Metrics That Matter

Excellent record of percussion-plus music from Katharina Ersnt, a drummer whose name is new to me but who turns out to have working away at her personal project for about seven years; she did appear on the first Ventil album in 2015 and then played live with Martin Siwert on the Live At Wirr album. Well, her plan is to supplement her drum kit with gongs, small objects, drum synths, and an amplified kalimba, and a lot of her sounds are drenched in foot-pedal effects; all of this means Extrametric (VENTIL RECORDS V011) offers a very full-blooded and rich noise, which is why I call it “percussion-plus”. She makes that kalimba shimmer like a psychedelic guitar with her pedals, thus pleasing rock fans; but she also keeps a steady head-down beat that equals any drum computer and puts a hundred Techno records to shame.

Unreconstructed noise fan that I am, I also wallow in the abstract groans and evil emissions that pour out from some part of this set-up, especially notable on tracks 01, 02 and 05. Apparently her method involves a high degree of “deep concentration”, because each composed piece comprises many different elements, strange structures, and multiple rhythms; much mental effort needed to keep the pattern together in her mind and thence through the executioner’s limbs that push the drum kit forward. All of this is done with the restraint, precision and starkness that I’m starting to associate with the Ventil label, a label aesthetic which I attribute to the mind of Peter Kutin (who is thanked on the cover). Recorded by Felix Classen, mixed by Martin Siewert, this is a solid item of compacted hard-core energy. From 12th October 2018.