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güter müller/jason kahn/dieb13 "streaming" for4ears 2002

wire review:

Streaming documents a meeting between two of the younger exponents of electro-acoustic improvisation practicing in europe and one of the «older generation» pioneers in the field, gunter muller. jason kahn's drums and metals along with muller's percussion-related setup give many of the tracks a rumbling, clattering quality. Combined with eerie, ominous drones and whines created by Dieb 13 (otherwise known as Dieter Kovacic), it makes for an enticing disc of post-industrial impov, bleak yet somehow sexy. The industrial sense is heightened, in track three, by the use of both street sounds (sirens, car engines, etc.) and tapes of control room conversations revolving around rocket launches. All of this is couched in a relatively relaxed mix of whirs and rattles, perhaps an overly comfortable one. Much of Streaming walks the fine line between improv that pushes the limits and that which settles into a quasi-ambient vein, only a few steps away from something like Eno's "On Land," for instance. While this makes it a relatively "easy" listen for one not familiar with the genre, fans of Muller's prior work may find the current offering a bit wanting, though on the brief fourth track (none of the tracks are titled) Kahn's metals raise enough of a disturbing racket to satisfy the noise mongers. On its own merits, however, streaming certainly succeeds well enough to recommend it, especially to the newcomers to the field. Hardcore adherents may consider it non-essential.
All Music Guide, Brian Olewnick, 11.2001

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blowup review:

Dieb 13 al giradischi e Jason Kahn e Günter Müller alle percussioni e agli electronics; questi ultimi sono ormai popolari, il primo, che si firma anche dieter Kovacic o Takeshi Fumimoto, lo abbiamo già incontrato negli Efzeg e per un bel disco solista ma è certamente quello meno conosciuto. Insieme organizzano una session in cui Kahn e Müller rielaborano in tempo reale, attraverso computer, i suoni acustici prodotti dalle percussioni mentre il terzo svisa e fa girare sul platto materiali da guerra acustica, trattando lo 'strumento' esattament come tale, e con una tale abilità da lasciare esterrefatti. Che l'arte del turntablism potesse conoscere sviluppi ancora tutti da scoprire era un fatto (non poteva restare in eterno fonte di solo ritmo) ma che il suo utilizzo potesse diventare tanto creativo era quasi insperabile. Assieme a martin Tétreault ed Erik M, Dieb 13 si propone come miglior 'nuovo' turntablista in circolazione (e l'insieme è ottimo, potete immaginare di cosa si tratta: 'nuovo' iomprov sottile e psicologica, tutta sfasamenti e surreali varazioni).
Blow Up, Stefano I. Bianchi, 3.2002

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e_i review:

"Streaming", a recording by dieb13, Jason Kahn, and Gunter Muller, serves to document improv's move towards silence. Sounds which would usually be found lingering in the background are pushed to the fore; digital debris, grating noises and flailing loops tug away at a listeners tolerance, each of them shocking in their meticulous organization and immense detail. A pair of drummers work against the grain of the instrument, turning it into more of a limb, nursing it out of a bruised and beaten state, into agile, sensuous shimmers. It's a worn, fragmented tool, but this trio has found some life in it yet.
-- max schaefer
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Streaming was recorded live in April, 2001, on the occasion of Sonique Serie 6, part of a series of improvisation concerts in Zürich, curated by Jason Kahn. Dieb 13, aka Dieter Kovacic, aka Takeshi Fumimoto, performs on turntables, while Jason Kahn and Günter Müller perform on parts of acoustic drums which are modified by electronics. The performance breaks up into five tracks, but I like to think of this as a single piece. One might have expected more noise from a performance on turntables, electronics and percussion, but these three improvisers have created a wonderfully subdued performance, with mostly quiet sounds, low noises, beedback, found sounds, scraping, scratching and vibrating noises woven together, and seem to be sensitive to the slightest movements, complimenting each other's contributions and allowing the entire performance to breathe with a unique spaciousness, rather than crowding it with restless activity and competing sounds. Chiming, swirling sounds, soft strikes on metal, subtle textures and unpredictable movements characterize much of this compelling performance. Subtle and intriguing, to say the least. An excellent new release on For 4 Ears.
Incursion, Richard di Santo, 2.2002

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jazzweekly review:

Rouge Gris Bruit

CD 1343

Acceptance of electro-acoustic impulses seems to characterize much of the more interesting 21st Century European improvised music. Yet like the best sounds produced by influence-accepting free music, its hoary half-brother, electro-acoustic improv is most absorbing when it's a hybrid. Too acoustic and it lacks the futuristic sounds of electronics; too electronic and it becomes an exercise in science or physics, not art.

Which is what makes these two CDs --recorded oddly enough in the same month -- praiseworthy. The performers have mated wiring and treatments with real time acoustic instruments. In each case the output yields its own logic and soon takes over your inner ear to such an extent that you begin to forget the passage of time. From France comes pianist Sophie Agnel, improvising for a little more than 58 minutes among the tapes and electronics of musique concrète composers Lionel Marchetti and Jérôme Noetinger. While the turntables of Austrian dieb 13 (Dieter Kovacic) are meshed with the prepared percussion and treatments of Swiss-German drummer Günter Müller and American expatriate Jason Kahn for slightly more than 391/2 minutes on the other disc.

Agnel, who got her start playing jazz and classical music, before turning to free improv with the likes of hurdy gurdyist Dominique Regef, guitarist Noël Akchoté and in a duo with fellow experimental pianist Andréa Neumann, is parsimonious in her choice and sounding of notes. Presumably creating inside and outside the box -- or at least the piano frame -- she never plays a chord where two notes would do or two notes when one would suffice. If a theme is introduced, it's quickly subsumed beneath the crinkle and tinkle of electronics. Should a glissando appear it dissolves into intermittent buzzes or some Donald Duck-style quacks. Strumming and scratching strings inside the frame is sometimes used as well, but never for more than a few seconds.

Outside of the occasional shaded right handed treble tremolos, in fact, the only time the piano really stands out from the mix is when Agnel indulges herself by bearing down on the sustain pedal for a protracted interval. This CD after all, is a mixture of red, gray and noise (!) -- to translate the title -- which takes it silence as seriously as its clamor. Two of the tracks at 33 and 10 seconds respectively are nothing but noiselessness.

Between themselves, Marchetti who teaches at Université de Lyon and his long-time partner Noetinger, who is also a member of the 12-member electronics aggregation MIMEO (Music in Movement Electronic Orchestra) unquestionably make up for the silence. During the course of the piece, panoply of found and otherworldly sounds makes their appearance. Many times, the crinkle, tinkle and overall rumbles of the tapes and electronics broken by what could be sonar responses to the whirrs and bangs of setting up a space antenna or monitoring short wave broadcasts from the Mother Ship. Elsewhere will be something that appears to be a mechanical raspberry, a sequence of fowl noises (sic), a harmonica tone, a penny whistle, spinning tops and a bowling ball hitting the pins. The last brings out a pastoral semi-classical melody from Agnel. Bombs appear to be falling, video game players seem to be nosily racking up points and a crackling fire dissolves what could have been a human voice.

Although only nonsense syllables are audible when a voice shouts through a megaphone early in the proceedings, by "Après-midi" an English voice clearly repeats "you'll get the message". Repeats that is, until the scratch of metal on metal and piano tinkles buries the phrase within the background of what could be the bark of a mechanical dog. Constantly reoccurring keyboard notes presage the end with what are apparently the dying cranks of a machine finally winding down.
Dream-like mechanical buzzes and tones drive the second disc, which could never be mistaken for earlier percussion extravaganzas like (Buddy) RICH VS (Max) ROACH or Art Blakey's ORGY IN RHYTHM. Despite the personnel, this is probably the quietest session involving two drummers ever made.

With a steadfast, regular pulse, unlike the ur-modernist aspirations of the preceding trio, many times the session appears to be the soundtrack for a trans-continental journey by fast train, with the louder outpourings reminding the listener of rail cars streaking past a level crossing. Every tonal shade must be carefully scrutinized though, so that the constant repetitive car crossing stays mesmerizing and not sleep inducing.

The three musicians are definitely set up to make the trip as pleasing and transparent as possible. For the past 20 years Müller has played a unique kit whose mobile pick-up and microphone system allows hand-generated percussion sounds to be modulated electronically. He has been associated with a raft of electro-acoustians, the best known of which is the POIRE_Z quartet. Another reformed percussionist, now domiciled in Zürich, Kahn has lived in Europe since 1990 and now uses the computer and live sampling software to amplify his kit. His playing situations have ranged from a duo with no-input mixing board player Toshimaru Nakamura to membership in expatriate American composer Arnold Dreyblatt's Orchestra of Excited Strings. Most futuristic of the three, 28-year-old Dieb13, has been has rendering cassette players, vinyl, CDs and computer hard disks into instruments since the late 1980, and most notably has played in such Viennese aggregations as efzeg.

As the journey continues the tape machine hums and turntable rumbles begin to sound more transportation oriented. Almost every impulse could be the click of rail cars passing over the tracks, with the constant ringing of the train bell subsuming other sounds. Slowly moving in and out like the tide, the thumps, clatters, bangs and scratches meld together, with one composition melting into the next.
Is that the rumble of a motor you hear at one point or the buzzes and whistle of a locomotive, you wonder? Is that the crackle and sizzle of electronics slowing advancing or is it a video game in use in the lounge? And are those distinctive tempered scrapes arising initially from a gamelan or a vibraharp sample or is the tempered metal of a railroad tie adhering to the rail? At times it appears as if frog sounds or birdcalls have been adapted for the journey, while the few times a voice is heard, memories of air traffic control conversation intrude into the land-locked journey. Noise, streaming, clatter -- each of these discs provide soundtracks for an overactive imagination as well as a way to shake up your thought process. Singly or together, they're worth investigating. -- Ken Waxman
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opprobium review:

It will come as no surprise to those who've kept an ear on recent developments in electro-acoustic improv that this trio should favour subdued, low-volume sound-accumulation and -layering over real-time conversational interaction. Much of Streaming sees Müller and Kahn, at seemingly random intervals, subtly overlaying and punctuating Dieb 13's grainily hissing backdrop drones with sundry detail-crackles, loops, rumbles, quiet thwacks-to compile ear-squintingly quiet, slowly mutating streams of sound. Though they may initially sound off-puttingly inactive (and at points threaten to evanesce completely), these passages gradually reveal themselves the group's real strength, delicately casting so magnetic a pull that the periods where the players' instrumental voices become more identifiable and distinct sound positively forced by comparison. The third track, a bustling micro-din riddles with cross-channel cuts and serrating swathes of sound, is less than convincing; the enticing fourth-a tantalisingly brief, slow-burning suffusion of electronic bleep-warpage and ominous droning rumble-strikes an attractive middle ground. Though it melts into the background a little to easily for it to be considered one of the label's more essential titles, Streaming is of more than a little intrigue nonetheless.
Opprobium, Nick Cain, 6.2002

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(For 4 Ears Métamkine) Gunter Müller
affectionne les rencontres transversales, faites de surprises et d’intrigues mêlées, de sensations d’inachevées et de presque atteints. C’est d’ailleurs ce qui fait la richesse de sa personne, cette capacité à remettre en question à chaque nouveau projet son engouement, sa quête personnelle, ce plaisir juvénile, cette soif de découverte enfantine et désintéressée. Mais pourtant instructive.
Après avoir œuvré en trio avec Erik M et Voice crack (Poire-Z), avoir révélé à l’Europe de grand Turntablist, (Christian Marclay, Otomo Yoshihide, Erik M) et avoir improvisé avec toute la scène mondiale (d’O Rourke à Widemer en passant par Doneda et Sachiko M) il invite à présent Dieb 13, duo de Turntabliste mi européen (Dieter Kovacic) mi asiatique (Takeshi Fumimoto) à se joindre à Jason Khan (déjà entendu sous la formation Repeat en compagnie de Toshimaru Nakamura) et à lui pour une session d’improvisations puissantes, par moments cataclysmique, où chacun joue dans la surabondance de couches sonores jusqu’à l’extinction de la mélodie (qui laisse place au bruit).
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revue+corrigee review:

L'analogie entre les jeux de ces deux batteurs (Jason Kahn et Günter Müller) et le principe du mix et de la boucle qui fonde l'art du djing est étonnant, à travers la répétition des textures comme un disque qui accrocherait, creusant les matières. Kahn et Müller ne tiennent plus ce rôle de rythmicien, de séquençages des durées, ils sont plutôt dans des assemblages de textures (tirées de futs, de peaux, de cymbales) constructions verticales d'évènments se superposant l'un sur l'autre, disparaissant dans la répétition de figures abstraites. Fascinant jeu avec les vitesses, où les sons se distendent ou se condensent, transformant l'ècoute. De toute èvidence l'èlectronique prend une place de plus en plus grande dans leurs dispositifs, jeux avec les mémoires, transmorphing des rythmes dans des textures instables. Dieb 13 ajoute ce grain poussiéreux du vinyle, comme pour marquer le temps qui passe.
Revue & Corrigée, Michael Henritzi, 3.2002

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sapo review:


Um DJ (Dieb 13) apaixonado pela abstracção, um antigo baterista punk conquistado pelo experimentalismo (Jason Kahn) e um outro baterista que o é cada vez menos, optando sobretudo pela manipulação de dispositivos electroacústicos (Gunter Muller), protagonizam este belo disco em que as texturas sobrelevam a forma. Regra de ouro neste tipo de colectivismo musical, raras vezes é possível dizer quem está a fazer o quê. Mesmo Kahn, que entrou na família da live electronics através das suas colaborações com Toshimaru Nakamura, o tal da mesa de mistura sem inputs, está aqui quase irreconhecível, dada a sua opção pelo tratamento de sinal dos sons que retira da sua bateria e dos seus objectos de metal. Esta é uma música não-instrumental e sem qualquer carácter dramático, uma música minimal devido à economia dos materiais sonoros que utiliza e minimalista no modo como continua os preceitos daquela corrente estética de origem norte-americana, ainda que os seus objectos sejam os sons não notados, estranhos a qualquer escala, ocidental ou oriental, aquilo a que vamos chamando de ruído. E é por via de obras como esta que o noise solidifica a sua nova condição Zen, em que tudo acontece de forma natural, ou seja, sem aculturações de sentido, sem ateios, sem conversões estandardizadas. E isto porque só o ruído, neste estádio da história da música, tem essa naturalidade - os outros sons, os sons domesticados pela humanidade, é que ganharam artifício. E nem por surgir organizado musicalmente o ruído perde essa condição selvagem que é imagem de marca da improvisação electro.
Streaming, For 4 Ears

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sapo_quasideutsch review:

Ein DJ (Dieb 13) erhalten leidenschaftlich durch das abstracção, einen alten baterista Punk, der durch das experimentalismo (Jason Kahn) erobert werden und ein anderes baterista, daß es jede Zeit weniger, entscheidener Überschuß aller zur Handhabung der electroacústicos Vorrichtungen (Gunter Muller) ist, führt diese schöne Aufzeichnung in der das Beschaffenheiten sobrelevam die Form durch. Goldrichtlinie in dieser Art des musikalischen colectivismo, seltene Zeiten ist möglich, um zu sagen, wem bilden soll, was!. Genau Kahn, das kam in die Familie von Phasenelektronik durch seine Beiträge mit Toshimaru Nakamura, das so der Tabelle der Mischung ohne Eingänge herein, ist fast unrecognizable, seine Wahl für die Behandlung des Signals der Töne hier gegeben, das von seiner Batterie und von seinen objectos des Metalls entfernt. Dieses ist ein Musik Nichtinstrument und ohne irgendein carácter, das drastisch ist, eine minimale Musik wegen der Wirtschaft der sonorous Materialien, die noch Gebrauch und minimalista in der Weise, da sie die Richtlinien dieser ästhetischen Kette des nordamerikanischen Ursprung fortsetzt, die seine objectos die nicht beachteten Töne ist, merkwürdig zu irgendeiner Skala, abendländischen zu Person oder zu orientalisch, zu der die, daß wir gehen, Geräusche zu benennen. E ist für Weise von workmanships während dieses, das Geräusche fest seinen neuen Zen Zustand, wo alles von der natürlichen Form geschieht, oder irgendein, ohne aculturações der Richtung, ateios, estandardizadas Umwandlungen bilden. E dieses, weil die Geräusche, in diesem Stadium der Geschichte von Musik, nur diese Natürlichkeit haben - die anderen Töne, die Töne domestiziert für die Menschlichkeit, ist, daß sie Listen gewonnen hatten. E noch für das Aussehen musikalisch organisiert den Geräuschen verliert diesen wilden Zustand, der Bild der Markierung des Improvisation electrum ist. Das Strömen, ist 4 Ohren
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skug review:

Nicht ganz so minimalistisch wie das Coverartwork strömt die Musik. Einmal mehr unverkennbar ist das Mitwirken von Jason Kahn, der wiederum glockenähnliche Klänge einstreut. Auch Labelchef Günter Müller spielt so genannte selected parts of acoustic drums, die mit Electronics moduliert werden. Müller sorgt für einen Mehrwert an Breite, der beim skug-presents-Gig mit Dieb 13 anno 2000 nicht derart gegeben war. "Streaming" entwickelt bei niedriegem Gerüauschpegel einen kontinuierlichen Sog, der leider schon nach kurzweiligen 39 Minuten zu Ende ist. Nach For 4 Ears-Einspielungen mit den Turntablemeistern Christian Marclay, Otomo Yoshihide und Erik M ist diese CD mit Dieb 13 wohl die am meisten in die Zukunft weisende.
Skug, Alfred Pranzl, 2.2002

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theweaves review:

This is Team Phantom-stop-music either has not taken off her beautiful snow clothes-stop-all sound oxides under noise ash. Streaming: all the streams in the world: the drumheads are the downcast eyelids of masks and a man naked like the ice floe runs on the ice floe that came to a stop above him. And the wind has stopped forever. The role of noises in daily life is not secure enough for them not to migrate any time towards the grey and blue music and sink right into it. So let's translate and translate: as soon as a noise is taken from its original context, as soon as it has been picked up and burnt into the melting wax of electronic circuits and spectral drums-urban and celestial traffic of skinny angels and of fraudulent rings of Saturn, cracking microcosms struck like matches, dragonflies caught in a lump of yellow amber, pollen-pollen-it becomes a sound. Have you ever noticed how man is obsessed with building surroundings that remain alien to him? Salvation will come through sounds, all stridulations. Sounds come and go just the same, imparted and incommunicable; they don' remember names. The geodes of language are covered with sounds. Sounds are brooding and will soon hatch out, they purse their lips in the phoenix' egg. All that beats is like all that rustles, the fossil energies of music.
The Weaves, A. Pierreport, 4.2002

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wire review:

These five mysterious and austere tracks (all untitled, total duration 39 minutes) are further evidence of the drift in improvised music, especially electronic, away from 'traditional' motivic interplay-what Keith Rowed has referred to as the "old language"-towards a certain reductionism, manifest either through greater use of silence or, as is the case here, extended, slow-moving sound tableaux. At times the music has a discernibly Japanese feel, reminding you that percussionist Jason Kahn has lived and worked there, and both Gunter Muller and Dieb 13 have collaborated with visiting Japanese musicians, such as Taku Sugimoto.
Mullers discreet rumbling percussion is closer in sound to his releases with Sugimoto that his effervescent outings with Le Quan Ninh and poire_z, and turntablist Dieb 13's work resemble the dark cracklings on his 1999 Durian album Printer, with Werner Dafeldecker and Uli Fussenegger, more than it does his ebullient solo set, Restructuring, on Charizma. Fleeting snippets of the recognisable world-planes, car horns, crowd noise, insects, the countdown sequence to a rocket launch-on the third track serve only to reinforce a certain sense of foreboding. But perhaps that impression is coloured by the sound of real crowds massing outside in the streets of Paris as I listen. Track four barely stutters into life through a haze of high frequencies before turning into what sounds like large, malevolent amphibians playing a decidedly sinister video game, which builds to a ferocious climax and then dies alarmingly quickly. With its disjointed bleeps and crunches peering out from behind a veil of eerie drones and creaks, the closing track does little to reassure. Once again, it doesn't so much end as die, taking the album out with it. In the new language, there are no more full stops to end sentences, only faders to pull down.

The Wire, Dan Warburton, 6.2002

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