Species-Appropriate Animal Husbandry |cs249









Hans Koch à la clarinette basse, Gaudenz Badrutt à l'électronique et Alexandre Babel aux percussions. Trois musiciens réunis pour une session de six improvisations électroacoustiques avec techniques étendues nombreuses, électronique réduit à de simples fréquences, de même que la clarinette souvent réduite à du souffle, ou que les percussions parfois frottées, parfois percutées sur les bois et les métaux au lieu des peaux. C'est réductionniste d'une certaine manière, le travail est très axé sur l'exploration sonore, et le silence est également de la partie, mais le son et les modes de jeux sont, la plupart du temps, énergiques et dynamiques. Le trio Koch/Badrutt/Babel explore aussi bien les parasites instrumentaux et électroniques que l'énergie et la puissance du son. Du réductionnisme violent en quelque sorte, aussi violent qu'il peut l'être en tout cas. Ce n'est pas harsh non plus, mais le trio joue beaucoup sur les ruptures et les attaques brusques, ainsi que sur des volumes assez élevés (mais pas trop quand même évidemment). De l'improvisation réductionniste énervée en somme. Julien Héraud (ImprovSphere)

Very strong studio session recorded in June 2012. Free improvisation consisting of small sounds – whining, rustling, grumbling – produced by a bass clarinet (Koch, commanding techniques), electronics (Badrutt, mysterious), and percussion (Babel, excellent at playing hide-and-seek with the other two’s sounds). Seven tracks, one to ten minutes long, with plenty of enigmatic stuff going on and lots and lots of deep listening. François Couture (Monsieur Delire)

Continuing sonic investigations while into his so-called golden years, Biel-based bass clarinetist Hans Koch, 66, isn’t content to rest on his laurels as a member of Switzerland’s seminal Koch-Schütz-Studer band or with players his own vintage. Instead the reedist, whose recording career goes back to the early 1980s, makes it a point to interact with sound explorers several years his junior as on this oddly named session. Made up of seven oblique improvisations, part of the CD’s appeal is how Koch’s distinctive timbres are no more upfront than the self-possessed percussion of Swiss born, Berlin-based drummer Alexandre Babel or the electronic apparatus from programmer Gaudenz Badrutt, who also lives in Biel. It’s a partnership, not a star soloist showcase.
Familiar with astringent tremolo tones via his duo with accordionist Jonas Kocher, Badrutt operates his granular synthesized elements in such a way that they create the underscore for most of the tracks, and are only fully defined when they reference certain familiar tones like soft-drink-bottle pops. Meanwhile Babel, whose background, like Koch’s, includes contemporary so-called classical music studies, is the very model of a cooperative rhythm stretcher. Except for the odd cymbal-sawing ratchet as on “Outside”, his movements are fluidly intermittent, with clicks, clanks and rattles expanding the open spatial landscape.
Overall the results are seven tracks carefully, but murkily, balanced among full breaths, tongue spits and slurps, cymbal and bell echoes plus quivering, electro-forced whooshes and flanges. With the blended sequences understated in such a way that undifferentiated tones appear as if they could arise from any one of the instruments, the narrative eventually reaches a variable climax with the incongruously named “Inside”. Mocking the common musical meaning of the phrase, this sequence corkscrews a constantly undulating drone onto textures that elsewhere define Free Jazz: bellowing reed cries and mouth squeaks plus clattering rim shots and splattering beats. The almost palpable jubilation expressed in this sonic release then dissipates into wispy, nasal calls.
Recommended for those willing to forego conventional rhythm and harmony to experience a free-form ride along, careful listening is rewarded. Plus it conforms that Koch’s unique vocabulary and voicing are constantly evolving. Ken Waxman (JazzWord)

Recorded at the well-known Faust Studio, Hans Joachim Irmler's studio in Scheer, Germany, in June 2012, this odd file in the huge archive of releases by Portuguese label Creative Sources comes from a trio of imaginative improvisers (Hans Kock on bass clarinet, Gaudenz Badrutt on electronics and Alexandre Babel on percussions), whose seemingly abstract stuff often sounds more concrete than you can guess: the somehow sinister whistle and its resounding arching on sneaking electronics and slight tremblings on the short introduction open up the hinged jaw of a claustrophobic and mysterious sonic world. The longest track "apartment" sounds like the fast track processing of a series of conventional domestic activity, as if listeners got invited to hear what happens in the house of a sped up SIM character's "life" and, as you can easily guess, noises of snoring, metallic hits, resounding keys, bottles and similar listenable entitites have wisely been included in the package. The first and more lasting interlude, where a squeaky sound that becomes thinner and thinner pierces a menacing nocturnal atmosphere, prepares the ground for the second main improvisation, "outside", where they seem to focus on the mirroring or the rendering of external sounds (including trains, interferences, buzzes and beeps) by means of their instruments where both electronics and percussions are surprisingly not so intrusive, even if its intermittent scrolling sounds like a gradual asphyxiation. If the first two main tracks of the album, the above-described "apartment" and "outside", could have been appeared like an unzipping file of sometimes indecipherable snapshots, the third main track "inside" is even more elusive in spite of its occasional pauses, which features the feeble whistles of the final track "end" as well. Vito Camarretta (Chain DLK)