Brutter is an electronic duo featuring Norwegian brothers. Pianist Christian Wallumrod is known for his acoustic ensemble and the quartet Dans Les Arbres. Both groups released acclaimed albums on the ECM label. Drummer Fredrik Wallumrød is known primarily as a rock or metal musician. On Brutter, Christian abandons the piano and plays on drum machines, synthesizer and electronics while Fredrik adds further electronics to his sonic palette. They are joined on this recording by their sister, the vocalist Susanna Wallumrod.
Nothing in Christian Wallumrød's rich discography fits into the dry and abstract vision of Brutter, not even his improvised work with the trio Merriwinkle (which includes vocalist Sidsel Endresen and sound artist Helge Sten). The three pieces on the Wallumrod brothers' limited-edition vinyl debut don't attempt to sketch even a fragment of melody, harmony or pulse. These pieces opt for a confrontational atmosphere rooted in industrial, machine-made distortion.
The long, opening piece "Geigered," sounds like an experiment using prepared industrial-electronics sound. These sounds are cold and disturbing, suggesting chaotic, malfunctioned false starts colliding and exploding with no sense of structure or flow. There is a brief attempt to match the live drums with drum machines on the second, short "Radiopuls," but it disintegrates before it gains any real sense of motion. The final, extended piece, "Badminton Bleak," focuses on stubbornly breaking any trace of rhythmic interplay, coincidentally managing to suggest a weird kind of impossible, disturbing pulse.
Still, Brutter manages to offer a provocative and alien sonic experience. Obviously, it is not intended for the faint-hearted.
Geigered; Radiopuls; Badminton Bleak.
Fredrik Wallumrød: drums, electronics; Christian Wallumrød: drum
machines, synth, electronics.
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