Vert | The Köln Konzert
Sonig | CD
Vert's 'Mewantemooseic' is undoubtedly one of the highlights of the Sonig catalog to date, largely due to its effortless grooves composed from frenetic beats and samples. 'The Köln Konzert', in contrast, is centred around sparse acoustic piano often pared back to a one or two note refrain.
The sleeve notes state that it is inspired by Keith Jarrett's record of the same name. A work with which I am not familiar except, that is, for the first five notes from which Vert constructs the fifteen minute 'Part One'; Jarrett's main theme which is used in 'Part Two' and 'Part Five'; and a further eleven notes which are used in 'Part Three'. (Only 'Part Four' is entirely original to Vert.) Jarret's themes are taken by Vert, edited, reconfigured and subjected to all manner of electronic treatments. He adds effects, scrapes and concrete sounds and lets them gnaw freely at the edges. He also reprises Jarrett's themes in various synthesized forms with the main theme finally played out on a toy music box.
'Part One' impresses the most; sparse and hypnotic it breaks down into a comfortable groove before returning to the original piano figure atop a volatile sonic compound which finally, and inevitably, ruptures. In comparison parts three and four sound rather weak with the result that, although the whole work is coherent and shows plenty of variation, it doesn't quite hold the attention at the same level throughout. It is, however, an ambitious exercise, deftly executed and well worth investigating.