Fredy Studer

Duos 14-20

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This is chapter three of percussionist Fredy Studer's series of duos. After encounters with Robyn Schulkowsky (Duos 1, 2), Jin Hi Kim, Joëlle Léandre, and Dorothea Schürch (Duos 3-13), he chose to work with New York DJ M. Singe, a strange choice for anyone familiar with Studer's rather organic approach to drumming and use of primitive material such as metal and water. The two met in 1998 and played together in a couple of projects before this studio session. They knew each other's moves. Most of the time Studer is his interesting self: engaging and playing with textures, colors, and rhythms (as free form as they can be). Singe (aka Beth Coleman) surprisingly turns out to be an unimaginative partner. After the likes of Christian Marclay and Martin Tétreault, her illbient background and scratching technique sound retrograde and lack excitement -- that is except on "Duo 14," where the two artists' input are impossible to tell apart. This disc offers other interesting moments, especially in "Duo 15," where Coleman collages odd quotes à la Tétreault. But overall, this session gives the impression Studer was trying to sound hip while all he could do was create a malaise. Within DJ M. Singe's work he is lost, his art turned into shards of vinyl (incidentally, three of the ten tracks present her remixes). Unconvincing.

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