Reviews that mention Burkhard Beins

December 21, 2016

Chris Abrahams & Burkhard Beins

Instead of the Sun
Herbal Conrete Disc 1602

Serge Baghdassarians/Boris Baltschun/Burkhard Beins

Future Perfect

Mikroton Recordings CD 49

Often when dealing with music heavily oriented towards electronics two scenarios are in play. One can imagine a so-called movie for the mind with images suggested by the sounds on disc. Alternately the listener can passively surrender to the performance as an entity, letting it wash over consciousness like white noise in a feedback session. Each of these approaches is suggested by these CDs featuring Berlin-based sound artist/percussionist Burkhard Beins. Alongside fellow Germans Serge Baghdassarians using mixing desk, delays and guitar plus Boris Baltschun’s computer and sampler, Future Perfect was recorded during 2008 and 2009, and then mixed by Baghdassarians and Baltschun during the later year and 2015. It remains in the abstract orbit. Its antithesis, Instead of the Sun, recorded by Australian Chris Abrahams playing synthesizers and electronics plus Beins using percussion and electronics, and subsequently mixed by the percussionist, includes distinctive enough themes so that a pictorial representative is advanced – at least in the mind’s eye. MORE

December 21, 2016

Serge Baghdassarians/Boris Baltschun/Burkhard Beins

Future Perfect
Mikroton Recordings CD 49

Chris Abrahams & Burkhard Beins

Instead of the Sun

Herbal Conrete Disc 1602

Often when dealing with music heavily oriented towards electronics two scenarios are in play. One can imagine a so-called movie for the mind with images suggested by the sounds on disc. Alternately the listener can passively surrender to the performance as an entity, letting it wash over consciousness like white noise in a feedback session. Each of these approaches is suggested by these CDs featuring Berlin-based sound artist/percussionist Burkhard Beins. Alongside fellow Germans Serge Baghdassarians using mixing desk, delays and guitar plus Boris Baltschun’s computer and sampler, Future Perfect was recorded during 2008 and 2009, and then mixed by Baghdassarians and Baltschun during the later year and 2015. It remains in the abstract orbit. Its antithesis, Instead of the Sun, recorded by Australian Chris Abrahams playing synthesizers and electronics plus Beins using percussion and electronics, and subsequently mixed by the percussionist, includes distinctive enough themes so that a pictorial representative is advanced – at least in the mind’s eye. MORE

April 22, 2016

Beins/Malatesta/Vorfeld/Wolfarth/Zach

Glück
Mikroton CD 38

Polwechsel

Untitled (No.7)

GOD Records GOD31

Systemizing an interconnected approach to aleatory playing with instruments usually relegated to the rhythm section is the objective of these discs featuring Berlin-based percussionist Burkhard Beins and others. A polymath who has moved among noise, notated and electronic sounds plus semi-acoustic improvising with the likes of pianist Andrea Neumann and tenor saxophonist Bertrand Denzler, Beins expresses atonality in a unique fashion on each disc. MORE

April 22, 2016

Polwechsel

Untitled (No.7)
GOD Records GOD31

Beins/Malatesta/Vorfeld/Wolfarth/Zach

Glück

Mikroton CD 38

Systemizing an interconnected approach to aleatory playing with instruments usually relegated to the rhythm section is the objective of these discs featuring Berlin-based percussionist Burkhard Beins and others. A polymath who has moved among noise, notated and electronic sounds plus semi-acoustic improvising with the likes of pianist Andrea Neumann and tenor saxophonist Bertrand Denzler, Beins expresses atonality in a unique fashion on each disc. MORE

March 22, 2016

Hanoi New Music Festival Ensemble 2013

Being Together
Setola di Maiale SM 2840

By Ken Waxman

Although more closely associated with 1960s’ Vietnam War designators like the Ho Chi Minh trail and the Hanoi Hilton, there’s now an improvised music scene in Hanoi and this disc celebrates the city’s first-ever New Music Festival. A three-party piece based on a graphic score by Danish saxophonist Lotte Anker, the performance was the finale of the 10-day fest with participation from five locals playing traditional instruments as well as eight attendees from Sweden, Denmark, Italy and Germany. MORE

June 4, 2014

Tree

Tree
Music Moderna M008

Polwechsel

Traces of Wood

hatology 712

Engrossed with exploring the intricate links and disconnections among improvised, notated and electronically generated sounds, Berlin-based percussionist Bukhard Beins is one of the theoreticians of Echtzeitmusik or real-time music. This theory of slowly developing, low-key connections in which drone and quivers are showcased more so than dramatic individual tones, is clearly, if somewhat blurrily, epitomized by Trees. Traces of Wood may be even more notable though. That’s because it captures the mutation of what has been a long-standing ensemble built around horn and string players, to one set apart by a string-percussion partnership. MORE

June 4, 2014

Polwechsel

Traces of Wood
hatology 712

Tree

Tree

Music Moderna M008

Engrossed with exploring the intricate links and disconnections among improvised, notated and electronically generated sounds, Berlin-based percussionist Bukhard Beins is one of the theoreticians of Echtzeitmusik or real-time music. This theory of slowly developing, low-key connections in which drone and quivers are showcased more so than dramatic individual tones, is clearly, if somewhat blurrily, epitomized by Trees. Traces of Wood may be even more notable though. That’s because it captures the mutation of what has been a long-standing ensemble built around horn and string players, to one set apart by a string-percussion partnership. MORE

November 8, 2013

Festival Report

Crak Festival Paris
By Ken Waxman

Completed in the mid-16th Century in the flamboyant gothic style, the mammoth and solid Eglise St-Merry characterizes the Beauborg area on the right bank of Paris as much as the nearby ornate 19th century Hôtel de Ville and the brutalist, high-tech architecture of 1977’s Centre Georges Pompidou. During the second annual Crak Festival September 26-29 however, St-Merry’s musty arches, pulpits and 30-foot-high ceilings served as an unexpected backdrop for sounds from the 20th and 21st centuries and beyond. MORE

November 20, 2011

Echtzeitmusik

Selbstbestimmung einer Szene/Self-defining a scene (Berlin 1995–2010)
Burkhard Beins, Christian Kesten, Gisela Nauck and Andrea Neumann (editors)
Wolke Books

Probably the most talked about, written about and analyzed improvised music scene since the original New Thing explosion in mid-1960s New York, Berlin’s Echtzeitmusik or real-time music, practitioners have directed an international sound focus towards the German capital since the early 1990s.

Rejecting the bluster of Free Jazz, influenced by so-called New music and some Pop, in-the-main Echtzeitmusikians concentrate on hushed, so-called lower-case sounds. Moreover, the cumulative effect of that many like-minded players from inside Germany and abroad convening on a single geographic spot, and nurtured by a group of musician-run performance spaces, has created an unprecedented sense of solidarity. Some players, such as trumpeter Axel Dörner and laptop/software specialist Christof Kurzmann, have gained a measure of international acclaim, at least in this tiny slice of the music scene. MORE

October 10, 2011

Festival Report:

Météo Music Festival August 23 to August 27 2011
By Ken Waxman

Météo means weather in French, and one notable aspect of this year’s Météo Music Festival which takes place in Mulhouse, France, was the weather. It’s a testament to the high quality of the creative music there that audiences throughout the five days were without exception quiet and attentive despite temperatures in non air-conditioned concert spaces that hovered around the high 90sF. More dramatically, one afternoon a sudden freak thunderstorm created an unexpected crescendo to a hushed, spatial performance, by the Greek-Welsh Cranc trio of cellist Nikos Veliotis, harpist Rhodri Davies and violinist Angharad Davies, when winds violently blew ajar the immense wooden front door of Friche DMC, a former thread factory, causing glass to shatter and fall nosily. MORE

July 3, 2010

Densités Festival

Fresnes-en-Woëvre, France
October 23 to 25 2009

A rural French hamlet in the Lorraine countryside isn’t the setting you imagine for a world-class festival of unadulterated Electronic and Free Music. Yet the Densités Festival in Fresnes-en-Woëvre – population 500 – about 80 kilometres from Nancy, is that. During three days in late October, the 16th Edition presented a sonic banquet of unstoppable Free Jazz, minimalist improv, sound installations, electro-acoustic meetings, poetry recitations and interactions between instrumentalists and dancers. MORE

July 3, 2010

Burkhard Beins

Structural Drift
BB 1

Conceived, created, recorded and mixed during a three-month residency in Worpswede Germany, sound artist Burkhard Beins’ aural landscape uses found sounds to reflect the verdant, isolated area while simultaneous altering these sounds with electronics, an e-bow and a synthesizer to create a notable audio collage.

Of varying lengths, each of Beins’ three “drifts” reflects different properties. Packed with motorized reverberations and bulky intonation that could come from a massed vocal choir, the longest track varies the sound field by alternating single chime strokes and wooden block pops with agitated timbres that variously resemble cutlery being shaken in a drawer, strident tea-kettles whistles and the rough cry of a smokestack whistle. MORE

May 27, 2010

SLW

Fifteen point nine grams
Organized Music from Thessaloniki 107

The Sealed Knot

And we disappear

Another Timbre at23

Activity Center

Lohn & Brot

Absinth Records 017

Negotiating the chasm among noise, improv and notated music is Berlin-based Burkhard Beins, who over the past decade or so has solidified his identity as a sound artist as well as a percussionist. While not for the aurally squeamish – or the traditional jazzer – there are numerous exhilarating instances of timbre blending and sound collaging among this trio of discs. MORE

May 27, 2010

Sealed Knot

And we disappear
Another Timbre at23

Activity Center

Lohn & Brot

Absinth Records 017

SLW

Fifteen point nine grams

Organized Music from Thessaloniki 107

Negotiating the chasm among noise, improv and notated music is Berlin-based Burkhard Beins, who over the past decade or so has solidified his identity as a sound artist as well as a percussionist. While not for the aurally squeamish – or the traditional jazzer – there are numerous exhilarating instances of timbre blending and sound collaging among this trio of discs. MORE

May 27, 2010

Activity Center

Lohn & Brot
Absinth Records 017

The Sealed Knot

And we disappear

Another Timbre at23

SLW

Fifteen point nine grams

Organized Music from Thessaloniki 107

Negotiating the chasm among noise, improv and notated music is Berlin-based Burkhard Beins, who over the past decade or so has solidified his identity as a sound artist as well as a percussionist. While not for the aurally squeamish – or the traditional jazzer – there are numerous exhilarating instances of timbre blending and sound collaging among this trio of discs. MORE

February 16, 2010

Polwechsel & John Tilbury

Field
hatOLOGY 672

AMM with John Butcher

Trinity

Matchless MRCD 71

Adding a new element to an established entity even in improvised music can be liberating, upsetting or something in-between. This thesis is demonstrated on these CDs, with, for a variety of factors, varying results.

On Field for instance, where the distinctive pianism of British keyboardist John Tilbury joins the Austrian-German-British Polwechsel quintet, the resulting sound field is enhanced. Trinity on the other hand is more problematic. Here British saxophonist John Butcher – who was a member of Polwechsel when the first CD was recorded – adds his reed style to sounds created by the long-standing AMM duo of Tilbury and percussionist Eddie Prévost. Oddly enough the triangle appears unbalanced not from Butcher’s novel contributions, but from a bewildering reticence on the part of Prévost. This is especially puzzling since the saxophonist and the percussionist recorded a notable disc in 2005. MORE

January 6, 2010

Perlonex & Charlemagne Palestine

It Ain’t Necessarily So
Zarek 11/12

Experimental electro-acoustic trio Perlonex’s leap of faith to wed its already distinctive interface with the highly idiosyncratic vision of American composer Charlemagne Palestine since 2004 is paying musical dividends – as this two-CD set aptly demonstrates. For while there are points during this live program at Vienna’s Porgy & Bess club when it’s palpably obvious that the trio members don’t know in which direction Palestine’s minimalist creations and ritualistic imagination are leading – he may not know himself – the speed at which they finesse a response to, and extrapolation of, his ideas leads to the highest form of improvisational cooperation. MORE

December 2, 2009

Phosphor

Phosphor II
Potlatch PT-P109

Resolutely non-hierarchal as isolated basic tones abut cramped industrial grit, the unique textures spun out by Phosphor nearly hypnotize, but leave plenty of breathing room to shake up the six tracks with unanticipated timbral pirouettes.

Each of band’s seven Berlin-based members is an acknowledged originator striving for unexpected sounds from his or her chosen instrument. Trumpeter Axel Dörner has done so in the company of others such as reedist John Butcher; tubaist Robin Hayward has evolved a personal method of twisting and muting valves; working alone or in tandem with partners such as clarinetist Kai Fagaschinski or Hayward, Annette Krebs and Michael Renkel mostly recalibrate expected guitar sounds; Andrea Neumann’s mastery lies in exploiting prepared piano impulses; Burkhard Beins creates unusual percussion patterns solo or in groups with Neumann, Renkel and others; and Ignaz Schick’s turntable evolutions attain resonance which allows him to regularly collaborate with mystic composer Charlemagne Palestine. Most importantly each of the players fastens onto the transformative abilities of computers and electronics as expertly as18th Century dualists knew the capabilities of rapiers. MORE

August 14, 2006

POLWESCHEL

Archives of the North
Hatology 633

By Ken Waxman

Situated even more so than previously within its own unique sound world, the now five-man Polwechsel mixes reductionist techniques and inchoate electronic tinctures with the autonomy of FreeImprov to make its point

On this CD, the Austrian-British band changes direction by adding two percussionists – Burkhard Beins and Martin Brandlmayr – to an aural concept that previously was advanced by Polwechsel founders, Werner Dafeldecker on bass and cellist Michael Moser and given auxiliary tinctures when London-based reedist John Butcher joined the ensemble at the beginning of the century. MORE

December 5, 2005

Minton/Van Hove/Mattos/Blume

Axon
FMR

Activity Centre/Phil Minton
Activity Centre & Phil Minton
Absinth Records

Toot
One
SOFA

By Ken Waxman
December 5, 2005

He may not be as popular among pop-jazz fans as Jamie Cullum, Harry Connick or Kurt Elling, but no other male vocalist has recorded more experimental improv work over the past quarter century, then London’s Phil Minton, who turned 65 earlier this month.

At his age you’d expect the British vocalist to be a crooner in Chet Baker-Frank Sinatra mould or a rocker like his near contemporaries Mick Jagger or Rod Stewart. Instead the Torquay-born Minton, who like Baker started as a trumpet player, found his voice in Dadesque expostulations with fellow vocalists like Maggie Nicols and Julie Tippetts as well as agitprop in left-wing bandleader Mike Westbrook’s larger projects. MORE

October 10, 2005

Sealed Knot

Unwanted Object
Confront

Davies/Hayward/Ekhardt/Capece
Amber
Creative Sources

The Cortet
HHHH
Unsounds

By Ken Waxman
October 9, 2005

Visions of formally attired symphonic types producing shimmering glissandi, or alternately of Harpo Marx manhandling the luminescent strings, remain in most folks’ minds when they think of harpists. That may be why the 47-string symphony harps or smaller 34-string Celtic harps are usually musically underrepresented except for their coloration qualities. MORE

September 14, 2004

WILL GUTHRIE

Building Blocks
Antboy Music

INGAR ZACH
Percussion Music
SOFA

VARIOUS ARTISTS
Berlin drums
Absinth

By Ken Waxman

September 14, 2004

Antipodean and Northern European drummers are the focus of these essays in solo percussion. But the sociology of why these particular stick men should choose to go it alone is not part of this study. What is generic is how similarly -- and how differently -- six improvisers choose to pursue a solo course.

If there’s one process in common, it’s that all add a physical codicil to their regular kit. Thus, whether they say so or not, it appears as if some sort of electronic interface meets the trap set. Most open about it are Amsterdam-based, Melbourne-born Steve Heather -- featured on Berlin Drums -- and Norwegian Ingar Zach. Heather, who often works with keyboardist Cor Fuhler and reedist Jorrit Dijkstra, uses a sampler as well as found percussive objects, while Zach -- who plays with everyone from Swiss violinist Charlotte Hug to British guitarist Derek Bailey -- extends his drums and percussion with gongs, motors and a zither. MORE

April 26, 2004

BURKHARD BEINS/DIRK MARWEDEL/MICHAEL VORFELS

Misiiki
Rossbin RS 013

TRESBASS
Gafarra
Unit UTR 4141

Unique definitions of the relationship between strings and reeds distinguish these Northern European CDs, which depend on unusual instrumentation as well as the re-ordering of tones and textures to make their points.

Trebass’ GAFARRA offers a Swiss take on the sphere. Here Peter Landis on soprano, tenor and bass saxophones works with two of his countrymen who believe in low tones -- Jan Schlegel on electric bass and Herbert Kramis on acoustic double bass. Meantime, MISIIKI shows how German musicians face the same challenge. Dirk Marwedel on so-called extended saxophone -- probably an alto -- combines for a mixed program of non-idiomatic pitches and silences with Burkhard Beins and Michael Vorfeld, both of whom play what’s described as percussion and string instruments. MORE

December 8, 2003

THE SEALED KNOT

Surface/Plane
Meniscus MNSCS012

PETER KOWALD/MIYA MASAOKA/GINO ROBAIR
Illuminations (Several Views)
Rastascan BRD 049

One percussionist, one musician who plays a four-string instrument and another whose equipment is strung with many multiples of strings make up both trios featured on these improv sessions. Yet despite these points of congruence, they’re as different as hot dogs and fish-and-chips, as one featured two Americans, the others two Brits.

Actually it’s the third man -- coincidentally a German -- who probably best defines the differences. ILLUMINATIONS (SEVERAL VIEWS) features the late Peter Kowald combining his bass fiddle and basso voice with Miya Masaoka’s kotos and Gino Robair’s percussion on 16 furious, roaring take-no-prisoners sound pieces. MORE

March 15, 2002

PHOSPHOR

Phosphor
Potlatch P501

Restricting itself to group music making, Phosphor (the band) has with PHOSPHOR (the CD) created a fine disc that offers up intricate abstractions and noises without focusing on individual sounds or players. It also indicates how strongly the cult of collective expression has taken hold in certain Continental circles, with Berlin as its epicentre.

Yet one should probably realize that this collection of Austrians and Germans, plus an Italian saxophonist and a British tubaist are able to create sonic magic from these micro-events because each individual has a thorough grounding in more expressive music, be it jazz, contemporary classical, electronica or noise-rock. Singly or together, the eight have worked with almost every prominent minimalist improv musician extant in Europe, North America and the Antipodes, so that ironically the band is literally an all-star aggregation. It has certainly created another crucial document that ranks with the best work of other stillness supporters, such as Chris Burns’ nonet and Wolfgang Fuch’s King Übü Orchestrü, both of which number trumpeter Axel Dörner, featured here, among their members. MORE

November 12, 2001

PERLON

Pay it loud!
Zarek 01

PERLONEX
Peripherique
Zarek 07

Apocryphal stories circulate about one or another famous avant garde musician of the 1960s who is purported to have gone out for dinner with a critic while another freedom musician was still performing in concert. He told his companion that "it's more interesting to play this music than to listen to it."

Attribution is hard to come by, of course, but you can easily see a similar yarn growing up around electro-acoustics, an even less listener-friendly genre. Coupled with shows that often end up resembling laboratory research at a computer peripherals factory, the musicians' immobility and sometimes ear-straining presentations make CD concentration a dicey proposition at best. MORE