Bassist Christian Weber leads a quintet here with Hans Koch on bass clarinet, saxophones and electronics; Martin Siewert on guitars and electronics; Michael Moser on cello and Christian Wolfarth on drums. Recorded in a Zurich studio, this is music that belongs absolutely to both the time of its making and a kind of perfectly internalized eternity. Together the five create an almost constant wall of sound in which various non-harmonic pitches and events are gradually added and subtracted, rising to prominence and fading into nothingness. Whatever the instrumentation might suggest, the characteristic mode of performance is the sustained long-tone. Siewart and Wolfarth are as apt to be bowing their instruments as are Weber and Moser, while Koch’s reeds play tones that seem to go on forever.
The effect is both hypnotic and oddly unsettling, a tapestry in which the most refined sound (e.g., the sweetly hyper-
resonant sound of Siewart’s electric guitar) is presented in sharp contrast to a bowed cello or bass that resembles an amplified power tool cutting through flesh. The ear-bleed intensity of bowed strings is eventually pressed up against some evidently neutral, electronic sine weavings. All this occurs in the longest piece, 'Frogmouth'. We are drawn in and also pressured, inevitably realizing that we are part of a process that is very specifically going somewhere, somewhere novel and real to which this music insistently speaks and to which it is drawn. Its textures have about them airs of both the necessary and the inevitable, in ways that suggest these compound, shifting, half-industrial, half acoustic drones constitute the central music of our time. Their continuity flies in the face of everything that is transient. Call it the church of noise.

Stuart Broomer
Musicworks #98
July 2007