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(confront collectors series ccs 03)


Martin Kuchen : prepared alto & soprano saxophone


Recorded by Andreas Berthling at Fylkingen, Stockholm, Sweden 2004


"The first track (titles range from Imperial Music I to Imperial Music XV) is one of the strongest, a juxtaposition of rushed breath tones with a furious clacking that sounds as though Kuchen removed the felt pads from his keys and went nuts (it sounds overdubbed, as do some other cuts, but I’m assuming it’s not). When some inquisitive growls and mumblings enter in, the music takes on an interesting imagistic character, the clicks and wheezes suddenly acquiring a feeling of place, the vocalizations implying a narrative. The next enters shakuhachi range (as do several others) while III sounds like Greg Kelley adapted for soprano, a thin sheet of metal set abuzz near the bell if I’m guessing correctly. VIII locates the water barrel, spittle retained for uses elsewhere, and XII is an accurate evocation of a blowtorch. Again, fine in and of themselves. Every piece is solid and played with an impressive degree of command ........ On XIV, Lacy-like arabesques swirl very attractively through the bubbles and mist; I wouldn’t have minded this one going on a good bit longer. XV, however, is the winner of the bunch for these ears, a sequence of overlaid breath tones and burrs possessing an odd quasi-regularity that gives intimations of circuitry and backwards tape." (Brian Olewnick, Bagatellen)

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