Voice Crack

(Copyright © 2003 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of use )

Earflash (1990), 6.5/10
Below Beyond Above (1997) , 7/10

Voice Crack, the duo of Swiss musicians Andy Guhl (percussion and bass) and Norbert Moeslang (reeds), specialized in music for broken objects found in garbage cans (with a peculiar passion for electronic devices such as radios and calculators). The way these objects were played was often "random", meaning that the two "composers" set rules to let chance create the sounds that were then recorded.

Their early vinyl albums Deep Voices (november 1977 - FMP, 1977), with the first tentative use of electronics, Knack On (october, 1982 - FMP, 1982), the manifesto of their fusion of musique concrete and free jazz, and Draht (Verlag Vexer, 1987), as well as the cassettes released as Moslang-Guhl, i.e. Brissugo (1980), Werkstatt Eisen (1983), Voice Crack (march 1984), Radio Laboratorium (1985) and Kick That Habit (may 1986), were all live recordings. They emphasized free improvisation of the kind practised by jazz musicians using traditional instruments such as saxophones or flutes, except that Voice Crack used home-made instruments built up from "cracked" objects.

Among their most significant works were the joint albums with noise-mongers Borbetomagus: Fish That Sparkling Bubble (march 1988), the live Asbestos Shake (december 1990 - Agaric, 1991) and the live Concerto for Cracked Everyday-Electronics and Chamber Orchestra (may 1994 - Agaric, 1994).

The first studio recording, which featured percussionist Knut Remond, was Earflash (march 1989 - Dexterscigar, 1990).

Below Beyond Above (Up, 1997) was perhaps their first major recording. The disjointed and erratic noise of Without Black weds the machine and natural worlds, and would work well as both as background music for a 19th century Frankenstein-style laboratory and as a soundtrack to an aquarium. The pulsing opacity of With A Hint Of Yellow is emblematic of the way that their compositions can fuse cosmic and psychological qualities. The glitchy landscape is perturbed by countless events but never transformed. It maintains its coherence and almost feels static, whereas there's a busy life spreading under the surface. Without Green adds a sinister dimension to their abstract explorations of sound, with alien voices mixing with cicada-like sounds to smother the running footsteps of the beginning. The industrial bubbling of Without A Touch Of Red ends in a hyper-psychedelic merry-go-round of reverbs. This album successfully bridged industrial music of the 1980s and (ante-litteram) the abstract glitch music to come in the 2000s, leaving behind the "noisecore" of their early days.

Infra_Red (Up, 1999) and Shock Late (Entenpfuhl, 2000) are other abstract zeniths of Voice Cracks.

Collaborations include: Table Chair And Hatstand (march 1996 - For 4 Ears, 1996), Buda_rom (october 2000 - For 4 Ears, 2000) with Guenter Mueller; Bits, Bots and Signs (march 2000 - Erstwhile, 2000) with Otomo Yoshihide; Double Wash (december 1999 - Gross, 2001) with Lionel Marchetti and Jerome Noetinger; Oystered (july 2002 - Audiosphere, 2003) with Oren Ambarchi and Guenter Mueller; etc.

Norbert Moeslang documented one of his installations on Capture (july 2004 - 2005) and also released Lat NC (2004) and its "remix" Burst Log (2006).

Poirez (march 1999 - For 4 Ears, 1999) was a collaboration with percussionist Gunter Muller and French turntablist Erik M. Poire Z's Presque Chic (Sonoris) and + (Erstwhile) documented live performances.

Norbert Möslang's three-LP The Sound Of Insects (2011), recorded in 2009 as a film soundtrack, was performed by the leader on cracked everyday-electronics, Jason Kahn (analog synthesizer and percussion), Tomas Korber (guitar and electronics), Günter Müller (ipod, percussion and electronics), Christian Weber (contrabass), Katsura Yamauchi (sax), Christoph Homberger (vocals), Martin Schütz (5-string cello), Jacques Demierre (piano), and Paul Lovens (drums).

Norbert Moslang's Stodgy (Mikroton) was a collaboration with eRikm. Moslang's Indoor_Outdoor (may 2012 - Ideologic Organ, 2012) contains the 20-minute Indoor Outdoor, based on field recordings, and the 19-minute Hot_Cold_Shield, a live improvisation with Toshimaru Nakamura on no-input mixing board.

(Copyright © 2003 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions - Termini d'uso )
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