Reviews by Massimo Ricci

The A23H chronicle


Akupunktur in Gruen (Laubhuette Production 03)


Never try to find a kinship with something else when dealing with Alfred Harth's music. This intriguing collection is a collage that spoons us up with continuous remissions of definitions, homemade low-budget sophistries, semi-accessible metaphores and unpredictable pot-pourris. Maimed drum'n'bass patterns hide intertwining lines of muted trumpet, sax and clarinet, the whole surrounded by environmental euphemisms where loops of ceremonial singing and male voices filtered by dictaphones mix with synthetic evacuations of the mind. A fixed pattern of "one-chord-plus-drum machine" can reveal a whole mainland of sampling hazardousness (you gotta love those short glissando brass...) while threatening growls from the urban underworld are morphed into distant echoes of just apparent contradictions. What's to be appreciated more than anything else is the absolute lack of self-aggrandizement that this artist brings to the table; take it or leave it, these are a few of his many facets and this complex vision finds us wordless in a desert of interpretations. Harth illegitimates the remains of muzak's grime by juxtaposing singing monks and commonplaces: hear for yourself the difference with what today is peddled as "spiritually evolved". This music touches many points and connects them all with a single stroke, affecting our opinions about sound placement and teaching us how to affirm our independence from the imperial vulgarity we've grown subjected to.

In Touching Extremes