Thanks to its enlightened artistic choices and original three-panel cardboard circle case, the Greek label Absurd deserves a superior reputation in the world of avant-garde music limited editions. VW is another strong addition to its catalog. A collaboration between Greek cellist Nikos Veliotis and American-born (now living in Paris) violinist Dan Warburton, it consists of two pieces of 22 minutes and 42 seconds. At the heart of both are sound files recorded by the duet playing their acoustic instruments. Then each musician composed his own electronic piece. Veliotis' "V" is a piece of minimal proportions, quickly settling down to a quiet drone that absorbs all the idiosyncrasies of these two fine improvisers and even the very character of their instruments like a black hole. Warburton's "W" takes the opposite path. Maximalist in gestures, closer to academic electro-acoustics, it retains some of the elements of string playing -- listeners still hear pizzicato notes and bowing textures laced through the heavily treated sounds. Highly dynamic, the piece reaches a gripping climax before reverting to a drone of its own, closing the circle intentionally or not. Both artists have buried their improvising selves to let the composer arise. The drastically different results make one wish this album had come out on vinyl. Side-flipping would have provided better context.
AllMusic Review by François Couture