Reviews Zarek07

This second effort by the trio Perlonex (previously Perlon), but a name change had become necessary due to the Frankfurt-based techno record label) is very convincing. Ignaz Schick (live electronics), Joerg Maria Zeger (guitars) and Burkhard Beins (percussion) approach music from the post-minimal side of things, stretching delicate musical gestures into long sonic journeys that have as much to do with abstract free improv than with real-time electroacoustics. Zeger’s style is reminiscent of Keith Rowe’s, although less metallic (or “tabletop”). Beins bows cymbals and makes his drums resonate in a way similar to Guenter Mueller. The electronics part is what adds an aura of mystery to this release. Schick blends analog and digital sources to create strange textures that come like a cross between Thomas Lehn and Christof Kurzmann. Peripherique comprises a full concert recorded in December 2000 at Les Instants Chavirés. A first improv of 44 minutes is followed by a shorter one (13 minutes). There is a commanding unity in the movement: things expand, reduce, re-expand, and reduce again with stunning synergy in “Peripherique I”.The second piece fails to reach the same level of excitement, but it is hard to be impressed after what happened in the first three-quarters of the disc.

Francois Couture, All Music Guide

Ignaz Schick is a busy man. Along with running the Zarek label, he’s a forerunner in the vanguard of European improvisation. He is part of a number of ensembles that include Perlonex (with Burkhard Beins and Joerg Maria Zeger), Phosphor (with Axel Doerner, Robin Hayward, Annette Krebs, Michael Renkel, Andrea Neumann, and Burkhard Beins) and a trio with Phil Durrant and Burkhard Beins. Schick plays, vaguely enough, “electronics”, which I take to mean feedback inducers, samplers, buzzers, hissers, and miscellaneous noisemakers. Peripherique is Perlonex’s 2nd cd. Their debut from last year was a beautifully subtle, textured exploration by three instrumentalists who worked together to create a massive bed of sound. This follow-up sees the band working closer together to create a sonic cloud where it’s hard to hear who is making what noise. Discerning interplay is pointless here, all one can do is hear this massive cloud of sound. Percussionist Burkhard Beins uses a prepared drumset, where he can elicit a variety of timbres and textures. Joerg Maria Zeger uses a guitar (modified in some fashion, I’d imagine) to.ummm..well.do something. Once again, other than a few recognizable sections of skronk, I can’t figure out what Zeger really is doing in the mix. The trio manages to cover a lot of ground, from dense noisy sections to more understated segments filled with tiny gestures. It’s the really quiet segments that really do it for me, though. When a slightly bowed cymbal radically alters the direction the music is going, you can tell that you’re dealing with players with a deep sensitivity towards sound.

Nirav Soni, Ink 19

Since we first reviewed his band Perlon (v3.01) they have had to change their name to Perlonex (already in use by a label), but remain a three piece based around electronics (Schick), percussion (Beins) and guitar (Zeger). Again, two live recorded piece are presented here. “Peripherique 1” is 43 minutes long and has a strong symmetrical structure, based on a gentle opening, noise climax, quite centre, second climax and quite end. The first ten minutes is a gradual accumulation of quietness as they walk on and start playing – a tape hiss that builds to a rumble, tapping, distant strummed guitar: all very delicate and focused. Some improvised percussive sounds – a ball rolling over a plate, sand being shaken – plays and builds for 5 minutes; also suggestive that part of Schick’s electronics is mixing and looping as some sounds appear to cycle and change. Some minutes of chords and squeaks, a reduction of sounds and then building 5 intense minute verging on noise. The second quiet period sees soft electro, cow bells and other percussion build into a second storm with tones and feedback after about 30 minutes. At 35 it drops right away, revisits the ball and scrape percussion, before a long fade. In “Peripherique 2” the group stays in the subtle concentrated mode as a breathing hiss, cracklepops, a tock and scraping guitar amongst other sounds interplay in a delicate soundpiece. These days its hard to say what instrument is what as prepared guitars and percussion meld into the areas of electronica – so I wouldn’t dare to say which instruments are dominating. Suffice to say that this combines the drama of its narrative flow with intense and rewarding soundplay. A deft balance is struck between periods of delicate development, exploration and dramatic expostulations, again raising questions of how much improv is scored, making for great listening.

Ampersand Etcetera, Australia

Perlonex is an electroacoustic trio comprised of Ignaz Schick (live electronics), Joerg Maria Zeger (guitars) and Burkhard Beins (percussion). They were formerly known as Perlon, but changed their name in agreement with a Frankfurt-based techno label, also called Perlon. Peripherique features two tracks, recorded live at Instants Chavires in Paris last December. These two long pieces (43 and 13 minutes respectively) develop slowly in broad movements. The compositions seem to be free of any real time constraints, yet at the same time the sounds are extremely concentrated, as if they were contained in a vacuum sealed container, ready to explode at any moment. The electronics, guitars and percussion compliment each other with their non-competitive, non-intrusive sounds, forming more of a unified sound throughout the pieces. Perlonex brings together three innovative sound artists in the world of new improv, and Peripherique is a true testament to their skill and spirit.

Richard di Santo,  Incursion Music Review Canada

Perlonex was called Perlon when I saw them play last year, but apperentely there is also a Frankfurt techno label called Perlon, so exit the name (hence Perlonex). The tour I saw them in my area, was an extensive one, and towards the end they recorded their set (at least that’s what I assume) on multi-track and mixed it. The combination of prepared guitar and drums in combination with live electronics, cum prerecorded sound, works well here. Probably due to the advances of the multi-track, the music sounds very coherent, with great flaws in soft and loud parts. From utter concentration to very loud parts. Everything seems to be carefully thought out and placed (or maybe mixed) in the audio spectrum. I’d could hardly call this improvised music, since it’s seems very much composed. Whatever, it is a great thing to listen to.

Frans de Waard, Vital Weekly, The Netherlands

Berlin based trio Perlonex understand perfectly how to create improvised music which incorporates the controlled violence of industry – an earlier 7″ even made one reviewer wax nostalgic for Teeside oil refineries. Breaking one of the unwritten rules – ie avoid repetition – in improvised music (in theory ‘non-ideomatic’ and open to anything, in practice far from it) percussionist Burkhard Beins reiterates tiny rhythmic cycles and timbral gestures, conjuring a wide variety of sounds >from a relatively compact kit, while guitarist Joerg Maria Zeger lays down a carpet of delicately pulsing resonance behind Schick«s bank of Minidisc players, Discmen, FX switches and mixing desk. Events take their time to unfold during this live set recorded last December at the Instants Chavirés outside Paris. The music«s slow heartbeat (Francisco Lopez comes to mind), Zeger«s painterly use of the guitar and Beins«s mastery of the bowed cymbal often recall AMM, the reference for today«s younger improvisors, it seems

Dan Warburton, The Wire, UK

The Berlin scene has fascinatingly burgeoned in recent times, and much of the city’s developing electro-acoustic improv activity centres around or to some extent visibly involves Ignaz Schick. His electronics have featured on a series of releases – mostly on his own Zarek label (formerly known as Edition Zangi) – which all document an intriguing probing of the improvisational interface between acoustic instruments and electronically- and computer-generated sounds, an area currently being explored by Berlin-based players like Burkhard Beins, Annette Krebs, Andrea Neumann, Michael Renkel and Axel Doerner.
Peripherique is the second release from Perlonex (formerly known as Perlon), Schick’s trio with guitarist Joerg Maria Zeger and Beins (percussion), just one of the several groups in which he and Beins hold membership. Schick operates solo (Tabit CD [Zangi Music]), and has duos with Neumann (Petit Pale CD [Zangi Music]) and tuba-player Robin Hayward; Beins works ina duo with guitarist Renkel called Activity Center (two CDs on 2:13 Music), recently cut a duo with Keith Rowe (Grain [Zangi Music]), and plays with Schick in the Phosphor octet, with Neumann, Bosetti, Hayward, Krebs, Renkel and Doerner. Schick and Beins have also made contact and fostered relationships with like-minded British musicians: both play in the very quiet Necessaire quartet with Mark Wastell and Italian soprano saxophonist Alessandro Bosetti (no releases as yet), and Beins and Wastell combine with Rhodri Davies in (the also quiet) The Sealed Knot (one cassette on Wastell’s Confront label, and a CD due on Meniscus before year’s end), and in a trio with Phil Durrant.
Peripherique is more improvised electroacoustic than electroacoustic improv. Despite the presence of percussion and guitar, texturally speaking, the instrumental flow comprises a succession of almost flawless segues, the fallibility implied by acoustic instruments nearly totally removed. The two pieces – one imposing 44-minute workout, followed by a 13-minute coda – slowly build from quiet beginnings into multi-hued, headily buzzing layered masses of sound which are drenched in fine timbral detail. The first contains two noisy peaks which are separated by long passages of drone pitches and quietly churning and rumbling sound, flecked with Schick’s crackling electronics; the second begins quietly, gradually reaching a faux-climax before receding once more into quiescence.
The music is in a state of constant movement and advance, and though the rate and speed at which it shape-shifts varies greatly, it is never static. Comparison has been made to AMM, and there are surface similarities in the use of layers of sound in the construction of the improvisations, but Perlonex’s electronic source material is significantly more dynamic, and the range of sounds it generates broader. Given the marked tendency towards low volumes and near if not total quiet amongst those active in this sphere of improvisation, the amount of actual music Peripherique contains is surprising; one suspects that the longer this group exists, the more thorough their engagement with silence will become.

Nick Cain, Opprobrium, New Zealand

Another nerve-shredding Ignaz Schick production – this one is sullen, brooding horror. It documents a Paris concert by Schick on live electronics, joined by Joerg Maria Zeger on guitars and Burkhard Beins on percussion. The first long track is apt to induce physical sickness among the unwary, but not because it’s particularly extreme – it’s just so loaded and larded with 20 tons old-fashioned angst and paranoia. Schick I assume provides the low-end bass rumbling with electronic devices of a secret nature, leaving Zeger to attack his guitar with the directed malevolence of a veteran slaughterhouse-man. This sorta nastiness has not been heard since the DAF guitarist took an electric vibrator to the neck of his axe. Even when the music goes quiet, the same bristling intensity of menace growls through every second of the continuous brooding and groaning. Perlonex used to be Perlon; their first release (Zarek 01) was reviewed in issue eight, and they’ve got a lot better since then – much more dynamic. Schick’s solo release “Tabit” (same ish) also exhibited the same bad-tempered grumbling qualities, and it is a great panacea to cheer up those suicidal November days (by making you feel worse). This newie seemed a little overlong on first spin, but now I appreciate that the sprawling dimension is necessary to accommodate every waking moment of this combo’s anti-social repulsion and pessimistic malaise. Keep a bottle of Graviscon handy.

Ed Pinsent, The Sound Projector

Guitarist Jorg Zeger and percussionist Burkhard Beins join Schick under the Perlonex moniker and pool their orientation-destroying resources. On the Peripherique CD (Zarek), the forty minute “Periperique I” reveals a naiad’s eye view of Killimanjaro escalator pulsations, enhanced by competing herbivores swooping down to pluck kosher morsels from radish-and-marjoram hairpieces.This trio of hatters seeks to engage the skull in unhindered three-hundred-sixty-degree chafe by inverting listeners in fluctuating hemp helmets a size to small, spinning them like unconscious break-dancers, and placing bets on the revolutions per minute.The cavities Perlonex grinds into the dance floor resemble Voodoo intoxiglyphs burned into the palm, as if scarred by a malicious rope tow. By the conclusion of the thirteen minute”PeriperiqueII”, which cauterizes the splay with brushed cotton swabs dipped in Listerine poultice, only melting-tungsten body odor lingers.

Bananafish Magazine, USA

Apocryphal stories circulate about one or another famous avant garde musician of the 1960s who is purported to have gone out for dinner with a critic while another freedom musician was still performing in concert. He told his companion that “it’s more interesting to play this music than to listen to it.”
Attribution is hard to come by, of course, but you can easily see a similar yarn growing up around electro-acoustics, an even less listener-friendly genre. Coupled with shows that often end up resembling laboratory research at a computer peripherals factory, the musicians’ immobility and sometimes ear-straining presentations make CD concentration a dicey proposition at best. That’s the challenge faced by listeners to the discs by this Berlin-based improvising trio, which was forced to change its name between its first and second disc when a record label turned out to already be named Perlon. Although Periperique was recorded in a Paris club and Play It Loud in a Berlin studio, there’s no discernable audio difference, except the former is about 15 minutes shorter than the later.
Another idiosyncrasy that seems to come with electro-acoustic territory is the need to play both of these sessions at a level about 25% louder than usual. That way the musicians’ sonic creations won’t vanish into an electronic sludge. This also provides an insight into how you can rank these discs: when the improvisations rise enough out of the sonic midst to command attention, lift off has been attained; if repetitive noodling characterizes the sound field, than distraction results.
In this way you can see that both discs are equally successful or unsuccessful. For because of the inordinate length of most of the tracks, frequent arid sections appear. Peculiarly “Peripherique II” at barely 13 minutes is no more or less immune to this flaw than the longer “Terlenka” on 01.
Thus some of the sounds literally appear to be what results when the connections in a tape recorder are reversed and a consistent buzz overcomes what else has been recorded there. Obviously — we hope — this didn’t happen, but often the sound being created by drummer Burkhard Beins, best known for his collaboration with British guitarist John Bisset, and guitarist Jšrg Maria Zeger, who mainly performs solo concerts, is masked by the electronics of group mainman and label head Ignaz Schick.
Even deep listening to “Peripherique I” would hear what sounds at various times like a conveyer belt moving, the crackles and screech of electricity, an electric band saw being operated and a freight train passing at a level crossing, before echoing guitar overtones assert themselves. Perhaps it’s that sympathetic resonance that serves as the track’s centrepiece, for shortly afterwards what appears to be a brace of pealing bells makes their appearance, reverberating in a similar fashion. Finally after a barren collection of silences, dense sonics get louder and more intense until a corrosive buzz controls the foreground before fading.
Often sounding perversely as if the conceptions of AMM and Aerosmith were grafted together, “Terlenka,” recorded a year earlier, operates in a similar soundscape. Beins’ percussion and Zeger’s guitars in their natural states are more prominent in the mix, but the low-fi electronics mean that comparable monotonous quietude drags down several sections.
Designed, intentionally or not, as homage to AMM, the framing of this massive piece finds a female voice from a radio appear near the beginning and almost at its completion. However, heavy metal is first suggested by the drumming, which appears to be taking place as much on the steel sides of the kit as on the cymbals. Later, a metallic pulse grinds down the cymbals seemingly getting heavier and harder until it’s answered by bass drum rumbles and intense electronic static. Cycling around until it nearly becomes earsplitting thunderclaps, you begin to sense that instrumental samples are helping to build this high-pitched, coagulated wall of sound.
Nevertheless, repetition sets in at that point. Cooing, lyric cuckoo sounds followed by silences, punctuated by wah-wah electronic whirring and what could be a bathtub emptying, presage strokes that could be combed from guitar strings and matched with coins set loose on drum heads. Heartbeat-like electric pulses predominate until tiny beeps flatline the music to silence.
No one wants the return of the three minute 78, but perhaps Perlonex’s creations would be better formed if more self-editing was done. There’s much that’s interesting here, especially if you live and breathe electro-acoustics. But some of the musically parched sections and sound duplication could send others out for dinner with that apocryphal avant gardist … or at least in search of a cold drink.

Ken Waxman, JazzWeekly, USA

Cette formation donne, avec “peripherique” (Zarek 07) un enregistrement public réalisé en décembre 2000 aux Instants Chavires. Réunis à l’origine sous l’intitulé Perlon, Ignaz Schick (live electronics), Joerg Maria Zeger (guitares) et Burkhard Beins (perc) ont opté pour un nouveau nom (ex-Perlon, soit Perlonex) de groupe. Pour tirer le fil de la métaphore textile du terme (puisque perlon est le nom allemand des fibres obtenues pa polycondensation), on pourra observer dans cette musique une extension maximale des matértiaux sonores qui, de fibreux, virent parfois au filandreux … Les lents développements de volumes sur cables frottés sont d’un indéniable intérèt mais ce stisme aimablement bouddique ne laisse pas d’interroger: si comme on le prétend parfois, c’est l’auditeur qui fait la musique (qu’elle soit concue, intentionnellement ou pas, par un geste musical ou par le seul exercise de l’ecoute), l’activité de Perlonex – qui semble intelligemment par addition – tend a une forme de disparation. Autre trait qui semble d’ailleurs marquer maintes productions de cette école, le parti pris la ténuité et de la raréfaction sonore (et son caractère didactique de lecon paradoxalement démonstrative, d’éducation à l’audition) finit par agacer et par faire regreter quelque bon quatour d’hélicoptères. De mème, et pour digresser encore quelque peu, “l’idéologie de l’écoute”, dans son désir comprèhensible de faire table rase des conceptions passées, en oublie que, si l’environnement sonore quotidien peut ètre poétisé par l’audition, il n’en est pas plus ni moins riche en sonorités qu’un qintet de Mozart. Le problème n’est pas celui que soulevait Marc Sarrazy dans Improjazz no 74, pp 47-48, on évoquant les musiques de “l’extreme sonore” et en posant la question du déni de “musicalité”: ces catégories sont déspassés depuis plus de cinquante ans (sans parler du travail sur le bruit déjà réalisé par un Haydn). Il rèside plut™t dans le statut de l’auditeur et dans sa posture vis-à-vis de ces phènomènes (pris en compte, légitimés, si l’on ose dire, par l’ecoute).

Improjazz, France

Na een naamsverandering op vriendelijk verzoek van het Duitse techno-label Perlon, kon dit improvisatietrio in de herfst van 2000 de boer op voor een tournee door Duitsland, de Benelux en Frankrijk. De cd Peripherique bevat opnames van de performance in Parijs. De lin-up ziet er vrij traditionel uit: Joerg Maria Zeger (gitarren), Burkhard Beins (percussie) en Zarek-baas Ignaz Schick (elektronica); maar door het reduceren en het eindeloos uitrekken van de klanken valt echter van de oorspronkelijke klankkleuren van deze instrumenten niets de bespeuren. Hoge en lage tonen, semistiltes, drones en gemanipuleerd metaal worden overspoeld door ruisende gekuidsgolven en bij momenten chaotische percussie. Geoefende oren die al vertrouwd zijn met het minder toegankelijke werk van Organum, de experimentele kant van Merzbow en projecten als Aube, Kapotte Muziek of Prins zitten goed voor een uurtje geinproviseerde geluidsarchitectuur.

Gonzo Circus, Belgium

Het Berlijnse trio Perlonex zet op haar cd twee nummers van 43 en 13 minuten neer die komen beiden maar moeilijk op gang. Die geluiden lijken te zijn opgenomen in de machinekamer van een enorm slagschip. Ze roteren als een cirkelzaag door mijn grijze massa heen. Knap ineen gestoken met echter weinig gevoel voor de broodnodige spanning.

Fake, NL

Un disco fatto fondamentalmente di fruscii, scricchiolii e rumori di vario tipo realizzati da un trio composto da Ignaz Schick (elettronica), Jorg Maria Zeger (chitarre) e Burkhard Beins (percussioni). Compositivamente parlando i due brani del cd (in realtà un concerto tenuto a Parigi nel 2000) sono costruiti su un continuo crescendo; il difetto è secondo me proprio questo, perché il pezzo “cresce” troppo lentamente. Nel primo brano, infatti, bisogna aspettare quasi una ventina di minuti per arrivare a sentire qualcosa di veramente interessante, mentre il secondo pezzo sono 13 minuti di noia in cui non succede praticamente nulla. Peccato, perché i momenti salienti in cui l’improvvisazione si fa davvero furiosa sono molto interessanti (qui ribadisco il concetto: interessanti per il sottoscritto, per i non avvezzi rappresenteranno cacofonia pura).

Musiche, Italy

Sino all’anno scorso (quando pubblicarono il pregevole disco di debutto, da me ben recensito su queste stesse pagine) si chiamavano Perlon, ma poi, per evitare contrasti con l’omonima etichetta techno di Francoforte, hanno preferito, di comune accordo, optare per Perlonex (ovvero ex Perlon…) e se ne escono con un lavoro di due brani registrati dal vivo a Parigi nel dicembre del 2000, al termine del tour che li ha portati in Germania, Benelux e Francia. La ridotta quantità di pezzi contenuti è giustificata dalla lunga durata; in particolar modo i 43′ e 50″ di ‘Peripherique I’, composizione che vede il terzetto di Berlino (percussioni, chitarra ed elettronica) esprimere tutte le proprie possibilità inventive per la creazione di un’opera di improvvisazione noise dal tasso di rumorosità variabile (tanto impercettibile quanto assordante e radicale), che ha il solo limite nel ridotto tasso di variabilità (anche rispetto a quanto proposto in ‘Perlon’). I 13′ e 9″ di ‘Peripherique II’ si sviluppano invece seguendo un profilo piè minimale e micro wave oriented, con parecchia staticità, fatto salvo un drone ambient industrial che „ravviva” la traccia nella parte conclusiva. La mia valutazione pone ‘Peripherique’ un gradino al di sotto dell’album d’esordio, causa la scomparsa dai loro tabulati compositivi di quella componente avant jazz che li rendeva piè completi e aperti verso l’esterno, mentre adesso paiono voler implodere in se stessi!

Roberto Michilietto, Musicclub, Italy

Egy újabb elektroakusztikus album, mégpedig egy berlini triótól, amelynek egy tavalyi párizsi koncertjének dokumentuma a Peripherique. De azt hiszem, ennél azért több. Egy koncertdokumentum nem feltétlenül vetekszik egy stúdióban érlelt lemezzel, már ha itt lehetne errol szó. Az elso 43 perces felvétel lassan fejlodik csendes suhogó maszatoló kezdettol egy sípoló, zakatoló majd borzasztó eroszakos zajzenévé. Mivel szépen lassan, rácsok mögül összes hangszörnyet megvizsgálhatjuk, s így haladunk az egyre kíméletlenebb a középtájon megpiheno, de újra begerjedo, zord terrénum felé, megijednünk sohasem kell. A harmadiknegyedben, ennek ellenére, emberpróbáló eroszakossággal, fémes sikolyokkal találjuk magunkat szemben, majd újra lelassult kaparászás vezeti le kompozíciót. Mondom kiszámítható ritmusos, lükteto a zene, és érezhetoen elore megírt nem túl eredeti, viszont igen hatásos forgatókönyvvel rendelkezik. A triót foként a mindvégig domináns elektronika vezeti, s hozzá kezesen idomul a dob és a gitár. Ami ezen túl van, az már minden bizonnyal improvizáció, s ebbol kiderül, a három zenész finom egységben mondja el az egyenes vonalú történetet. A második, rövidebb, 13 perces szerzemény már inkább vélheto hagyományos improvizációs felvételnek, ahol a visszafogottan szöszölos mikrohangokat ambientes, víz alatti hatást kölcsönöznek. Az elozohöz képes jóval csendesebb, szinte relaxált darab mintegy, erre egyébként utal a cím is, további levezetése az elso, igen harsány csúcsponttal rendelkezo elso résznek. Összességében, és elsore nem különösebben hatott meg a lemez, de minél többet hallom, annál jobban tetszik.

András, Ultrahang-


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