Jan St. Werner

Glottal Wolpertinger

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The sixth volume of Jan St. Werner's Fiepblatter Catalogue series consists of several drone pieces for microtonally tuned, modulated feedback. Each piece begins with a spoken introduction stating the frequencies used, and while this gives the album an overtly clinical, lab-produced feel, some of the results are a bit more emotionally engaging than one might expect. "Glottal Wolpertinger Feedback Band 2" consists of vast, gliding waves of feedback which nearly approach shoegaze-like textures at times, yet feel scrambled and disrupted at some points. "Feedback Band 3," presented in two parts, was recorded live at a performance in Athens, and the venue acoustics combined with the background chatter of the audience make the recording sound much more haunting than the studio pieces. Additionally, the second part features drizzling, sparkling guitar notes played by Aaron and Bryce Dessner of the National, who transform the piece into an incredibly pretty star-bound odyssey. Much of the remainder of the album isn't quite as inviting, however, with searing drones creating an acid bath of white noise. Only on the final track, "Feedback Band 6/B," does it seem like Werner is breaking free and causing more variation to the sound materials. Beneath the glowing drone, there are rapid glitches and fluttering, chaotic effects, as well as submerged, fuzzy melodic tones, bringing to mind Werner's work as part of the duo Microstoria. Glottal Wolpertinger may be a bit more patience-testing than the other Fiepblatter releases, which already represent some of Werner's most experimental material, but its most successful pieces are still compelling and intellectually stimulating.

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