Blank - Post (10.2004)
Improvisation not a fetish, but rather as material, as an object of
process, as a means to save past gestures, those hardly left in memory
– this is the musical procedure of the Frankfurt trio Blank.
Blank consists of Oliver Augst (voice, no-input mixing board, harmonica,
etc.), Christoph Korn (guitar, live electronics, melodica, and voice from
time to time) and Rüdiger Carl (claviola, a small keyboard with rhythm
functions, a little accordion, no clarinet this time around, but with
voice, a world premier!). The Frankfurt-based group has been working together
for seven years, and not only musically. For five years they curated the
experimental music festival Pol. They have long left the realm of the
Aha-effect, since an improviser from the very beginning (Carl) has met
up with two younger musicians (Augst, Korn).
They are a group that has developed a dream-like understanding among each
other. And it hasn’t happened via the classical path of free jazz
noise, but rather via a highly reflective method of always questioning
themselves: this year they have released a LP, Duden (on Eventuell/a-Musik),
which exists solely of endless grooves, loops in other words, each of
which lasts less than a second. Whoever buys this LP, buys a current working
instrument of the band. In the last few months, they performed, each with
an LP and record player, and mixed the loops to a complete texture live.
Post appears as a logical consequence of this working method. The CD contains
33 tracks with a complete time of 52 minutes; the tracks are based on
loops for the most part. The material that forms the basis of the music
was played spontaneously (“improvised”), but was arranged
later on a computer into miniature songs.
Post is an exemplary expression of working antitheses. The music seems
static and diverting at the same time; there are virtually no references
and concessions on the zeitgeist, and yet Post is saturated with historical
gestures – punk, techno, the proletariat song tradition, trace elements
of blues and new wave.
And history, by the way. It’s exactly the opposite of what one’d
expect: first Post was recorded, then Duden. Due to current reasons the
last was published first. But it’s unimportant – Blank master
their material, playfully not dictatorially. The strict logic of their
work is always broken by the involuntary spontaneity and free imagination.
Improvisation can’t be entirely subjugated.
The cover was designed by Albert Oehlen.
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