Claus van Bebber


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Claus Van Bebber and Philip Jeck both follow in Milan Knizak's footsteps: they use vinyl records as self-contained instruments. If Jeck's profile rose in avant-garde circles during the year 2002, Van Bebber doesn't play second fiddle. The three pieces included on Viny'l'isten come from a live performance recorded at the event Intermedium 2 (Germany) on March 24, 2002. Each turntablist (using the term loosely) gets a solo feature before engaging in a 30-minute duo. The two artists' approaches are fully compatible. Both use antiquated record players, worn-out records of all kinds, and low-tech electronic devices to modify the sounds they produce (like wah-wah pedals and guitar effect boxes). Made of quotes from forgotten times and surface noise, this music could be merely nostalgic without being inspired. The key resides in the stacking. Jeck and Van Bebber each use multiple record players. The music reaches its artistic weight through density, an accumulation of sounds to generate a new sound and of cultural references to create a new history of music. The two solo tracks are polite, average examples of each artist's work, but nothing to write home about, especially in Jeck's case since his work has been well-documented in 2001-2002. The interest of this disc resides in the duet, more eventful (understandably) and chaotic. It is impossible to tell who brings what to the table, but the improvisers seem to enjoy catching their partner off guard, resulting in a very entertaining half-hour of rich noisy textures punctuated by outbursts of kitschy strange sounds. If you were thinking about getting Jeck's disappointing Soaked (with Jacob Kirkegaard, released only a couple of months earlier), try this one instead.

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