Paul Hubweber / Uli Boettcher – SCHNACK 3

Nurnichtnur

Genial. Unpredictable. Funny. Ironic. Those are only a handful of the adjectives that sprang to mind minutes after sitting down to enjoy the third episode of Schnack, the latest release by trombonist supreme Paul Hubweber and electronic nerve-driller Uli Boettcher. A Spartan-yet-elegant graphic adorns the CD sleeve, and the useful liners are penned by PT’s own Dan Warburton; but nothing can really prepare you for the listening experience, which is rendered all the more fragmentary and schizophrenic by the short duration of the majority of the improvisations. Let’s start with Hubweber’s timbre(s): the man is the happy master of disjointed, if sinuously articulated phrasing, shifting from the fringes of Quackland to granular disintegration. Whatever idea crosses his brain is transformed into instant otherness, as counterbalancing forces constantly struggle to determine whether Hubweber’s instinctive sketches should be radically refurbished or utterly destroyed. Boettcher, a true virtuoso on his own chosen instrument, is hardly the guy to corral his comrade into something, uh, minimalist: the guy ingests deformed samples like Phil Daniels scarfing down blue pills at the end of Quadrophenia, yet it’s you the listener who must choose whether to throw yourself from a cliff or conclude that, all things considered, the innumerable refractions, rejections and reversions are worthy of a visit to the nearest sanctuary of scrambled logic for further adoration. Despite the absence of anything even vaguely resembling “silence” or “quietness”, this, along with the recent Furt CD, might very well be the most stimulating EAI around nowadays.

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