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This 2 CD set contains all the pieces of percussionist Christ Wolfarth's "Acoustic Solo Percussion" series on the first CD and remixes by Rashad Becker, Hans Joachim Irmler (faust), Gunter Mueller and Joke Lanz (sudden infant) on the 2nd.

Wolfarth, Christian
Acoustic Solo Percussion Vol. 1-4 & Remixes [2 CDs]

Wolfarth, Christian: Acoustic Solo Percussion Vol. 1-4 & Remixes [2 CDs] (Hiddenbell Records)
Label: Hiddenbell Records    
Released in: Switzerland    

"[...] a CD issue of the eight pieces that were released on four 7" records. I could easily refer to those reviews and skip the entire first CD, but I didn't. Not only was I curious to hear all the pieces in one flow, I was also keen on hearing them on CD. Of course people will respond to this, but I really do prefer CD's over vinyl - I like a good clean sound, mastered by the best - in this particular case thumbs up to Rashad Becker.

To refresh your memory: Christian Wolfarth is a Swiss drummer and percussionist who has played with anyone and anywhere from the world of improvised music. His drum kit is a vast source of many diverse sounds, which he explores on previous CD's, but also on these four 7" records. Many times he uses bows to play his cymbals to create an excellent form of acoustic sound, or simply using a piece of styrofoam on various skins to create a similar drone like effect. It sounds at times pretty much electronic, but it ain't so. This has nothing to any form of regular drumming or standard improvisation - half the time you won't recognize any drums or percussion. More electro-acoustic music than improvisation, even when it's all recorded in one take.

Here on compact disc I must say it has more sonic depth than on vinyl, simply because one isn't distracted by any crackles and one notes that these eight pieces fit nice together. Each 7" is remixes (both A and B side) by one remixer. Günter Müller (himself no stranger to using drums in a similar drone like way), Joke Lanz (also known as Sudden Infant), Hans Joachim Irmler (of faust) and Rashad Becker, the master of mastering, but little less known as a musician himself. Each remix also lasts more or less as long the original does. I don't know if there were more restrictions.

It opens with Müller's remixes, two further explorations of low rumble - objects on bass skins, but maybe the originals are played through speakers vibrating skins and that is the remix ? Hard to say, thats for sure. Lanz uses the pieces as pressed on vinyl - which is of course the one thing you can't do as nicely on CD: scratching, speed change and such like - and adds his own voice. The remixes are more forcefully present in terms of sound/noise.

Irmler takes his Krautrock experience on board and his remixes sound like recorded at a faust soundcheck, adding surprise elements of random stabbings on the organ/electronics.

What Becker is even more hard to decipher, especially in 'Cabin No. 9', but in 'Well Educated Society' he adds baritone saxophone, violoncello, viola and feedback cabinet by himself and some friends, and morphes that with the scraping textures of Wolfarth, into an intense piece of modern classical/action music.

Remixes might not be the right word here: it's more a question of what else can we do with this, and most curious enough, what we don't get is a laptop remixes ripping it all apart of someone who creates a full on dance beat out it. That would have been nice too, but ultimately not necessary. Great package all together."-Frans de Waard (Vital Weekly 897, april 2013)

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Related Categories of Interest:

Improvised Music
Free Improvisation
European Improv, Free Jazz & Related
Percussion & Drums

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Product Information:

Label: Hiddenbell Records
Catalog ID: 006/007
Squidco Product Code: 17660

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2014
Country: Switzerland
Packaging: Cardboard Gatefold 3 Panels
Mastered by Rashad Becker, Berlin 2012.


Christian Wolfarth-percussion

Gunter Muller-remix

Joke Lanz-remix

Hans Joachim Irmler-remix

Rashad Becker-remix

Andre Vida-baritone saxo

Boram Lie-violoncello

Mari SAwada-violin

Rashad Becker-feedback cabinet

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Track Listing:

CD 1

1. Skyscraping 6:28

2. Zirr 4:36

3. Elastic Stream 5:23

4. Viril Vortex 4:16

5. Crystal Alien 6:49

6. Amber 6:50

7. Cabin No. 9 4:20

8. Well Educated Society 6:10

CD 2

1. Skyscraping 6:46

2. Zirr 4:58

3. Elastic Stream 5:25

4. Viril Vortex 4:23

5. Crystal Alien 6:51

6. Amber 5:26

7. Cabin No.9 4:40

8. Well Educated Socierty 6:15