Recorded on February 9 and 10, 2006 at Buenos Aires’ Fundación Cultural Surdespierto, the two sets on this double CD present slightly different views of Günter Müller’s ceaseless pursuit of variegated collaboration. Throughout his career the erstwhile improvising percussionist has never been afraid of a challenge, yet the iPod/electronics system he’s been perfecting in recent years appears now as something of a trademark. In spite of this, we’re seldom left wanting in terms of psychic reaction and aural fulfilment.
The concert with Alan Courtis (unstringed guitar, tapes) and Pablo Reche (sampler, minidisc, electronics) is perplexing, sounding either extremely restrained or mightily vibrant depending on the circumstance. Around the thirtieth minute and for a while after, it even gets tinged by mechanical emanations shifting the music towards an almost post-Industrial atmosphere, rhythmic insistence transmitting considerable stress to an organism that, until then, had mostly survived on subsonic excrescences at the limit of bearable (for the woofers). Frequent dynamic downturns – causing the musicians to sound as if they were in another room – add to the puzzlement, but the overall impression remains positive, with more than a moment of gossamer radiance.
The intentions are more clearly visible in the second disc, a trio with Sergio Merce (tapeless 4-track Portastudio) and Gabriel Paiuk, whose prepared piano, occasionally complemented by the processing of pre-taped snippets, is often at the forefront of the mix with an assortment of rasping and knocking activities, ostinati and chordal composites adding contrast to the network of interlocking pulses and invasive infiltrations generated by Müller and Merce. This combination of stifled throb and in-your-face gesture enhances the concentration, allowing us to evaluate attentively a somewhat uncharacteristic milieu for Müller’s unremitting rubdown.