Black To Comm

(Copyright © 2006 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions - Termini d'uso )

Ruckwarts Backwards (2006), 7/10
Wir Konnen Leider Nicht Etwas Mehr Zu Tun (2007), 6.5/10
Fractal Hair Geometry (2008), 6.5/10
Alphabet (2009), 6/10
Charlemagne & Pippin (2009), 6.5/10 (mini)

An ever-mutating form of digital music was practiced by Germany's Black To Comm (the project of Marc Richter) on Ruckwarts Backwards (Dekorder, 2006) for vinyl records, field recordings, voice and found percussion. Its music ran the gamut from Phill Niblock's infinite drones to Gordon Mumma's massive walls of noise, with sprinkles of both chamber music and musique concrete.
Tracks: 01. Bees 02. Levitation 03. Laccifer Lacca 04. Ruckwarts Backwards 05. El Huis Pt. 1 06. Es Gibt Kein Morgen 07. March of the Vivian Girls 08. Virtuousity Is a Means to an End

The variegated drones of Wir Konnen Leider Nicht Etwas Mehr Zu Tun (Dekorder, 2007) were mostly created by manipulating the sounds of traditional instruments (organ, harmonium and guitar).

Fractal Hair Geometry (Dekorder, 2008) added a circus-like atmosphere to his collages of voices, analog keyboards and acoustic instruments (violin, piano, trumpet). Negative Volumes is a thick shapeless chaotic jelly of sounds. The eight-minute Orange Record manages to attain a dramatic intensity via fluttering peeping sounds. Play Eggchess 3, instead, pits a loud organ drone against a swarm of android chicks. Fibrillating industrial beats intone the pseudo-techno dance of Leigh Bowery. M.B. Memorial Building indulges in the droning buzzing quality of a Tibetan "om" despite a strong percussive undercurrent. Air Salon is born at the intersection between a choir-like drone and bubbling electronics. Richter is the kind of soundsculptor who can do pretty much what he wants with his sources.

Alphabet 1968 (Type, 2009) marked a "romantic" turn, with the live instruments soaring above the glitchy ambience. Jonathan mixes found voices and harsh noise before it is hijacked by a piano. A lulling tide of beats and drones in the ten-minute Forst escalates to an ominous pulsating wall of electronics, whose complexity keeps increasing via thick clusters of tones and breathing monsters. Unfortunately the rest of the collection is hardly at the same level of intensity. There are many intriguing ideas, notably the intricate jungle-tinged tapestry of Musik Fur Alle, the neoclassical atmosphere of Traum GmbH, the nightmarish percussive frenzy of Houdini Rites Void and the calm ambient adagio of Hotel Freund (quite a contrast to the hell that came before it).

The stately 36-minute suite of Charlemagne & Pippin (Digitalis, 2009) for organ, electronics, percussion, violin and found sounds successfully blended serene ambient music and neurotic glitch music: it is just one colossal endless suspenseful drone that a multitude of tiny noises try to corrode and hijack and that eventually spins out of control.

Black To Comm also scored the soundtrack for a silent film, Earth (De Stijl, 2012), a chaotic psychedelic musique-concrete experiment.

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(Copyright © 2006 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions - Termini d'uso )
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