BURKHARD STANGL & DIEB13Jardin Des Bruits
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Burkhard Stangl and dieb13 live and work in Vienna, both being long time protagonists of the local scene as well as travelling and collaborating with musicians from all over the planet. Many of those collaborations and connections have been documented on the double-CD compilation "klingt.org: 10 Jahre Bessere Farben” [mikroton cd 5 | 6] commemorating the first ten years of existence of named online platform, which was founded and is since being run by dieb13.
Burkhard Stangl needs no further introduction being a remarkable and highly acclaimed guitarist. He explores the full range of sonic possibilities on his guitar, its dynamic, harmonic, melodic and noisy spectrum. This adaptability allows him to get to work in a variety of musical contexts, from collective imrpovised music projects like Polwechsel (until 2004), Efzeg and Schnee to written contemporary music for various ensembles and from solo works to collaborations with Angélica Castelló, Christof Kurzmann, Christian Fennesz and others.
dieb13, also based in Vienna like Stangl, is a particularly active musician, filmmaker, software programmer and theorist. Being a valued improviser and a proven specialist for the musical and technical aspects of turntablism, he played and plays in various groups like Swedish Azz, Efzeg, (Fake) The Facts and collaborated with countless musicians from local and international scenes, among them Billy Roisz, eRikm, Phil Minton, Hans Koch, Mats Gustafsson, Camille Emaille, Anna Högberg, Susanna Gartmayer.
In 2002 Stangl and dieb13 released their duo album “eh”, which gave a very thorough and entertaining insight in the possibilities of interactions between guitars and record players. Now, 17 years later, on “Jardin Des Bruits”, or “Garden Of Noises” they explore and expand the sonic properties of their group sound and include plenty of soundscapes from Paris and Montreuil, where the recordings took place in May 2019. Burkhard Stangl once said that he allows himself to play his special so-called “eh”-tuning only in this project, because of its high emotional tension verging on nostalgia. A pair of tracks on “Jardin Des Bruits” sounds like a farewell to their sonic adventures from 2002 which they masterfully convert to their current musical ideas. Their themes remain particularly alluring and bruitfully fruitful as ever, with each track telling its own engrossing story. This is sharp, focused contemporary music of the kind, where minimalist motifs meet maximalist outbreaks. “Jardin Des Bruits” is another landmark recording made by two of the most prolific experimental explorers of sound and music active today.
Here is a duo from Vienna. In recent times perhaps not as often found in Vital Weekly as they perhaps once were. Both of them have been part of the Viennese scene of improvisers and composers, working with people as Angélica Castelló, Christof Kurzmann, Christian Fennesz, Billy Roisz, eRikm, Phil Minton, Hans Koch, Mats Gustafsson, Camille Emaille, Anna Högberg, Susanna Gartmayer or in such bands as Efzeg, SSSD, Schnee and (Fake) The Facts. Already in 2002, the two them released an album, 'eh', which didn't make it to these pages and now there is a follow-up. The title is to be translated as 'Garden Of Noises' and was recorded in Paris and Montreuil, containing recordings from inside as well as outside the house; the cover says "recorded at Instants Chavires and the street and metro trains", so there you go. Stangl plays guitar and electronics and Dieb13 plays "acoustic and electronic gramophones and electronics", so I am not sure how that works out in the street and the metro. There are no less than twenty pieces on this CD, spanning from a mere thirteen seconds to ten minutes. I think these short pieces are 'field recordings' in some way, the noise produced outside, and the longer pieces are by the two of them. As I may have written before I am not the world's biggest lover of the turntable as a musical instrument; there is only as much scratched vinyl/wood/paper/metal you can play with one or more tonearms. Here, in duet, with the carefully placed guitar notes of Stangl, it all works well. The six strings howl, burst in feedback or consist of some sparse notes being played. Meanwhile, the turntable(s) are used in what we could probably say it is a similar fashion. It is used to create wild scratchy sounds, electro-magnetic resonances or the sparse crackle underpinning or contradicting the guitar sounds. I think sixty-nine-minutes is a bit long for an album of such demanding music, even when spliced with some odd field recordings. Fifty minutes would have maybe been as or more powerful. I like the way the music bounces from some sheer minimalism to jubilant maximalism, providing some fine variation throughout (also needed with the length of this, I would think). All together: very nice and hopefully it doesn't take them another seventeen years to come up with something new.
Burkhard Stangl and fellow-Viennese turntables wizard-sound artist dieb13 (aka Dieter Kovačič), known from his work with Mats Gustafsson in (Fake) The Facts and Swedish Azz), released their first duo album Eh almost twenty years ago (erstwhile, 2002), parallel to their work with the efzeg quintet. Jardin Des Bruits (Garden Of Noises in French) is an excellent title for Stangl and dieb13's continuous exploration of the sonic interactions and possibilities between guitars and record players, acoustic and electric, old and new. The album was recorded at Instants Chavires and the streets and metro trains of Paris and Montreuil in May 2019, and later mixed by the artists. The artwork is by French, fellow sound artist Julien Ottav, founder and artistic programmer of the experimental music organisation APO33.
Stangl once said that he allows himself to play his special, so-called eh tuning only in his duo with dieb13, because of its high emotional tension verging on nostalgia. And indeed Jardin Des Bruits investigates the tension between innocent, fragile and transparent sounds, often played by Stangl and distorted, dirty and noisy ones, most of the time played by dieb13 on acoustic and electronic gramophones and electronics. Together they create a kind of a suite-story comprised of twenty, minimalist segments, some are only a few seconds long, but all suggest alluring, seductive images, even when both dive head on into abstract yet strangely lyrical, white noises as on “Noisy Track”. Stangl and dieb13 pay a symbolic debt to pioneer electroacoustic works on “Sortie de Secours d'IRCAM” (ICRAM is the French Institut de Recherche et de Coordination Acoustique/Musique where Luciano Berio and Pierre Boulez began their sonic experiments). Both enjoy the playfulness irony of “Kabuki”, the cinematic tension of “Godzilla”and the witty “Symphonie für einen Staubsauger” (Symphony for a vacuum cleaner). The emotional version of “eh² live” is a beautiful conclusion of this fascinating journey.
In a way, Jardin Des Bruits is a poetic, sonic reflection of our daily soundtracks, where our most inner and private thoughts are constantly targeted and polluted by random noises and greedy, capitalist corporations and state agencies. Somehow, Stangl and dieb13 offer a clever and balanced perspective that allows us to employ and exploit these disturbing noises to our benefit and cultivate our very own gardens of sounds and noises.