Reviews by Massimo Ricci

The A23H chronicle


TASTE TRIBES (for4ears)

In 2007, during the European trip that also gave birth to the 7K Oaks
project, Alfred Harth met again - after 20 years - with Günter Müller,
whom he played with in 1987 at Willisau together with Andres Bosshard,
Phil Minton and Sonny Sharrock. A few days earlier, the expedition had
featured the summit with Faust's Hans Joachim Irmler; both sessions
were duly recorded and reworked by A23H back in Seoul. There, through
overdubbing and various manipulations, a new stunning chapter of XXI
century EAI - that of the anarchic and noisy kind - was born. The trio
started on-the-road activities since December 2008, trying to convey
the same evil forces that this unpredictably pungent, inhospitable
record throws at us in large doses. Make no mistake, this is a must -
and Faust fans should love it at first try, too. Harth is the most
instrumentally loaded with tenor sax, clarinet, Kaoss pad, thumb
piano, voice and Dochirak Con Arco (sic). Irmler and Müller "limit"
themselves to customary organ, iPod and electronics. "Genuine
Imitation" starts with a hellish mire of menacing roars and bubbling
acidity, electro-fishing applied to the flotsam and jetsam that was
previously generated in the studio. Dialectics do exist, but the
quantification of the levels of fury released by the musicians is a
next-to-impossible task; the sampled guitar of Makoto Kawabata is an
element of gore if you will, the recipe possessing nevertheless an
epic spice that's definitely unusual. This does not prepare for the
beginning of "Servicing The Target", an unbelievable mass of
low-frequency rumbles that, received via headphone, puts the structure
of your cranium in a state of total vibration, a fantastic
illumination in the utter darkness, our eye sockets containing broken
glass instead of eyes. "Weasel Worlds" sees the saxophone more at the
forefront to begin with, soon engulfed by the incessant, if irregular
pulsation of the other sources, a lattice of numskull noise that could
be used by some doctor to cure photophobia, occurring into dark holes
and godforsaken quarters where fragments of regular music echo in the
distance, faded memories of concepts that are now nothing but sonic
intumescences splattered with astuteness. The whole ends with Harth
approaching the airy nothingness of contemporary new silence over a
morbidly hypnotic drone until he remains alone, then stops for a while
only to return with additional insufflations. Bizarre, and great.
"Doubletwist" retrieves the mumbling giant from the centre of the
earth, its limbs spreading in a territory where people were intent in
scraping, warping and maiming conventional aesthetics. The absurdist
combativeness heard all across the track is a sign of resiliency, yet
there's really no way to remember what happens, we're just knocked out
by the sheer uncontrollability of the acoustic events. The disc is
sealed by the aptly titled "Eruptive Obfuscation", still dominated by
ominous presences in the quaking subsonic area. This is the basis for
a hammer-drill succession of seismic movements, muttered prayers to a
putrescent devilish icon dipped in the mud of obtrusive omnipresence
that leave speechless in a tempest of feedback, metallic lament and
that classic "Müller pump" at the very end, alone like a bird's flap
after a carnage. Taste Tribes are a killing machine, and no one's
going to be able to understand where their weak point is. The process
is simply unstoppable, the music hard-faced and instinctive; no hope
to conceive a method for the classification of something like this.
Confess yourselves before attending the show.

In Touching Extremes