Küchen does not have a quite optimistic worldview: his stories are about the abuse of power, war, death, decay, lies and deception.Yet, at the same time, he is inventive and boundary-breaking on his instrument and in his music. As can be expected, not everything works, or not everything works for me, to be more precise. On the other hand, he dares go to real weird places without resorting to the simplest elements of shock or outright violence. This is not in-your-face rebellion. It is about subtle musical experience.
Martin Küchen/Ernesto Rodrigues/Guilherme Rodrigues/Carlos Santos - Vinter (Creative Sources, 2010) ****
This utterly sparse album consists of three tracks, with a interesting sounds evolving slowly and hypnotically into the longest last track, on which an ear-piercing repetitive phrase creates a haunting effect for other dark rumbles and noises to create an atmosphere you will not forget. Despite the original inhospitable environment, when you listen again and again to the album, it has a kind of comfortable recognition of wanting to be part of it.
Küchen, Rowe, Wright - At29 (Another Timbre, 2010) ***
On this CD, the recipe is quite similar to other Rowe albums, but with the difference that the two saxes add sounds, not always recognisable as saxes, with some radio sounds added once in a while. You hear scratching, rumbling, drilling, collected noise, but also primarily collective noise with no sense of direction, and ending in the kind of ultrasonic whistling that is guaranteed to break the last nerve in your body. The album is not bad, and it has the merit of being short, a little under fourty minutes.
Martin Küchen - Homo Sacer (Sillon, 2010) ****
The expressivity is not of the wailing kind, but of the infinite ranges of shades of gray that you find between notes. There is not much color indeed, but somehow it succeeds in transferring something deep while listening, and that's what art is all about.
Martin Küchen - The Lie & The Orphanage (Mathka, 2010) ***