KURT LIEDWART & PETR VRBAPunkt
PHYSICAL | CD
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Petr Vrba explores non-idiomatic improvisation using trumpets, clarinets, vibrating speakers and other electronics which made him one of the most active experimental musicians in Prague. He works with a lot of projects like Prague Improvisation Orchestra, Poisonous Frequencies, NOIZ, Doppeltrio, Rouilleux and Junk & The Beast. “Punkt” is his second release on Mikroton following “Trailer” with Veronika Mayer released in 2017.
Kurt Liedwart, a Moscow-based musician and curator of Mikroton Recordings, developed his own art and sound that cross genres, mixing music practices such as electroacoustic and improvised music, noise and glitch, and art movements such as actionism and Fluxus. He plays a wide-ranging array of instruments such as analog synthesizers, electronics, light-controlled electronics, electromagnetic devices, laptop, sinewaves, field recordings, percussion processed electronically in real time.
“Punkt” is a debut album of the new duo of explorers of free electronic music with each track built upon a permutating sonic foundation, muscular and expertly paced compositions that effortlessly transition between hypnotic abstract structural forms and textural and timbral experimentation.
Mikroton labelboss Kurt Liedwart is an active force himself when it comes to playing music, as he proofs with this trilogy of releases. First he teams up with Czech musician Petr Vrba, who is also a busy bee when it comes to playing music on the border of improvisation and electro-acoustics. He takes credit here for 'synthesizers, electronics' while Liedwart handles 'synthesizers, cracked homemade and everyday electronics'. For Vrba it seems to a step aside from his usual set-up that includes trumpets and clarinets. There is no indication on the cover here if this is all studio material or perhaps some kind of live recording. The two have been on stage together at least a few times, as far as I know. I would think that these six pieces are the result of them playing together in a studio, with some editing and mixing after the recordings have been made. These pieces sum up what especially Liedwart is about in his work and with his label in general. There are probably good reasons to call this improvised music, and no doubt much of this is recorded through improvisation, but it is also something else. Enter the world of electro-acoustic composition. These pieces aren't about scratching and scraping a lot of different sounds together, with nothing resembling whatever else happens. It is more than that I should think, as they keep repeating sounds for a while, add new stuff to it, repeat that for a while, remove stuff and together arrive at a somewhat free version of modern electronics. Rhythm is in general avoided, but there is an occasional beat in 'Hot Spot' and loops are freely used throughout the whole album. These pieces are much more composed than improvised, even in the somewhat chaotic 'Dusted', and it works wonderfully well. Whatever way this was made, I suspect indeed editing and mixing, it makes the music quite strong.