Samstag, 4. Oktober 2014
Brian Olewnick about SCUBA
Angélica Castelló/Billy Roisz/Burkhard Stangl/Dieb 13 - Scuba (Mikroton)
A work written by Dieb 13 and performed by Castelló (amplified subcontrabass paetzold recorder, electronics), Roisz (electronics), Stangl (electric guitar) and the composer (turntables, klopfer--unless that's a German soft drink, I'm confused; but image google paetzold recorders for some cool pictures).
I haven't been a huge fan of much of what I've heard from Dieb 13 in recent years, so I approached this release with some degree of caution, but I'm happy to report that it won me over completely. A piece composed along a timeline which also gives the players room for improvisation, the overall sound does indeed evoke the underwater world, particularly via the enormous recorder wielded by Castelló, Stangl's lovely if limited guitar chimes acting as glints seen up on the surface. The whole piece is very understated, various elements, including voices (some reciting numbers as in old East German coded radio transmissions) floating slowly through, glimpsed and then reabsorbed by the sea. There's even a fairly visceral depiction of air intake through a breathing tube, augmented by a hiss (other apparatus) and the odd ping (passing fauna). It's all quite coherent and deftly executed; whatever the parameters were, excellent choices seem to have been made by composer and performers alike, always leaving a thread, never overburdening it. It possesses that wonderful quality of staying in one place yet being endlessly, subtly different. A happy surprise for me, thoroughly absorbing, and one I highly recommend checking out.