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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

David Helbock’s Random/Control – Think of Two (Traumton Records, 2014) ***½

In a world, random at the basic level, a semblance of order has been established, taken up through the scales, and all that resulted, among others into creatures that create.  Music for instance.  Now you take two of the real musicians (Thelonious Monk and Hermeto Pascoal) or rather their music and start another creation. In this case that means : you amass a staggering amount of noisemakers, there is three of you and you call yourself Random/Control. Your names are : David Helbock, Johannes Bär and Andi Broger. What do you do, you have listened to the masters themselves, you have listened to many interpretations of the masters’ music, you have about 10 instruments each, which allows for 30 + 300 + 1000 + 1 possible small sound-producing clusters.  And you have the curiosity of children playing with the minds of controlled musicians. You uncovered the humour so often overlooked by others.

It must be incredible fun. Sometimes I cannot but think that musicians are the most privileged humans on the planet, being just there and doing just that. Disregard all needs. Now luckily we can participate in this joy. Live of course, nothing beats live (they must be awesome live) or once removed.

Think of Two” you call your record and the people who are affected by the names will flock to it. You take Hermeto’s Voa Ilza, introduce the jungle noises and the merry dance ensuing. Do Bresil naturalments. These days I like music that makes my foot tap. Helbock plays the piano with blocked strings, giving it a great Cagean percussion sound, and there is some ferocious taking it away. Even blown through a straw. And some great stride piano. And so on. You can’t dance about architecture. End with the theme. And stray in another world, pulled deeper in, pulsing in the distance, piano pulling out notes, and this all building into the wonderful Round Midnight. Their version is there with the greats. Hush now. Allow the velvet. Once again I can go on and I won’t. They end with Think of One, starting it off in a Tibetan temple ceremony then bringing it down the mountain, chopping it up and after lapsing into lazy swing, they pull out the stops and leave you with that most wonderful moment  :  the silence immediately after a great set.  No applause. And after a long silence they give you one last bit. Ending it like a broken radio. Magic.

I do not mince words today.

David Helbock says that he feels very good in the area “zwischen kontrolliertem Spiel und freiem Spiel” and they all do. Sometimes you get hit by music that takes you places. 


Mike Jones said...

This review is almost completely unintelligible.