Keith Rowe / Mark Wastell – LIVE AT THE I-AND-E FESTIVAL 31 MARCH 2006

Confront Performance Series

The second outing of this intriguing limited edition series finds Rowe and Wastell playing guitar, amplified textures and electronics over the course of about 28 minutes of rather surprising music, at least in view of both artists’ recent work. Not that one should expect something even remotely resembling a “canon” from these people, but after the ominous hum that opens the disc you could have been justified in expecting another exploration of charged stasis in the vein of “Amann”, the fabulous closure of the recent and already much discussed Between by Rowe and Toshimaru Nakamura on Erstwhile. While there are hints of that kind of sonority throughout, Wastell and Rowe concentrate instead on the kind of aggressive dynamics and sudden alteration that will frustrate and exclude those who revel in continuity. It’s a world of electrostatic incompatibility, air escaping from a narrow conduit juxtaposed with passing cars on a distant road, helicopters and jets powered by dentists’ drills falling between the rotating brushes of a car wash. The final minutes are defined by a fixed pulse over which the mutilation of the sources is consumed like a final sacrifice, so that the return to quiet is perceived more as a punishment than a reward, although an overall sense of accomplishment lingers on.


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