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Polwechsel: Archives Of The North

Nic Jones By

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The process of making music can sustain only so much discussion, and the essay that accompanies Archives Of The North more than adequately covers this abstract material. In any case, Polwechsel's sound world, as with any manifestation of experimental music, is better experienced than analysed.

One pertinent reference point is Morton Feldman's singularly reduced minimalism. All of the pieces here certainly echo Feldman's penchant for unconventional development, and the results, as on Michael Moser's "Datum Cut" and the group's "Magnetic North," occupy a superficially similar state of stasis.

There are, however, forces of even deeper subversion here, and John Butcher's contributions best exemplify this. At no time does his saxophone actually sound like a reed instrument, with the exception of some passages on "Site And Setting," and while the the two percussionists stand out by dint of their dryness and comparative lack of sustain, they are deployed in a manner that is complementary to the advancement of greater group forces.

Through his use of a computer, cellist Michael Moser aids that subversive process, and again the analysis of precisely what he does with it seems irrelevant in view of the fact that his contributions are equally geared towards group ends.

The secrets of this music, and they're numerous, seem to be so deeply buried within it that the disc just may yield endlessly rewarding listening. The music occupies its own space, and its singularly uncompromising nature is nothing but welcome to these ears.


Track Listing: Datum Cut; Mirror; Core Cut; Magnetic North; Site And Setting

Personnel: Burkhard Beins: drums, percussion; Martin Brandlmayr: drums, percussion; John Butcher: tenor and soprano saxophones; Werner Daveldecker: double bass; Michael Moser: cello, computer.

Title: Archives Of The North | Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Hatology

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