King Übü Örchestrü

Trigger Zone

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Even in avant-garde circles, King Übü Örchestrü's Trigger Zone is considered difficult, marginal music. Wolfgang Fuchs' group follows a post-minimalist aesthetic that favors delicate, short noise events instead of the usual vocabulary of free improvisers. This extremely stripped-down, introspective approach that walks a fine line between "something" and "nothing" has also been explored by Franz Hautzinger's quartet Dachte Musik and by the trio of John Butcher, Xavier Charles, and Axel Dörner, but even though Trigger Zone was released after these groups' first albums, its recording predates them. This CD comes from two live performances in November 1998. The group featured seasoned free improvisers like Fuchs, Dörner, Radu Malfatti (later with Dachte Musik), Phil Wachsmann, and Paul Lytton alongside Fernando Grillo, a great new music bassist but unknown in free improv, and Jean-Marc Montera, whose usual sonic assaults marked him as the "x" in this equation. The four improvs presented here are aggregates of pointillist gestures. In "Area 2," the decibel level remains painfully low, while "Area 1" and the third quarter of "Area 4" build up (mostly thanks to Montera). They require very attentive listening -- playing this CD as background music is bound to fail. Before the last piece, almost not a single note has been heard, only mouth noises channeled through the instruments with, in the case of Wachsmann and Lytton, live electronics. If there was still avant-garde music that held some shock value at the end of the 20th century, it was this type of very fragile free improv on the verge of silence.

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