Martin Brandlmayr

Die Instabilität der Symmetrie

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Die Instabilitat der Symmetrie is a set of improvisations by a quartet nominally led by guitarist/electronicist Martin Siewert, originally designed to coexist with video by Michaela Grill and to be adjusted to accommodate the idiosyncrasies of the performing space at hand. It nonetheless works perfectly well as a purely audio experience, the four musicians all tried and true practitioners of the branch of free improv that seamlessly blends entirely abstract electronics with acoustic sounds (here, predominantly, Werner Dafeldecker's deeply bowed bass and Martin Brandlmayr's extraordinarily precise percussion). That low, arco bass often serves as the underlying drone or the bedrock for a delicately plucked guitar or swirl on cymbals. Brandlmayr's percussion, subtly drawing from various non-improv forms (including a tinge of techno), is one of the things giving this music some slight distance from much free music of Austrian parentage. The quartet easily swings from the almost luxuriant richness of the opening section to the harsh, stingingly metallic world of the second, maintaining a consistent level of absorption in the sheer panoply of sounds as well as in their apt juxtaposition. There's a vaguely industrial feel throughout the whole disc, an ambience partially created by the insistent (though never overpowering) rhythms and the generally foreboding tones of the guitars and electronics. But Siewert's relatively pastoral guitar never lets things get too dark, offering glimpses of a greener world. This is a fine disc that fits in among the more accessible that this often forbidding genre has to offer.

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