Wednesday, May 24, 2006

A Walk In The Black Forest

Brotzmann/Bennink - Track 1

This is the one where the lads wander around the Black Forest playing anything that comes to hand: wood, water, duck calls, the sound of sticks whizzing through the air - oh, and saxophones. But played with the bell partially submerged in a running stream so you get a great burbly noise.

Of course, they made sure they had official dispensation before setting off on this little jaunt. Han and Peter do not fool around even when fooling around. At one point, you hear Peter splashing about. He just says, “Han”, and you can hear Mr Bennink return. In no time they are playing rhythms on the water. Elsewhere, they run towards and away from the microphone while playing, which gives you an incredible depth of sound as the echo overlaps the source. In amongst the cracking twigs, someone has a go at “Sentimental Journey”. Overhead, there’s an aeroplane.

I’m well aware of how easy it is to kick this kind of thing. Why bother? Pick a more difficult target, its more of a challenge. And anyway, we seem to have a resurgence of hairy types heading off into the forest and knocking out double albums of, um, heavy shit at the moment: Sunburned Hand of The Man come to mind. Me, I’ve recorded things onto minidisc while standing in the middle of a field with Freddie the Useless Horse checking my pockets for polo mints. Come to think of it, I’ve recorded free soprano squall standing under a wind turbine in a gale. That was fun. So I didn’t need much of a sales pitch for this album.

“Where the hell does he buy these things?”, I hear you say. Head over to David Keenan’s great shop, Volcanic Tongue. It’s the place for all manner of free noise freakout power electronics and dark drooling folk, or just plain madness on a hand painted cdr. And if you get on the mailing list, you will be bombarded with the kind of demented, eloquent enthusiasm that should be the prerequisite of anyone who even thinks of writing about music, because if you love it, you should love it deeply.

Buy: 'Schwarzwaldfahrt' by Peter Brotzmann and Han Bennink from
Volcanic Tongue

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