eRikm / Michel Doneda – RAZINE

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These amusingly irascible improvisations – recorded by eRikm (turntable, electronics, live sampling) and Michel Doneda (soprano and sopranino sax, radio) at 2009’s Journées Electriques in Albi – risk being taken as something too ironic and quirky to be seriously considered as “important”. But this stuff is not superficial at all. Each burst fully belongs to the exact moment in which it’s born, the musicians gifted with an amazing inner clock that allows them to somehow figure out in advance what the best next move is. Listen carefully and, apart from raucous reed pitches, crackling vinyl, and hysterical drum’n’bass, moments of tense waiting recur, as Doneda layers long oscillating tones over distant rumbles and eRikm responds with looped accordions and fragments of obscure transmissions that recall late evenings spent in front of the old radio trying to decode signals from remote AM galaxies, the only audible links to different countries besides those beloved LPs. As an all-inclusive, hyper-dynamic jumble of physical and immaterial suggestions, Razine is a triumph, so pulsating, so alive when compared to the current fad for knee-deep quietness. When it’s all over and the applause has faded, you feel like a young brat suddenly left alone by his playfellow after destroying mum’s sofa, all the padding and the springs lying on the floor.

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