This Spanish duo explores the thin line between reductionist improv and harsh noise. Alfredo Costa Monteiro plays "objects on electric guitar." That is to say he never actually picks on a string. Instead, he rubs steel wool over the pickups, uses mini-fans and other gadgets, and strikes the body of the instrument to produce tortured resonances. Ferran Fages performs on a "feedback mixing board." On paper, it looks a lot like Toshimaru Nakamura's no-input mixing board -- a mixing desk with its entries cross-wired, a self-contained feedback machine. But the amount of harsh noise his contraption can release has little to do (in terms of sound palette) with Nakamura's crystalline tones and looped clicks. Flysch contains six untitled pieces. The album begins softly, each musician slowly exploring the possibilities of his instrument. Hums, hisses, and crackles answer each other in a subdued manner. One thinks of the French electro-improv group Formanex, but also of Lionel Marchetti and Jérôme Noetinger's music. As listeners move from track to track, the music becomes more violent, harsh. By pieces number five and six, it has reached a point where Fages' work sounds closer to early-'90s Merzbow, while Monteiro could as well be playing a tabletop guitar like Keith Rowe or Jean-Marc Montera. They listen to each other well, building nice (but painful) momentum, yet the music remains a bit dry. It is still a worthy effort from a scene listeners hear little about.
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