Ulrich Krieger


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Ulrich Krieger (Germany, 1962) started out his career in New York. He performed music by John Cage and Phill Niblock but also collaborated with noise and ambient artists like Merzbow and Thomas Koner.

Nightmares & Other Stories (Academy, 1996) containsonly one piece by Krieger: Rote Erde (1992).

Text Of Light (Starlight Furniture, 2004) was a collaboration among guitarists Alan Licht Sonic Youth's Lee Ranaldo, turntablists Christian Marclay and DJ Olive, drummer William Hooker and saxophonist Ulrich Krieger. Text Of Light also released the triple-disc Metal Box (2006), including the 58-minute 052202 Tonic/020103 RAW.

In 2002 Krieger also transcribed Lou Reed's masterpiece Metal Machine Music for the Berlin-based chamber ensemble Zeitkratzer, as documented on Metal Machine Music (Asphodel, 2007) that features Reed himself. Krieger then transcribed the same piece for a large orchestra of wind, celli, double basses, guitars, percussion, piano, accordion, theremin, recorders and violins, all instruments distorted through guitar amps. It premiered in 2006 at the Stockholm Culture House. Krieger and Sarth Calhoun then formed a trio with Lou Reed himself, the Metal Machine Trio, that debuted in 2008, to play music inspired by Metal Machine Music. Two live performances are collected on The Creation of the Universe (2008).

The first documents of his extreme noise music were the 60-minute Up & Down 23 on Up & Down 23 (b-boim, 2009) and the 50-minute Fathom on Fathom (Sub Rosa, 2010), that includes both Lee Ranaldo and Alan Licht on electric guitars.

Cycles (Imminent Frequencies, 2014) contains the four-movement suite (RAW_Mix, RAW_Feed, RAWmantic, RAW_Ex2) and the 30-minute Ginnungagap/ Drei Normen.

Urban Dreamings (Mode, 2015) contains: Sternenager I (2005) for tenor saxophone, bass clarinet, flute and electronics; the 21-minute V (2001) for organ; As Above So Below (1997/2003) for sopranino saxophone; and the 15-minute Azrael II (2002) for cello and electronics.

Winters in the Abyss (Pogus Productions, 2015) contains five pieces in just intonation played on three brass instruments (trombone, contrabass trombone and French horn): V Sun Lit (13:07), IV Twilight (12:41), III Midnight (12:33), II Lower Midnight (11:00), I Pitch Black (11:57).

/RAW:ReSpace/ (XI, 2016) contains six improvised pieces for saxophone and electronic manipulations. The alien radioactive buzzing of Desert Center (12:43) is gentle compared with the devastating wall of sound of Trona (12:16), that subsides in a whirlwind of agonizing ghostly drones. Needles (10:37) is a clownish intermezzo that opens with a feedback-laden Hendrix-ian solo, throws in some psychotic groaning and playful videogame-like noise, and peaks with some free jazz in a gruesome King Crimson-inspired atmosphere. Shoshone (10:07) is a disorienting symphony of echoes, reverbs and fluctuating drones. By comparison, the horror-industrial droning martial music of California City (17:32) sounds amateurish. Finally, to wash the hysteria away, there's the 74-minute ReSpace that is a concert for barely audible saxophone drones.

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(Copyright © 2016 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions )
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