronics
Sachiko M: sinewaves, contact microphone on object
Toshimaru Nakamura: no-input mixing board
Otomo Yoshihide: electric guitar, turntables
recorded on 14 May 2004 at Backfabrik, Berlin as part of AMPLIFY 2004: addition
slipcase artwork by Keith Rowe
"One thing I can say for sure is that the boundary between listening to this CD and playing this music is totally dissolved, and there is only a difference of time and space where the sounds are heard." - Otomo Yoshihide
creamlord, Rate Your Music
If you wanna talk monolithic, look no further than Erstlive 005. A lot of people tend to say "the music sounds like the cover" in regards to music that, does indeed represent themes shown in a cover, and you'd think that couldn't possibly be applicable here... but to give you a thought experiment, try to describe every inch of the art used as the cover. You'd be surprised to see that almost every way of describing the image falls oddly in line with the actual music in here.
Thin, blank sheets of sound (or, lack thereof), are accentuated with the texture that lines and shapes it. The rough edges move from sandpaper to a fluffy pillow with the brush of a fingertip, yet as rough as it gets, is never enough to truly pierce the skin. The layers upon layers of sound that come up on occasion in moments of rise are near differentiable at first, but as you pay more and more attention to their colors and their muted shades, the differences become more apparent as they separate into entities of their own.
Cackles of FM Radio static and spoken word rambling fuses with the gentle rubs of paper and cymbals, a mysterious tone lingers the air, but it's never too loud- nor too quiet- to throw off the stillness of the room. This is a performance that, through all of the nearly 4 entire hours of its runtime, never clashes with itself- when it gets in a moment of low, it stays that way and acts as support for the small details to become all the more special. When it rises, the performers all work in complete disarray yet perfect synchronization, creating landscapes that blend into near perfect gradients- but not once does it ever go too dark nor too vibrant to throw you off. A tough one to sit through, maybe not recommended for a single sitting, but definitely worth giving it the time to pick apart and dissect the fuzz that pops in and out through the album.
hornworts, Rate Your Music
The change in cover, in homage to Josef Albers, in the Erstlive series speaks to both the magnanimity of this release as well as its inherent subtlety. Rowe joins the Good Morning Good Night crew and brings his prepared guitar and signature radio technique to the mix, giving this near-four-hour performance a stronger element of spontaneity than Good Morning Good Night did (which, side note, in comparison to this recording, it's surprising to realize that GMGN was a live performance when it feels so fully realized in structure and concept; this recording has a much more "live feel"). The length reveals more strengths to these musicians' particular styles, as it both allows the persistence of the drones to be better experienced by the listened as well as allow the performance to have particular "movements" across its runtime. In particular, disc 1 is primarily sine tones from Sachiko M and prepared noise and bursts of radio static from Rowe; disc 2 ups the intensity and allows Yoshihide to enter with his turntablism skills, weaving flits of very familiar pop music snatches into the mix before culminating in an intense sine wave solo; disc 3 lets you down easy with many soft high pitched sine tones and deep bass tones. Despite Onkyo being known for its silence this is an Onkyo performance full of sound, down to the persistent room tone captured on the recording. It feels like a benchmark in the context of EAI, not only from the notoriety of its performers but for how big a statement this live document ends up making.