The music of Z'ev has been called "industrial," but that term only applies in an unconventional sense: during the period from 1978 to 1983 when these three pieces were recorded, he was using cast-off industrial materials like stainless steel, titanium, and various-sized pieces of PVC to create sounds that can better be described as "free-form sound sculpture" than conventional music. His approach to percussion involved his entire body, and the theatrical element was as important as the sonic one, which means that recordings don't do it justice, as the performances were quite clearly intended to be watched, not just listened to. For that reason, this disc isn't terribly satisfying; although there is almost certainly some degree of structure to the performances, they feature no discernible rhythm and little in the way of repeating patterns. What they sound like is a guy throwing stuff around, sometimes angrily and sometimes with a delicacy that borders on elegance, true, but still, it's pretty much the sound of a guy throwing stuff around. There is very little to distinguish the three tracks featured on this album, although the third sounds as if it were recorded from the back of the hall and is more varied in texture than the other two. Ultimately, As/If/When is more of a conceptual art experience than a music experience, and therefore it just doesn't work terribly well as a sound recording.
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AllMusic Review by Rick Anderson