Creative Sources

The flexichord, Herman Müntzing’s instrument of choice, as portrayed in the CD leaflet, is a horizontal stringed hybrid (somehow reminiscent of the self-mades that characterized Elliott Sharp’s early records) played with various objects and utensils. In “First Construction” and “Second Construction”, slow glissandos spotted by scintillating plucked droplets, we enjoy its more pleasing aspects; “Out Of Sand” features Frith-like volume swells and morphing figures, the contact with the strings harsher or less depending on the object used. Occasionally, a sampler freezes and alters a few frames, reshaping the architecture of the improvisations. “Door” sounds like a ping-pong game played on a table full of metal wires, while in “New Times, New Tools” the pickups concentrate the music’s energy in selected focal points, the whole becoming more percussive and unstable. “Other Materials” throws out boings and ga-zoings enhanced by short jazzy samples. Although Müntzing is certainly able to conjure up interesting images, the Frith/Sharp connection is apparent throughout the disc, thus limiting the flexichord’s potential. A slight degree of tiredness and repetition towards the end doesn’t help matters, either. Not a bad album, in spurts.

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