Lemke Gwilliam - fourmil plus quarterinch
|Right across the border, Vital Weekly can almost see it from the HQ, is the small German city of Kleve, and located there is a small but active scene of improvising musicians, who gather around the Nur Nicht Nur label and as such has been a force for many years. One of their members is Helmut Lemke, who has 'presented the process-based results of his investigations into site-specific sound' for close to thirty years now. Here he teams up with the much younger Ben Gwilliam, who does likewise work and is more from the improvised music scene. In 2007 they spent time together, using different formats of audiotape: pre-recorded, prepared and unprepared. Together they collected a whole bunch of sounds on various tapes (reel to reel, cassette, micro||
cassette and what else, 8-track maybe?) which they collage together in quite densely layered pieces of hiss like sounds and obscured sounds. Its not easy to say what the sounds are that they recorded on those tapes, save for some voice material being sped up and slowed down. Otherwise its not easy to recognize much, but that obscurity adds a great texture to the release, I think. It's a bit like music you could find on cassettes in the 80s, but now with a much better recording quality. Small amplified sounds along the lines of John Cage's 'Cartridge Music'. A fascinating, closed cloud of sound is what they produce, with small elements coming in and out, which leaves much to guess for the listener, who is sucked into this swamp. A nice trip down!
Frans de Waard at Vital Weekly 635