Marginal Consort マージナル・コンソート – 06 06 16 (St. Elisabeth Kirche, Berlin) (901 Editions, 3CD/digital)
It was nothing less than a sensation when Marginal Consort announced a performance in Berlin's St. Elisabeth-Kirche. Not only does the Japanese improv group, founded in 1997 by Kazuo Imai, Kei Shii, Masami Tada and Tomonao Koshikawa, generally give few concerts, but this was also their very first event in Germany. The performance, organised by Manuela Benetton in cooperation with the label PAN and the platform 33-33 with support by the initiative neue musik, was unique in every respect. It is now being documented via the Italian label 901 Editions in the form of a stunning, beautifully made CD box set with photos and an essay by Lawrence English. »06 06 16 (St. Elisabeth Kirche, Berlin)« is remarkable in many ways, especially because the recording of the three-hour performance captures the full experience just as precisely as its individual nuances. Those who were unable to get hold of a ticket for the concert can now catch up on this actually unique experience as often as they like.
Ehsan Saboohi – Music for Black Sine Wave (Noise à Noise, digital)
The composer and theorist Ehsan Saboohi is the mastermind of a school he himself calls »Post-Orientalism.« His work is regularly documented by the label Noise à Noise, which is based in Berlin these days. »Music for Black Sine Wave« comprises 24 different basslines that Saboohi has composed. This may sound unspectacular at first, but it is only the starting point for a very wide-reaching and potentially infinite project: The pieces can be used as raw material by electronic music artists to create completely new music that is released via Noise à Noise. So far, albums with renditions by Payman Abdali, RDKPL, the jazz duo Claude & Ola, Kian Hossein and Chem XP have been released, as well as a compilation with pieces by Reza Ahmadian and Hanna Mesgari, among others. More are sure to follow: Further contributions can still be submitted until December.
Theo Nabicht – Circle Line Project 14 Berlin (Moloko+, LP/CD)
When other artists go round in circles, that usually doesn't bode well. Theo Nabicht's musical creativity however is really sparked when he goes round and round—preferably, of course, by public transport. Most recently, during the Month of Contemporary Music, he took his audience on a round trip in Tokyo's Yamanote together with Alexandre Babel, Andre Bartetzki, Johannes Girke and Joke Lanz in the Teilager Fahrbereich. At the same time, »Circle Line Project 14 Berlin,« recordings of the project that stood at the beginning of this continuous exploration of the main traffic arteries of international metropolises, were finally released on vinyl and CD. Beginning with Prenzlauer Allee, the S42 travels in 27 pieces towards Wedding, Westkreuz, Schöneberg, Ostkreuz and finally, for the grand yet short finale, Greifswalder Straße. Nabicht on bass clarinet and soprano saxophone as well as Eric Schäfer on drums, John Eckhardt on bass, Mario Verandi on computer and Seth Josel on guitar were guided by video recordings Nabicht had made during round trips on the Ringbahn. Although the album was recorded in 2014, between heated free-jazz freakouts and atmospheric intermezzi, rush hour frenzy and quiet moments, it paints a timeless musical picture of a city in constant motion and the secret engine that keeps it running.
Aleksandra Słyż ft. Judith Hamann, Gerard Lebik – Softness, Flashes, Floating Rage (Live at CTM 2023) (Warm Winters Ltd., digital)
As part of this year's edition of the CTM Festival, Aleksandra Słyż presented an extended version of the last track from her album »A Vibrant Touch«, released last autumn, at MONOM. While she performed on a modular synthesiser, she was accompanied by Judith Hamann on cello and Gerard Lebik on saxophone. Her label Warm Winters Ltd. has made »Softness, Flashes, Floating Rage (Live at CTM 2023)« available for download. It is a recording of this performance that does full justice to the complex, intricate sound of the venue and the urgency of this fantastic composition. Headphones recommended!
blackbody_radiation – Ultra-Materials (Faitiche, LP/digital)
Andrew Black is a designer and his work with field recordings under the name blackbody_radiation does sound like it is guided by visual and geometric ideas. The album »Ultra-Materials« for Jan Jelinek's Faitiche label documents a constant process of form-finding, for which Black has used methods such as so-called sound masking. In this way, he opens up entirely new spaces with ambient sounds.