Annette Krebs


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Berlin-based guitarist Annette Krebs is about two generations behind Keith Rowe in the long line of musicians who have transformed the electric guitar into an instrument producing sounds that its designers never dreamed of. She's also one of the best. The mini-disc Guitar contains a single, real-time improvisation by Krebs (divided into three sections) that explores fairly virgin and unendingly fascinating territories. Working in the tabletop fashion that Rowe pioneered (and which was initially extended by guitarists like Fred Frith), she sets up adjacent devices that agitate the guitar strings like rapid, muted chimes or cause subtle feedback loops, all contributing to an ultra-rich, droning matrix, an oscillating fabric that serves as the central sonic element and that propels the first part toward a dramatic, shuddering conclusion. The second section turns very quiet, with soft scrabbling and scurrying sounds, liberal (and beautifully chosen) portions of silence, and short spasms of hisses and burbles that evoke, perhaps, a gentle rain on the forest floor. The final cut returns a bit to the chiming of the first, but here it's frequently subverted by abrupt cuts to and integrations within various other areas, concluding with a lovely closing "duo" between the fluttering chimes and a softly keening and quavering pitch. With this release and the arguably even better Guitar Solo, recorded around the same time for Fringes (as well as with her work in the group Phosphor), Krebs had established herself not only as one of the most valuable guitarists on the new music scene, but simply as one of the finest improvising musicians around. Recommended.

Track Listing

Title/Composer Performer Time
1 7:43
2 6:29
3 6:21
blue highlight denotes track pick