Itch Review in Wire 298 (12/08)

Lapslap comprises Michael Edwards (tenor sax, computer MIDI wind
controller), Martin Parker (French horn, computer) and Karin Schistek
(piano), and Itch was recorded in Reid Hall in Edinburgh, where the
acoustic is such that the musicians felt it worth trying to include it
as an element in some of their improvisations. Certainly this is very
atmospheric music. The ten short and varied performances explore a
wide range of sonorities and textures which is further extended by use
of electronic modifications. The insert notes refer to the the trio’s
desire “to make well-formed music in realtime”, and on the evidence of
these single-take tracks they have succeeded admirably.

There are passages, as on “Nailed” for piano and computer, where Lapslap
evoke some of the very best of the early musique concrete productions
of the Pierre Schaeffer circle, wile in part of “Honk” for tenor sax,
piano and electronics, the spirit of Stockhausen hovers, though some
visceral Broetzmann-style outbursts justifying the title) sweep
everything else aside and go some way to preparing the ears for the
flurry of Industrial noise on the next track, “Hungry”, for piano and
two computers. Elsewhere, in “Motor Mouth” for example, there is some
good old mainstream Fire Music, with shades of Archie Shepp and Cecil
Taylor. This sequence of contrasts gives some indication of the
group’s tactic of constantly unsettling your expectations.

Schistek is a synaesthete, a fact that informs the closing track,
“Rhapsody in Light Yellow” for piano and two computers. Most of us
sometimes resort to similes of light and colour in an attempt to
convey the nature and effect of music, but for synaesthetes the hue of
a note or a chord or key is not a metaphorical device but an objective
fact. Efforts to empathise with how Schistek literally sees this
music bring this impressive session to a fascinating,
thought-provoking close.

(Barry Witherden)

One Response to “Itch Review in Wire 298 (12/08)”

Great! Congratulations!

Lin added these pithy words on Nov 12 08 at 2:53 pm