CD 'going round in serpentinesI', Charhizma, Austria 2005





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Kai Fagaschinski & Bernhard Gal going round in serpentines


Audio CD, Charhizma, Austria 2005 [charizma 034]


Released in December 2005.


Duo Kai Fagaschinski & Bernhard Gal

Kai Fagaschinski
: clarinet | Bernhard Gal: computer

In going round in serpentines, Bernhard Gal's re-contexturalized field recordings merge with the sonic characteristics of Kai Fagaschinski's idiosyncratic clarinet playing. Gal opens up new acoustic spaces, while Fagaschinski sculpts air with his clarinet in various ways. Based on clarinet samples, they also build up microtonal clusters with drone-like qualities. In their music they create an ambivalent musical situation between concrete and abstract listening.
During a focused rehearsal period in winter 03/04, Fagaschinski and Gal developed open compositions where preconceived musical structures are combined with the specific energy of improvisation.

Done in Berlin-Friedenau, January-February 2004
Cover photos by B. Gal, design by K. Fagaschinski with Conrad Noack.
Supported by SKE-Fonds, Austria.

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Kai Fagaschinski & Bernhard Gal going round in serpentines

Audio-CD, Charhizma, 2005; charizma 034

1. going

2. round

3. in serpentines





CD 'going round in serpentinesI', Charhizma, Austria 2005

Listen to audio excerpts (opens audio player)

Cover photos by B. Gal, design by K. Fagaschinski with Conrad Noack.

Supported by SKE-Fonds, Austria. SKE-Fonds












































going round in serpentines

So taking the opportunity, here's a disc I’ve been listening to a lot recently and really enjoying;

Kai Fagaschinski and Bernhard Gal - Going round in serpentines (Charhizma)

No secret I am a big fan of Fagaschinski's music (a major achievement given I generally dislike reed instruments), but one of the things I really like about his work is how he seems to be very careful about choosing who he plays with, as the understanding he has with his collaborators on disc at least, seems really close.

On the surface, he and Gal are working with very different raw materials, Kai with acoustic clarinet and Gal with processed field recordings of everything from the classic birdsong to a lengthy recording of a snooker game that forms much of the material for the second of the three tracks. This disc just works though for some reason.... it has a depth and level of focus to it that suggests a really tight relationship between the two musicians, something I also felt on Fagaschinski's duo disc with Klaus Filip (Los Glissandinos on Creative Sources)

One of the things I wrote about the Los Gliss disc is how it felt like the perfect electro-acoustic disc, a great paring of acoustic and digital sound, and Going round in sepentines seems to extend this some way further. Whilst Los G saw the two musicans blend and merge into one unified mass, here they are easy to tell apart, but each player's contribution would sound empty without the other. I'd really like to know more about how this was recorded, how much post production or editing was inolved for instance... will see what I can find out.

In the meantime, this is a great disc EAI fans! Very Happy

Richard Pinnell (Bagatellen, USA, 04/2006)

On the other hand, while Gál and Fagaschinski’s meeting contains as many near-silent passages and overly loud drones as the other, but, especially on the nearly 32 minute “Going”, it’s characterized by samples added to the mix. As the clarinetist vibrates pure air through his body tube or distills microtonal tongue flutters to echoing clusters, an undercurrent of canned shopping centre music, infant whines or a loop of a youngish woman declaring “really so uh like it’s this thing” sequentially comment on Fagaschinski’s soloing.
Subsequently, as the crackling echoes multiply and coalesce into wave forms that suggest the plink of a piano or organ stops, the reedist’s reductionist tongue fluttering works up to shrills as if he’s producing the aural afterimage of a ringing bell. Finally, the almost-endless cadenza of squeaks from Fagaschinski is surmounted by the sampled chirps of real birds, as triggered band saw-like sequences from Gál make up the postlude, nearly severing the clarinet pulse.
Both of Going Round in Serpentines’ other tracks continue to feed sequences of other tones as backup and commentary on Fagaschinski’s singular, barely-there clarinet lines. Murky and fleeting, they can suggest a pool cue hitting the ball or water running in a brook. Often the reedist’s response is to widen and pitch-slide his obbligato to tongue slaps and puffed-out, tunnel-like echoes.
Interesting glimpses into European microtonal clustering, these sorts of improvisations are best appreciated without preconceptions about instrumental sounds.

Ken Waxman (Jazzword, Canada, 07/2006)

Bernhard Gál bezeichnet sich selbst als Komponisten und Künstler. 1971 in Wien geboren, begann er um 1986 mit autodidaktischen Kompositionsstudien. Es folgten eine Tonmeisterausbildung und ein Studium der Musikwissenschaft. Die Doktorarbeit zum Thema „Klanginstallation“ wurde nicht abgeschlossen. Allerdings sollte dieses Thema ihn musikalisch praktisch weiter beschäftigen. Zu hören sind Gáls Werke in Konzerten, Ausstellungen und Klanginstallationen. Liebster Aufenthaltsort Gáls ist das Zwischenreich von Improvisation und Komposition. Ohne die bildende Kunst, ohne Konzeptkunst, ohne die Ausdrucksform der Performance ist die Musik Gáls nur schwer denkbar. Hier trifft er sich mit dem Klarinettisten Kai Fagaschinski, den die musikalischen Qualität von Geräuschen interessiert, die verborgenen Möglichkeiten im Rohmaterial, die doch an die Oberfläche drängend formlos formen.

Die vorliegende CD mit dem Titel going round in serpentines ist das Ergebnis einer intensiven Probenphase im Winter 2003/04. Gál und Fagaschinski nehmen den Hörer mit auf eine Reise ins Surreale. Jedes Mal, wenn man glaubt, Geräuschsituationen des Alltags identifiziert zu haben, sie in einen Kontext einordnen zu können, verwischen Gál und Fagaschinski die Spuren, generieren aus den Elementen einer Musique concrète eine Welt der fremden Klänge. Ein Hörbuch, über das jeder Hörer seinen eigenen Roman schreiben muss.

Anette Eckerle (Neue Zeitschrift fuer Musik, Germany 06/2006

Field recordings and electronic music are not the most common of lovers. I mean, the two could really get along, it's just that not often enough do artists actually consider combining the two. One sumptuous desert that laptopist Bernard Gal and clarinettist Kai Fagaschinski prepare is "Going Round in Serpentines", an hour long exhibit of some of the possibilities of the two musical genres coming together. Did you know that singing birds, crickets, chimes, cue balls being hit at a pool hall and heavy industrial machinery can actually make fascinating music? Add to this long, sustained passages of graceful clarinet playing by Fagaschinski and you've got yourself a let's pretend it's a night out-in to remember. In fact, this is one of the highlights of the set. These very ear-friendly clarinet passages that seem to stretch forever, without ever looking for a destination. Music is quite still. There isn't an obvious climax that occurs [other than a sudden chirping of birds that shakes you out of your stupour for a minute]. Everything flows naturally, as if propelled by an invisible force of nature. The two musicians have enough sense to allow each other equal say in the proceedings, which makes for a democratic session. My only beef is with the final track, where silence rules. After a couple of elongated pieces, this piece is for the most part, microtonal dabbling that is demanding on the ears. "Going Round in Serpentines" was custom made for those who can't arrange for a babysitter and for those who can't stand the smell of their clothes full of smoke after a night at a club.

Tom Sekowski (Gaz-Eta, Spain, 05/2006)

German clarinetist Kai Fagaschinski doesn’t release all that many recordings, but his music is always of the highest quality. Whether playing intense solo (on the Berlin Reeds compilation), duo (last year’s marvelous Los Glissandinos disc or this superb recording), or trio (No Furniture), he transforms his instrument into something almost electronic – reducing its idiomatic properties to the point where little but a single, sinuous tone exists – while also merging its rich woody qualities into his playing environment. It’s this combination of propensities that makes him such a fitting partner for laptop composer Bernhard Gal, a musician so natural and subtle that it sounds as if he were weaned on Luc Ferrari compositions. Their recording is marvelous, carefully polished like a small gem but at the same time overflowing with life.

The first piece, “Going,” occupies just over half the record. It’s a slow grower, with Fagaschinski occupying the role usually played by electronics, generating a low perambulating continuo. Gal is in many ways more active, slowly weaving together a background of harbor bells, animal noises and muffled conversation. Like a slow descent into a pit of fire, the piece increases its mass and density, subtly changing to the point where it overwhelms you. And then suddenly it dissipates, revealing some of the specific sound sources occupying the substrata: babies crying, some kind of carillon, and an amusing exchange between dudes. Somehow these slices from everyday life feel anything but arbitrary, as Gal gives them immense weight, even conferring upon them an air of mystery or confusion. The piece resolves in much the same way it began: here, during the concluding minutes, it is uncertain who is responsible for the rich, round tone (though, it’s a good bet that Fagaschinski is blowing chalumeau) and who for the lacerating altissimo. It’s very rich music, at times pulsating with a life and vividness that is startling.

The second track “Round” opens with a delicious contrast, which serves as its basic structural element: clacking billiard balls reverberate against what sounds like a metallic groan from some deep sub-basement. These discontinuous sounds eventually link up, as each pool shot seems to catalyze a rush of air, a whoosh of steam escaping from a vent, a new incursion from clarinet. But don’t tune out before the end, because the record’s most chilling moment comes during its final track, “In Serpentines.” After many minutes of wet close-miked embouchure noises, Gal suddenly (and somewhat perversely) summons a swarm of buzzing flies.

Going Round in Serpentines is such a satisfying recording, one which seems to yield new details with every listen (almost like an aural equivalent of Brakhage’s “The Wold Shadow”). Listen first on headphones, and later during the day with all your windows open. One of the year’s best thus far.

Jason Bivins (Dusted Reviews, USA, 04/2006)

"Going Round in Serpentines" to trwajace godzine sluchowisko, bedace relacja z wyprawy klarnetu do surrealistycznej krainy muzyki akuzmatycznej. Duet Fagaschinski - Gál stapia muzyke improwizowana z elektroakustyczna, laczac "zywa" gre na klarnecie z partiami przetwarzanymi w tym samym czasie przy uzyciu komputera oraz z wybranymi odglosami otaczajacego swiata.

Wyimaginowane pejzaze malowane przez muzyków subtelnymi srodkami, powoli przesuwaja sie przed oczami (uszami) sluchacza, umozliwiajac mu napawanie sie pieknem i harmonia przedstawianych miejsc. Fagaschinski gra na klarnecie niezwykle delikatnie, przewaznie lagodnie go przedmuchuje, gdzieniegdzie tylko pozwala sobie na gre mocniejsza, tworzac powoli wybrzmiewajace wstegi glissand i dzwieków multifonicznych, które Gál dopelnia dronem komputerowo modyfikowanych partii tegoz instrumentu.

Efekty pozamuzyczne, obecne wlasciwie przez caly czas, dawkowane sa oszczednie i z wielkim wyczuciem, nie powodujac zbednego zgielku. Gál uzywa ich zarówno do tworzenia tla, jak i do kontrapunktowania partii Fagaschinskiego, czasem nawet powierza im role wiodaca, i wówczas to klarnecista dopasowuje do nich swoja gre.

Obaj muzycy przejawiaja umiejetnosc wzajemnego uwaznego sluchania, wykazujac niecodzienna powsciagliwosc w pokazywaniu sie, miast tego skupiajac sie na wspólnym konstruowaniu muzycznych form. Choc ci dwaj zdaja sie przynalezec do odmiennych muzycznych swiatów - Bernhard Gál to wiedenski kompozytor, twórca instalacji dzwiekowych i autor niezwyklych kolazy nagran terenowych, zas Kai Fagaschinski to mieszkajacy w Berlinie improwizator - to udalo sie im nagrac plyte niezwykle spójna, która wiaze nic introwertycznego minimalizmu.

Tadeusz Kosiek (Diapazon, Poland, 04/2006)

(...) Going Round In Serpentines, clarinettist Kai Fagaschinski's second full-length release on Charhizma after 2003's Rebecca with Michael Renkel is very much an open-air affair, thanks to the input of Viennese sound artist Bernhard Gal, who's best known for his exquisite field recording montages and installations. It's the second volume in a trilogy of Fagaschinski duos that began with last year's Stand Clear on Creative Sources with Klaus Filip (the third, with Kurzmann, is in the pipeline), and Gal's colourful – yet discreet – work makes for a fine contrast with Fagaschinski's Lucier-like exploration of sustained clarinet tones. I'd have to go back and check, but I'm wondering if some of the clangs and jingles on the opening track aren't culled from the same recordings of a Las Vegas casino that Gal used on his splendid Intransitive outing Relisten a while back, but unless someone's dreamt up an irrigation scheme for southern Nevada as ambitious as Noah Cross's in Chinatown, I seriously doubt the cowbells and crickets were recorded in or near Vegas. The most prominent element of the second track is a recording of a game of billiards – you can even hear cues being chalked – the clack of ball on ball cunningly captured and sent into caverns of reverb, while Fagaschinski flutters and hisses in and out of view. It's a nice conceit – a recording of somebody playing, indeed, but who said anything about playing a musical instrument? – and a welcome touch of humanity. Having finished their game, Gal and Fagaschinski head outside again on track three, back to the cowbells. A light rain seems to be falling, and a rather annoying and distinctly electronic sequencer drifts in and out, along with a swarm of bees – or is it a cavalcade of passing motorbikes on a distant highway? – while Fagaschinski continues his introvert explorations. Purists who like their improv resolutely abstract might baulk at the incorporation of twittering birds and church bells (albeit heavily filtered), but they'd do well to put their prejudices aside and follow the advice printed on the tray card under the CD: "Shut up and listen, dumb ass!"

Dan Warburton (Paris Transatlantic, France, 04/2006)

nicht minder zarte töne wie jene vom duo baltschun / baghdassarian sind auf der zweiten neuen "charizma"-cd zu hören. allerdings verwendet der österreichische klangkünstler bernhard gál eine fülle von konkreten, wenngleich elektronisch weiterbearbeiteten geräuschen. den besonderen reiz dieser cd macht aber die kombination von gáls "musique concrète" mit den klarinettenklängen von kai fagaschinski aus. wobei das dynamisch extrem reduzierte, oft auch nur auf anblasgeräusche konzentrierte spiel des klarinettisten zumeist gleichfalls in die nähe des geräuschhaften rückt. musik: "fagaschinski/gál, "going round in serpentines", cut 3, ab 1'57'' bis 3'33''. musik gesamt: 1'36''. k + i: kai fagaschinski, cl, bernhard gál, electronics. t: round. charhizma 034. moderation: ca. 0'50'' kai fagaschinski und bernhard gál mit einem für ihre cd eher unüblichen ausschnitt: denn dabei handelt es sich um die lauteste und dramatischste stelle aus "going round in serpentines". sonst sind die drei takes dieser cd bei "charhizma" geprägt von dynamisch bewusst reduzierten klängen, die aber eine fülle von überraschungen bereithalten.

Nina Polaschegg (SWR Now Jazz Magazine, Germany, 03/2006)

Kai Fagaschinski spiller klarinett og Bernhard Gál håndterer feltopptak og elektronikk på denne ene av fire nye utgivelser fra Christof Kurzmanns Charhizma-label. Omslagsfotografiene er tatt med selvutløser og viser en tilforlatelig og ubesværet, kaffedrikkende duo. De alvorlige ansiktene uttrykker likevel en ambivalens, en dobbeltholdning som også manifesterer seg i musikken. ”Going Round in Serpentines” kombinerer forutfattede elementer og strukturer med improvisasjoner i realtid. Fagaschinski alternerer mellom utstrakte og stakkato miniatyrer, hele tiden innenfor et abstrakt-organisk formspråk, mens Gál på sin side kan være konkret og figurativ, som feltopptakene på førstesporet, med samtalefragmenter og barnegråt, i tillegg til formasjonene på spor to, som vekker forestillingen om en omgang biljard. Platen fører en relativt omstendelig og tilsynelatende enkel diskurs, som for all del ikke må forveksles med troskyldighet eller mangel på begavelse. Tvert imot, det dreier seg snarere om et klarsyn blandet med god formuleringesevne.

Frank Messel (Disquieting Duck, Norway, 03/2006)

Viennese computer musician Gál teams up with Berlin based clarinettist Fagaschinski for three sparse but engaging duets. The clarinettist has worked with John Butcher, and the care and precision with which he colours Gál’s electronics with delicate reed harmonics and softly rasping exhalations recalls the saxophonist’s own approach to working with synthetic tones. Gál offers some low key field recordings on the first piece, along with beautifully controlled bell-like feedback spikes. However, the extreme dynamics of the disc mastering for this kind of music are getting to be a real drag. Lacking either a pair of million-pound headphones or a sensory deprivation pod in which to listen to pieces like this, something I’m sure I’m not alone in, much detailed work carried out at lower volume levels gets lost, or if I turn it up the louder moments have the neighbours alerting the authorities that London is being attacked by a swarm of giant electric bees. “Shut up and listen, dumb ass!” instructs the sleeve helpfully. I’m trying to, guys, but you’re not exactly making it easy. And stop calling me dumb ass.

Keith Moliné (The Wire, UK, 03/2006)

The booklet of this album released by Charhizma states: done in Berlin-Friedenau. Two of Berlin's improv. musicians came together to release a lovely album.
Kai Fagaschinski plays clarinet, whereas Bernhard Gál makes use of a computer. The soundscape they produce together is a wonderful journey in which concrete sounds and the experimental use of the clarinet make up for a rich and detailed scenery. The music follows a certain route, leading the listener in imagineable worlds where each single sound is of utmost importance. Minimalism with a realistic touch, also due to the breathing during Kai Fagaschinski's clarinet play. Playing pool goes along with the hiss of a wind instrument, strange little activities are mixed with abstract electronic noises. “Shut up and listen, dumb ass!" is written in the booklet as well, and that's what the music is all about, concentrate and let the music lead you to unknown worlds never heard before.

Paul Bijlsma (Phosphor Magazine, Germany, 02/2006)

Field recordings catturati e ricomposti da Gal al fine d'esser mescolati al
clarinetto di Fagaschinski, (auto)samplerizzato e rielaborato anch'esso. La
consueta opera di dissolvimento ambientale per cui nessuno dei suoni
precedenti ricorda più come e dove sia nato ma si spolpa e rimpolpa
generando droni minimali e frequenze quasi inavvertibili. Soundtracks
piacevoli da tenere in sottofondo (non ci sono sorprese acustiche
particolarmente rilevanti) e da cui è possibile lasciarsi suggestionare in
maniere del tutto personali (a me è parsa ottima per una domenicale
meditazione post-Brunello). Ottima musique prêt-à-porter.

Stefano I. Bianchi (Blow Up, Italy, 02/2006)

sostanza elettro-acustica inviolata e pura

’Shut Up and Listen, Dumb Ass’.
Si presenta schietto ed imperativo il messaggio scelto dagli artefici per consigliare al meglio l’ascolto di questa musica. Pochi riferimenti alla strumentazione, quanto al modus operandi, compaiono dentro e fuori il supporto. Ci basta sapere che il bagaglio di suoni (puri e duri) registrati per tale contesto hanno una loro origine nel freddo inverno di Berlino e dintorni 2003/04.
Primo progetto realizzato spalla a spalla dalla coppia di performers-improvvisatori austro-tedeschi in studio di registrazione. Incidere un disco, per Bernhard Gál e Kai Fagaschinski, comporta buttar fuori una luminosa inclinazione per l’astrazione, nella sua accezione più vasta, quanto concettuale. Trait d’union che salda entrambi sotto un unico scudo e che fuoriesce con peso ed evidenza dalle tre suite, partecipi del cd.
In “Going Round In Serpentines” si ri-contestualizza la figura dei field recordings: come viatico strumentale, ma soprattutto quale fenomeno di ‘figurazione’ del suono evocativo, dotato di straordinaria bellezza ed incanto. Strumento vero e proprio, che vive e suona per opera di un proprio ‘corpo’ e di una propria anima.
Chiaro l’appellarsi alla ‘registrazione libera’ di eventi atmosferici e/o casuali da parte dell’operato di Gál al computer, mentre l’approccio di Kai con il clarinetto presta suoni all’esterno nella loro forma più eterea e free.
Sono quasi tutti esperimenti di respirazione che inducono alla quintessenza della micro-tonalità, decifrati con sguardo chirurgico, in maggior misura introspettivi ed introversi rispetto al dna di John Butcher, largamente purificati e composti a confronto con l’anima irruente di Franz Hautzinger… in poche e semplici parole, il fraseggio di Kai potrebbe definirsi onirico, fondato sulla costruzione scandita e programmata di piccoli respiri che lentamente mutano il proprio tratto, diventando materia estesa e ricorrente, bagnata da ‘pacati’ spaccati noise e da un’evoluzione che prende le compiaciute sembianze di un drones-mantrico.
Facile pensare che tutta la sostanza, sprigionata di seguito dal fiato seguendo tempi di percorrenza abbastanza dilatati, sia poco percettibile al ‘tatto’. Cosa passa, invece, dentro & attraverso il mini-disc del compagno non è propriamente indecifrabile, per quanto si presenti al contrario stra-carico di elementi disuguali e fantasiosi. Registrazioni d’ogni sorta, ricamate o incollate tra di loro con invidiabile spigliatezza.
Troviamo dentro veramente di tutto: dalla derivazione di stampo ambientale-atmosferico, alla ricezione di suoni dallo sgargiante retrogusto acustico e/o digitale (quest’ultimo, nella terza parte, al confine con vistosi giri sinusoidali di marca lisergica, alla registrazione di spunti che palpitano di vita-umana... e chiaramente astratta.
Improvvisazione elettro-acustica che cola con forza incontrastata, che getta da sé un’innovazione nel modo di costruire musica; cartoline sonore su cui ci siamo imbattuti raramente e che, forse, solo attraverso il materiale audio di Eric La Casa, abbiamo avuto il soave-piacere di assaporare. In questo duo avviene un sapiente bilanciamento tra i suoni della natura e della tecnologia e quelli, in un certo senso, legati alla tradizione classico-moderna, quali appunto il clarinetto. Voci… voci incastonate come matrioske, passione-ossessione che abbiamo incontrato spesso tramite il tessuto sonoro di Bernhard (ricordo, espresso con sublime abilità nel ‘lontano’ “Bestimmung New York” per i tipi della Durian) e che il fato ci permette di toccare ancora una volta, durante un fugace sketch di giovani voci, apparso nel primo capitolo.
Mai come in questo frangente sentivamo di chiudere con altrettanta nitidezza, ponendo l’opera elettro-acustica qui presentata tra le più intelligenti e significative. Non solo di quest’anno appena cominciato, né dell’anno appena terminato, ma di una cospicua fetta di tempo (all’incirca una decina di anni abbondanti). “Going Round In Serpentines” si conferma come punto fermo e irremovibile della migliore arte elettro-elettronica contemporanea.
Chissà se un giorno, i futuri appassionati proveranno lo stesso fermento nel festeggiare e ricordare i contributi apportati alla musica da questi giovani outsider, coma hanno appena fatto pochi giorni fa ¾ di popolazione mondiale nel rivivere giustamente le note rivoluzionarie di Mozart? Siamo ottimisti.

Sergio Eletto (Sandzine, Italy, 02/2006)

Espaces genre grandes étendues balayées par le vent où sont posés délicats de multiples détails, grincements, paroles... Puis des sons tenus, des battements... Glissement de l'acoustique à son traitement électronique... Dans le genre, oui, c'est une surprise. Une bonne.

Kai Fagaschinski joue de la clarinette et Bernhard Gal de l'ordinateur. Enregistrés durant janvier-février 2004.

Metamkine, France, 02/2006

When the Pierres (Henry and Schaeffer of musique concrète fame) made
everyday sounds musical, they were composing the 'regular' way using
pitches, harmony, the usual stuff. Then came Luc Ferrari, and the game
changed. With his Presque Rien, sounds were rendered simply as sounds, and
aural living itself became music. Composer/laptopist Bernhard Gal and
clarinetist Kai Fagaschinski collaborate to make three extended pieces that
are both musical and 'sonic¹. A period of mutual experimentation and
introspection resulted in a recording that reflects both artists¹ deep
listening ability and their intuitive structuring skills. Gal has the
uncanny ability to make mundane noises like pool balls profoundly
percussive. Fagaschinski eschews pitches and melody on the clarinet for
rich multiphonics that moan and mesmerize. Going Round in Serpentines is the
product of sophisticated architectural intelligence, discerning auditory
awareness and meditational focus. They all combine to make a soundscape
that gently unveils itself with naturalness, grace and a sense of mystery
and wonder at the unfolding of sound in time and space. This is music as
revelation. Recommended.

Glen Hall (Exclaim, Canada, 01/2006)

This is an acousmatic handicraft of the finest cloth, made with clarinet and computer. The listener's receptiveness plays a fundamental role here, as trying to interpretate the snippets of evolution transmitted by Fagaschinski and Gal requires maximum concentration and single-mindedness. Ear-stretching superimpositions of adjacent tones and snapshots of concrete sounds/voices and field recordings hammer - but at the same time disinfect - our auricular membranes, forcing our disposition to retreat to an almost defensive posture. The naked truth of these sounds is almost cruel in its effectiveness: we hear what the brain decides to let us hear, after the defoliation of every useless decoration or - god forbid - futile beauty. It's a brutally honest representation of a mathematical poetry, where there is no way out of a consequential logic which sometimes gives the illusion of a better future, but finally asks us not to judge, because we as humans are not intelligent enough to understand this kind of fractal charm. Like it or not, sonic progress needs its victims.

Massimo Ricci (Touching Extremes, Italy, 01/2006)

The name of Kai Fagaschinski might not be very known around here, the name Bernard Gal probably is. Over the past seven or eight years he has played a lot of concerts, created sound installations and has had releases on Durian, Intransitive, Klanggalerie and other labels. If I understand the website notes correctly than this new release is a combination of treated clarinet sounds, played by Fagaschinski, in combination with real time playing of the same instrument, alongside the treated sounds. The clarinet, like so many wind instruments, is a perfect instrument for this kind of working method. It can produce wonderfully sustained sounds, perfect to produce long blocks of computerized drone/ambient music, but also short, staccato sounds that in return the computer can treat into something that sounds like bird whistling. Lastly the instrument itself can be played with, say, a bow and then the possibilities are endless to create a beautiful, intense piece of music. Throughout the hour that this disc lasts (two long tracks and one shorter), these two musicians take you on a journey through vast, empty spaces, changing moods and perceptions but also bring it closer to home, with what seem a game of pool (at the beginning of the second track). The two take their time in producing these sounds, letting them breath out entirely, all the way to the end. Music to sit down by, do nothing and take it all in. It's not as demanding as some improvised music, but my suggestion is to listen to this into a dimly lit room at a moderate volume. An environment by itself will unfold itself quite easily.

Frans de Waard (Vital Weekly, Netherlands, 12/2005)

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