Thursday, 18 September 2008


There’s no necessity of losing ourselves in the wake of mind-bending analyses when dealing with certain records. They work since the initial moments, provided that the context is right (in this particular juncture, that entails unconditional quietness: you just can’t afford to be bothered by kitchen noises or children at play while trying to make sense of Siyu).

The most interesting facet of Krebs’ attitude to improvisation is an absolute openness in regard to sound-generating activities and pieces of equipment. In her playing, the concretely acoustic assets of a manipulated instrument live together with the precious elusiveness of hiss-and-grind flotsam and jetsam, a touch of warped human existence added for good measure, possibly via micro-recorders and shortwave radio. The manifest distinction from the impassible (dis)connection of Nakamura’s subliminal pulses and ear-splitting frequencies is probably the winning card of this album. Music that pullulates of abrupt appearances, events lasting the span of a sympathetic nod before vanishing in the hush from which they had materialized.

How long, one wonders, we’ll have to endure disputes apropos the alleged frigidity of this type of expression? What many critics refuse to take in is that the mainstream listeners are plainly and simply not ready, still attached to self-related aesthetic laws which, for the large part of consequential contemporary art, mean next to nothing. It’s not about “I like it, I don’t” anymore. This music – when properly realized – appraises the effects of other sorts of feedback (no pun intended): the intellectual response of those who receive it, the transmitting properties of contiguous spaces. Try to consistently raise the volume level when assessing the record - especially the first track - then tell me that nothing’s happening. Someone’s going to be irritated, others will remain at a standstill in absorption – yet I’m willing to wage that no one would be left unconcerned. If that happens, those people aren’t actually listening; their channels are closed. They’re doing something else, although physically in attendance.

If you believe in EAI’s faculty of attracting through the sheer curiosity produced by sounds that aren’t even so “new” but hold enough magnetism to modify a person’s perceptive conditions, then Siyu is a fitting release for your trust to nosh.