Zeitkratzer | Random Dilettantes

Staalplaat | CD

Housed in anonymous metallic finish - a further instalment in Staalplaat's unstoppable Mort Aux Vaches series.

With the creator(s) remaining a mystery unless the metallic skin is scratched off with a coin, the CD is the equivalent of The Wire's 'Invisible Jukebox' (Various Artists | X + Y = XY [Alku, CDR]). A true lottery. Resisting the urge to peel back the veneer and reveal who's responsible is difficult, but in the interest of journalistic objectivity we review blind.

This much is clear: 50 tracks, 47.52 minutes.

Click. Whirr. Pulse. Shuffle. Scrape. Scratch. The 50 tracks bear the hallmarks of John Zorn's work, in particular his 'game pieces' - sets of improvisation rules for small groups of musicians - but it's doubtful he's released any works on Staalplaat. Still there's always a first time…

The audio is characterised by hesitant analogue shuffle - a string quartet in terminal decline - pierced with moments of gruff trombone. Carefully plucked strings offset smears of double bass, occasionally settling into momentary rhythmic workouts of sustained intensity pierced by the intermittent staccato of drumsticks and whispered voice.

At a loss to pinpoint the author(s), one thing is certain the audio is less overtly 'digital' than Staalplaat's usual territory. A shortlist of (un?)likely protagonists might include:

  • John Zorn
  • Yamatsuku Eye
  • Fred Frith

The true culprit is:

  • Zeitkratzer | Random Dilettantes


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