Baked Goods

Keith Rowe / Martin Küchen
The Bakery
RUSSIA MIKROTON CD 46 (2016)

Actually, Messrs Rowe and Küchen have traded frequencies before. But that was within the confines of a trio and the Küchen, Rowe, Wright c.d. was handstamped in triplicate by the ‘Another Timbre’ label back in 2010. On this occasion, the founding father of tabletop guitar disciplines (and radio manipulations) was invited by the table turner and medium of the spectral sax to a residency that was granted via the deep pockets of the Swedish Arts Council some three years ago. The catch though is that the roles have been somewhat reversed, with Keith’s guitar coming as a secondary concern to his electronics prowess, while Martin’s alto and baritones are supplemented by the crackle/murmur of his radio and ipod.

Divided into two segments (at 21.32 and 14.03 mins), The Bakery comes as a perfect melding of analogue wiring/practical electronix with various prepped guitar gestures in which individual voices and ‘noises off’ are well nigh impossible to recognize as workaday instrumentation. Surely the goal of many an improviser. I can detect some scattered wheezings and splutterings of a far away sax (alternating as an anaesthetist’s nightmare) during part two’s latter stages. A culmination of unnervingly grey mid-paced free-prov all told, which, when topping/tailing certain key moments, seems to stretch time like silly putty on repeated listenings.

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