Ignaz Schick & Dawid Szczesny

Live in Geneva
Zarek 14

Ignaz Schick/Dawid Szczesny

The View Underneath

Non Visual Objects NVO013

Operating in that sonic zone where clamor meets chiaroscuro and improvisation traverses electronic patterning both intentional and aleatory, Berlin’s Ignaz Schick and Wroclaw, Poland’s Dawid Szczesny create a sound picture that is as abrasive as it is ambient. Using Schick’s turntable, sine waves, bows, cymbals and loops, plus Szczesny’s laptop and synthesizer, the two exploit the resulting atmosphere so that monitoring its spiral development can, with careful listening, be as rewarding an experience as grasping more linear music.

Recorded two years apart, these CDs also trace the duo’s changing interaction. Notably it appears that once players become more comfortable with each others’ thoughts and actions, they begin interpolating textures that reflect those of so-called real instruments. Resulting from meetings in Szczesny’s home town, textures on The View Underneath purposely or not suggests buzzing piano wires and twanging guitar strings, which weave among and against the blurry crackles, ring-modulator-like clanks and grinding static that dominate most of the eight tracks. Memento of a club gig, Live in Geneva replicates all the sounds made during that 44-minute set, without cuts, overdubs or post-editing.

Instructively enough, although inchoate polytones made up of motor-driven grinding, metal scrubbing and mechanized loops are as prominent as on the previous disc, so are sequences that could be termed melodic. Throughout the five movements which make up this CD, among the foghorn blasts, short-wave-radio tuning static and protracted interludes reflecting echoes from jackhammer ferocity on impermeable material, are what appear to be metronomic piano cadenzas, sonorous cello pumps, faint guitar chording and tempered gong reverberations.

It may be that Schick, whose collaborators have included acoustic music makers including bassist Derek Shirley, reedist Michael Thieke and guitarist Joerg Maria Zeger is more open to the integration of these acoustic tones than Szczesny. The Pole’s creative base, after all, is based on sampling vinyl records.

At the same time this doesn`t mean that either of these CDs could be mistaken for mainstream Jazz or even Free Jazz sessions. Instead interactions involve meandering time schemes plus undulating, crackling crescendos and diminuendos. Not once do patches of signal-processed reverb and constant whispering hisses retreat from the front-and-centre. These drones, ratchets and shakes plus cyclical bumps and buzzes are crucial to the interface as they stretch and roughen the time sense.

Fascinating for those committed to noise variations, the CDs may be too formless and abrasive for some. But there`s no argument that these sounds form one part of the future of improv.

—Ken Waxman

Track Listing: View: 1. One 2. Two 3. Three 4. Four 5. Five 6. Six 7. Seven 8. Eight

Personnel: View: Ignaz Schick (turntable, objects and sine waves) and Dawid Szczesny (laptop)

Track Listing: Live: 1. Movement 1 2. Movement 2 3. Movement 3 4. Movement 4 5. Movement 5

Personnel: Live: Ignaz Schick (turntable, objects, bows, gongs and looper) and Dawid Szczesny (laptop software and synthesizer)