Günter Müller / Jim O'Rourke

Slow Motion

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Percussionist Günter Müller and guitarist Jim O'Rourke have a go at three very experimental pieces, all recorded in May of 1994 in Europe. Given that this was before O'Rourke was using electronic devices himself, or at least using them primarily the way he began to in the late '90s, Müller deftly creates monumental electronic soundscapes for O'Rourke to play off of or feedback to. The overdubbed thunderous drumscapes on top of these -- especially on the first track, "Now All Seen Heard Then Forgotten" -- are nearly overwhelming in intensity. Were it not for the slow, methodical pacing of the tracks, the sheer grind would be unbearable. On "An Atlantean Knows the True Value of the Stars," the improvisational "edge" of O'Rourke's guitar displays itself in all its terrible fury. Here are multi-tracked passages of him running his fingers up and down the neck, masked rhythm tracks, feedbacked single-string runs, as well as sonically altered banging on the strings, all of it for a nearly unendurable 22 minutes. This is free improv at its rawest, this is sonic intensity for its own sake, and this disc is the sound of two guys being utterly pretentious.

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