Alessandro Bosetti

Alessandro Bosetti/Annette Krebs

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Alessandro Bosetti recorded this album with guitarist Annette Krebs in mid-2001. It was announced for release by Grob in the summer of 2002, but was held back a full year. Bosetti and Krebs had already performed together as part of the group Phosphor. Here they distill their art down to tiny gestures that occupy a lot of space. This kind of music is all pro or con. Extremely demanding, it will reward your efforts greatly if you manage to break its off-putting surface and submit to it. If you don't, it will leave you cold, and possibly furious. But the magic is in there: Bosetti's breath-based saxophone playing (air pushed through the instrument, without a single note ever being shaped) merges with Krebs' electro-acoustic guitar (body and strings equally important, many contact mics picking up every detail of her microscopic gestures) in a way so intimate that the "game," if you are looking for one, consists of deciphering who does what. Asceticism doesn't equal boredom, and this album proves it well. The music is constantly puzzling, each silence (and there are many) charged with the esthetic choice it results from. If someone ever compiles an anthology of free improvisers of the microscopic persuasion, the first piece on this album deserves to be selected. It transcends the "reductionist" label too easily applied to this music, showing extreme dynamic range and a form of noise-based conversation that can only be conceived as playful. Things get more serious later on, even too serious in the last piece, where one gets the feeling that both musicians have painted themselves into a corner, but that's an exception. Bosetti's playing evokes Axel Dörner, Franz Hautzinger, and John Butcher, who all developed similar techniques at the same time. Despite similarities with Taku Sugimoto, Krebs' approach, given her use of multiple contact mics sent to a mixer to be turned on or off at will, remains unique.

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