Reviews by Massimo Ricci

The A23H chronicle



Put two fighting cocks like Peter Brötzmann and Alfred 23 Harth together and they will rip their guts off one another, right? Not completely. You'll be surprised, assuming that you're not in possession of this rare LP, at the fecundity of contrapuntal delikatessen and refined interplay that "Go-No-Go" presents. At that time (1987) Harth was trying to expand his arsenal with different sonic means (Jew's harps, game calls and so on) and, thanks to Brötzmann, also got in touch with the late, great Sonny Sharrock; the trio did play a few live sets but apparently no recording exists of them. Luckily enough, the two reedists entered the FMP studio instead, and here you have the result: thirteen tracks of saxophone (and tarogato) puzzles linking pyrotechnical fantasies, square-shouldered rage, matter-of-fact genius and a constant flux of twisted ideas that would let us slide into euphemism if we defined it "inventiveness". The expected attitude is there too, of course. For example, the title track sounds like a ruinous tumble down an infinite stairway in an heroic effort of remaining in control of the instrumental emission; on the other hand, "Copper sex" finds Harth's voice and Jew's harp creating a "human background" for Brötzmann's pensive (!) phrasing. Someone in those years described this collaboration as "Harth dancing around Brötzmann", but there is much more than that. It often happens that the pairing of two big names produces a lackadaisical flop of a record; needless to say, this is not the case. A CD reissue is here formally demanded.

In Touching Extremes