Konk Pack

Warp Out

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Konk Pack's first CD, 1999's Big Deep, was more than instrumental in establishing the then-new German label Grob as a leading source of experimental music. From the start, Tim Hodgkinson, Thomas Lehn, and Roger Turner had the intention to keep this group alive and active. Since 1999 they toured Europe and America, stretching their vocabulary further. Warp Out is their first studio album (Big Deep culled live recordings from various dates), recorded over two days in June 2001. Three extended tracks (12 to 16 minutes) are separated by two shorter numbers. Everything is improvised following an esthetic that allies the aridity of British free improv and the harshness of noise. The resulting music is very demanding, but just as satisfying. Warp Out makes for a better listen than its older sibling, even though the artistic proposition sounds less revolutionary. The musicians know each other better; they react more vividly, push things to farther extremes (toward both noise and silence), and develop more complex circumvolutions instead of resorting to the well-tried ebb-and-flow frame. Lehn's pointillist splashes of analog sounds find an echo in Turner's junk percussion. The two build cathedrals out of brief, dry sound events. Hodgkinson may decide to contribute to the construction with some delicate scratching on his table guitar or tear down the walls with a loud twang. "White Jem" is particularly strong, but there is not a second lost on this dense album of top-rate cutting-edge free improv by masters of the genre. A must-have.

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