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Punkt Festival 2017

Henning Bolte By

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In the subsequent musical actions of Daniel Lanois, Jim Wilson and Kyle Crane something substantial was missing in regard to what constitutes a live-remix. The way Lanois approached it, did not really allow incorporating and unfolding things from the 'input,' the performance of The Necks, or countering that clearly and productively. The trio seemed to be too much locked in. This also said something about the uniqueness of The Necks. A deeper exchange failed to appear, both pieces of music stood on their own.

It was the first time Sidsel Endresen and David Toop met in performance. David Toop, author of a couple of key books on music as "Rap Attack," "Ocean of Sound," "Haunted Weather," "Sinister Resonance," and "Into the Maelstrom," is a measured and mindful performer. Sidsel Endresen is a quite visceral, strong and at times accelerating explosive performer. How would these two different temperaments catalyze each other or intertwine? The performance started with sparse tonal gestures letting time pass. After a longer Endresen switched to a higher gear and speed of vocal articulation while Toop kept his more sedate pace. Thus a fine-grained soil emerged traversed by crinkly vocal traces—open to a subsequent live-remix.

The somewhat rudimentary performance of Sidsel Endresen and David Toop provided a wonderful draft to work with and convert into a marvelously fitting complement of a two-part unity, which Jan Bang, Erik Honoré, bassist Mats Eilertsen and drummer Anders Engen did joyfully and brilliantly (see the DrawNotes in the slide show). It was also accomplished due to the close familiarity of the remixing crew with the work of Sidsel Endresen: it was a home game to enjoy.

The live-remix of Broen (pronounce /brew-an/) by Anneli Drecker, Rolf-Erik Nystrøm, Peter Baden and Ole Hagelia was a fantastic Punkt-debut of singer Anneli Drecker and saxophonist Rolf-Erik Nystrøm. Nystrøm, one of the most sophisticated and broadly operating saxophonists—I know him from his collaboration with violinist Nils Økland and with (classical) bassist Håkon Thelin—used his capabilities in a strong way also accompanied by a visually daring attitude. Anneli Drecker, also covering a broad range from pop to more free areas, used her vocals masterfully in great timing: cutting through, stirring up and unifying it led into a finely tuned fabric of all involved genes.

A highly fascinating thing was Arve Henriksen's live-remix of Towards Language by the duo of Jez riley French and David Toop. French, a sound artist working with extended field recording technique, is connected to Punkt via a sound project around the Humber Bridge of Hull for which he collaborated with Jan Bang, Arve Henriksen, Eivind Aarset and the Opera North earlier this year. They worked on the sound of the 2, 2 km long bridge, elaborating on it with the orchestra of the Opera North in the context of Hull as European Capital of Culture (together with Aarhus).

During the live-remix French left the stage shortly after the start of the remix he did together with David Toop. He left the stage to play the metal railings amplified by contact microphones. He had used those same railings before to record the 'input' of Arve Henriksen's group, filtered through the architecture of the building. That recording he left playing on stage along with one of the empty building resonating with the infrasound of its surroundings. It resulted in a highly fascinating sound flow and sound expansion that his fellow musician David Toop provided by extra layers, accents and highlighting. Actually French literally re-mixed the 'input' sound.

The concert of Daniel Lanois attracted a specifically dedicated and expectant audience. It became enchanted by hearing Lanois playing a rock solid concert with his young and dedicated fellow musicians in such an intimate setting. Leading his trio with tight hand he played the "old songs" that have become a cherished part of their/our collective memory. You could have expected Lanois would have dug deeper into his ambient side as shown on Goodbye Language, but Lanois relied primarily on his deeper Americana singing and his well-known roots songs, although he also happily went into a great Caribbean dub reggae thing finally. There is a striking (and thought provoking) opposition of the title of the album of Henriksen, Towards Language, and the title of the Lanois album Goodbye To Language.

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