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Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Katharina Klement / Martin Siewert - Hoverload (chmafu nocords, 2016) ****

By Eyal Hareuveni

Austrian Katharina Klement and Martin Siewert are magicians. Both are more than resourceful improvisers on their so-called traditional instruments - Klement on the piano and Siewert on the electric guitar, but both opt to use these instruments as sound generators, then play with the sounds with electronic treatments and their highly personal extended techniques.

These Viennese experimental musicians always search for new means to reinvent their palette of sounds and improvising strategies. Klement focuses on many of her projects on exploring spatial conceptions, creating sound installations of music, text, video and performance and enhancing playing techniques on the piano - its keys, strings and wooden body. Siewert, member of the Viennese art-rock trio Radian and Mats Gustafsson’s Fake the Facts is also in-demand sound engineer, and recently has been busy playing in new musical contexts.

The eight improvisations offer surreal, dream-state sonic journeys. Each of these improvisations is a unique universe of quiet, ethereal storms of arresting sounds. These minimalist sounds have an elastic quality, almost tangible one as they hover in the close space, collide gently, caress and provoke; their overtones spiral, extend and resonate each other, as if they attempt to convey us some kind of haunting intelligible spells.

Klement and Siewert draw delicate architectures and keep sculpting their outlines and shapes, never overloading these loose structures. Their work process is totally organic as if the the acoustic, processed and treated sounds of the piano extend the electric and processed sounds of the guitar and vice versa. Sometimes their interplay is even playful, a game-like interplay, despite the intriguing storms of alien, noisy sounds, always suggesting a fragile tension. There are moments when a spark of melodic or textual vein flickers, suddenly some metallic sounds gravitate towards a sonic nucleus or echoing a pulse but it soon turns out to be a fleeting arrangement of one sonic segment of an ever-shifting kaleidoscopic texture.

What a beautiful, strange journey it is.