Imagine being forced to view the world through a one-fourth-inch slit. Whereas at first you might find the view extremely confining and restrictive, eventually you might learn to heighten your visual intensity, concentrate more forcibly, and, in the end, extract more information than you had believed possible, more than you ever would have with an open visual field. The work of Filament and the emergent genre of sine wave improvisation is perhaps a sonic analogy to such a situation. Filament is the duo of Otomo Yoshihide and Sachiko M, both on electronics, occasionally augmented by other musicians such as Gunter Muller. 29092000 is a live performance of less than 30-minute duration, but the amount of information packed into those 30 minutes is astounding and beautiful. Sachiko, with her patented empty sampler, generates sine wave patterns which are sometimes as fragile as spun sugar, layered with detail so fine it requires the listener use his ears as sonic microscopes, an exertion which pays off mightily. Otomo tends to counter her purity with rougher, rumbling sounds, bringing soft clicks and glitches into play, expanding the aural space ever so slightly. Again, when listened to closely, this expansion becomes cavernous as the listener's ear adjusts to the level of detail involved and begins to understand the wealth of information being presented. As with much "traditional" music, a sense of drama and even narrative begins to emerge, each subtle shift in timbre lending impetus to the unfolding story, though the means utilized are anything but traditional. The innocent listener may well be put off by the Spartan, relentless atmosphere, but for those interested in investigating the further reaches of the electronic, free-improv vanguard, 29092000 is an invaluable document. Along with Sachiko and Nakamura's Do on Erstwhile, this is arguably the single most powerful and wonderful example of this musical form on disc.
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