Werner Dafeldecker

Lichtgeschwindigkeit

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Werner Dafeldecker is known for his tenure in Polwechsel and the key role he played (with his label Durian, among other ventures) in the development of the Viennese experimental music scene. Klaus Lang has enjoyed quite less exposure and is mostly active as a composer of highly textural acoustic chamber pieces. On Lichtgeschwindigkeit he plays pipe organ, although you can hardly tell. This improv meeting actually takes the form of one of Lang's works: it is extremely quiet, droning, rather static. The seven tracks are interchangeable, with the exception of the last one, which features more organ notes and, in comparison of what came before it, becomes rather pretty. Dafeldecker bows long notes on the bass, exploring the threshold where a brush of the bow remains a brushing sound or becomes a tone. What Lang does is much more difficult to explain. He plays the organ like a wind machine. You hear the sound of wind gushing through the pipes, but there is hardly a note heard. Occasionally, a faint tone materializes, two, three, fragile and ephemeral. They mesh in with the bass, forming spontaneous harmonics. Everything hovers in midair, like a ghostly presence. Nothing grounds this music to the earth. One thinks of extreme computer sound art more than anything acoustic, despite the fact that the acoustic quality of the music is its only imposing feature. Lichtgeschwindigkeit is a highly demanding listen (no matter how you approach it, the music is whiny and unnerving after a while) and its rewards are few. Reserved to the most adventurous listeners.