Rehberg & Bauer

Passt

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Peter Rehberg (aka Pita) and Ramon Bauer completed their trilogy for the label Touch with the 2001 CD Passt. This album, short at 33 minutes, maintains an uncomfortable relationship with glitch electronica. Rehberg & Bauer's first CDs pioneered the genre, which quickly went through an ossification process. Closing their series, the artists try to distance themselves from the glitch culture, bringing a humorous and critical touch to the music. But meta-music this is not; we remain in glitch territory, even though unexpected twists and turns abound. This album originated from three live dates recorded in Australia in early 2000. The disc begins with an hyperventilating Aussie presenting the duo as if they were the biggest funk sensation. The oddity of his comments reminds us of the oddity of the music itself -- an attempt to restate the fact that laptop music was not intended as a trend but as a drastic avant-gardist move. Noise abounds throughout and the esthetics of "only digital mistakes recycled" stamped on earlier efforts has been left out in favor of something more substantial. The first three movements (scattered between tracks one and six) offer an assortment of nice textures, but the pièce de résistance is found in "Revolver," which begins like an innocent live glitch improvisation and climbs the noise ladder up to a brutal assault. This is not comfortable music, neither is it the duo's best proposition (together or in other projects), but it brings up important questions on what happened to glitch, although it leaves many unanswered.

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