With the release of Trapist a few years back, Werner Uehlinger's hathut imprint signalled a marked shift. That shift was long about in coming, seeing how the label chose to re-issue Polwechsel's debut release a few years prior. What made this change all the more apparent and distinct was Trapist's effort was not released under the hatnow sub label, but under their regular, orange-tinged hatology imprint, which deals with jazz, improvised music and now electro-acoustic works.
In employing a strong cast of characters, bassist Christian Weber has allowed himself to break free from any expectations lingering from his other jazz projects. Reedman Hans Koch doubles up on electronics, while cellist Michael Moser, guitarist, electronics man Martin Siewert [both Siewert and Moser being members of Polwechsel] and percussionist Christian Wolfarth join Weber for an adventure in new music discovery.
Forget about "usual" instrument sounds. Best thing about this whole EAI stuff is for the most part, you won't be able to tell
who's playing what instrument nor what instrument they're playing. A lot of guesswork is involved when mentioning particular traits of a record. Is that Moser chopping away at the cello or is that Siewert playing a slowed-down trickling on the lap steel? What sort of drums is Wolfarth playing or is he solely scraping away at the cymbals for most of the disc? Is that Weber softly knocking on the frame of his bass or is that Koch creating knocking sounds with his bass clarinet?
Overall, the music moves in shifts and all five men are keen on exploring the textures and timbres of individual and collective instrument interplay. Wild combinations of sounds mash with one another, so much so that in moments, I'd swear field recordings were being used.
It's a shame the release of Christian Weber's "3 Suits & A Violin" had to wait four years until it saw the light of day, but here it is. One of the late-comers for album of the year slot of last year.

Tom Sekowski
February 2007