VISTAG |cs118








































This cd too that opens with a misleading initial track, infact the first impression is that what we have here is the ordinary improvising group of the roster, but be patient for a couple of tracks and you’ll find the situation changes and considerably since despite the same title for every track, this’ a collection of impros and not a concept-work. When this band, consisting of Vienna improvising string trio plus Annette Giersiegel, crosses the electro-acoustic zone is good but is when they follow their natural propension for intense atmospheres that they go deeper and deeper reminding me some string works of bands such as like Civil War or Polwechsel. Iin these episodes where they surrender to introspection their music becomes inspired, the blend mixes some traditional and contemporary influences an here and there it also reminds of composer Toru Takemitsu, who anyway is much more sober but the Asiatic fascination is still there to stay. Despite the fact they’ve a violin they choose for many low registers, there’s no soloist and when using the vocals they give you the impression it’s a sort of Meredith Monk alike approach, but on this performance vocals have been drifted ashore by the current. Andrea Ferraris (Chain DLK)

A slight uncertainty arises from the difference between “Vistag” (as written on the sleeve) and “Vist Ag”, which is how Marcus Maida refers to the group in his liners. Either way, this is the first release by a quartet consisting of Annette Giesriegl (voice), Clementine Gasser (cello), Karl Sayer (double bass) and Michael Fischer (violin). The recording and mixing actions by Christoph Amann is a strong asset, as at whatever time this writer sees the Austrian engineer’s name on a record, then quality is practically assured both in sonic eminence and artistic consistence. “Vist Ag” makes no exception: the eight tracks - all named “Resonance” - fuse various components of improvisation, EAI and contemporary chamber music effortlessly, frequently approaching unexpected altitudes. At the beginning, Giesriegl’s utterances appear to be predominant over a nervously scraped basis of unquiet strings, and we look directed towards recognized territories. But, already in “Resonance 3”, surprises are found: the vocals are processed/harmonized into untraceable concordances, the double bass growing in potency and snarling menace, the violin and the cello echoing their essence in a sort of blissful tunnel halfway through purposeful timbral moonshines and nimble-fingered meddlesomeness. In “Resonance 4” the comparison of Sayer’s drones, Fischer’s detuned plucks and the haze created by Giesriegl’s breath pricks our imperturbability, forcing us to raise aerials to identify the defining minutiae that the music constantly reveals. “Resonance 6” is probably the record’s top, alternating surges and tranquility in an often dramatic turning of events, the theatrical parallelism of expression and strings here at the utmost height, while in the final “Resonance 8” one seems to feel the presence of Werner Durand’s PVC instruments - instead, it’s all treated voice. The sense of fulfillment experienced throughout long portions of the program is justified by Vist Ag’s coherent mix of inspired probing and technical underpinning, their subtleties so precious in a world where, too commonly, substance is mistaken for bushwash whereas barrenness is used as creed, a shield for modernist intellectuals to hide behind. Masimo Ricci (Totching Extremes)