Monday, August 30, 2010

Angharad Davies & Axel Dörner - A.D. (Another Timbre, 2010)

Angharad Davies & Axel Dörner - Stück Un

I was sent 3 out of 4 new discs in the Brass Series on Another Timbre and I was super pumped to hear 'em all. But holy fuck have I had them for wayyyy too long without reviewing them. There's a perfect explanation, of course, and that has to do with the nature of these records. These albums are restrained, delicate, subtle, and most of all, quiet. They absolutely need 100% of your attention, not just to understand what's going on, but simply to even remember that you put on a record in the first place. I finally just said fuck it, tossed everything else aside, and sat down with 'em. This one being the first because the album art is so slick.

Angharad Davies & Axel Dörner take on a violin & trumpet, respectively, in ways that seriously test the limits of your imagination. Mentally compile an aural list of all the sounds you think could come from a violin & trumpet. Cube that number and you're in the realm of A.D.

So here you have two people weaving brass & string in the most organic of ways. Most of the time, if you're paying attention, you'll be able to differentiate between which instrument is which. But occasionally the two are so twisted & abnormal they become one haunted hissing sound.

I'm sure many people will feel many different things upon listening to these two go at it, but my approach is strangely scientific. In A.D., I hear this subdued havoc and my first reaction is to analyze the sounds, to figure out how the fuck they're being made, and it's usually by process of elimination. Demonic growling? Well, I'm also hearing some shrieking strings so it must be the trumpet. Stuttering dog whistle electronics? Can't be the brass because that's off doing it's own scratchy circular droning.

Davies & Dörner have a supreme dynamic; they clearly work really well with one another. Something tells me they also had a fucking blast making this record. The motorboat mouth bubbles, unnerving immanent disaster, the shoe shining brush, the percussive blats, swirling needles, it just sounds like they threw an old fashioned dinner party, retired to the drawing room when they were finished, and made minimal crazy avant noise. If that's not a recipe for awesome I don't know what is.


simon reynell said...

hey Justin,
thanks for the review!
I've only just spotted this one...
best wishes, Simon

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