Burkhard Beins

Mowen & Moos

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Mowen & Moos is a double disc of lengthy improvisations by the guitar/percussion duo of Burkhard Beins and Michael Renkel, two Berlin-based musicians who are also members of the larger ensemble Phosphor. Their approach is calm and unhurried, essentially a conversation in moderate tones. One thing that differentiates this duo from other practitioners of this genre of free improv is that the sounds derived from their respective instruments actually, more often than not, are recognizable as such. Renkel's guitar, unlike the many who followed Keith Rowe's lead toward the tabletop model equipped with all manner of accoutrements, tends to be clearly heard as such, with the odd excursion into rubbings and taps. He's not averse to using repeated figures that, with a broad enough definition, could even be heard as melodies. Beins, when not bowing cymbals and the like, generates percussive patterns and even falls into quasi-regular rhythms from time to time. This may seem unremarkable, but here that stance is given a great freshness due, presumably, to the prior lessons learned by these gentlemen in groups where such overt playing was frowned upon, if not strictly forbidden. This results in an interchange that manages to span over 100 minutes without ever growing dull or repetitious; if it doesn't attain the creative heights achieved by masters of the genre such as AMM, it does more than sustain interest and even fascination, like an engaging chat between old friends. For those who find much free improv too "cold" or abstract, this admittedly difficult-to-find set could be just the tonic. Renkel constructed a remix of this session (Activity Center, 2:13 Music 014) that's also excellent while sounding almost nothing like it.

Track Listing

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