Будущее совершенное (‘Future Perfect‘, Mikroton Recordings) is (I think) the eighth album involving both Serge Baghdassarians (mixing desk, delays and electric guitar) and Boris Baltschun (computer, sampler), and the second by this trio with Burkhard Beins of Polwechsel and The Sealed Knot (percussion, zither).
The trio are part to the Berlin-centric Echtzeitmusik scene, which disclaims the established binaries of “‘Improvised Music’, ‘Free Jazz’, ‘New Music’, ‘Experimental Music’ and so on” (echtzeitmusik.com), with both Beins and Baltschun in the ranks of the ur-Echtzeitmusik Splitter Orchester: cf. Mikroton’s Echtzeitmusik Berlin comp, which provides a decent primer.
Future Perfect is a decade-due follow-up to the trio’s snappily-titled debut, Zur Stabilen Stützung Eines Körpers Ist Es Notwendig, Dass Er Mindestens Drei Auflagenpunkte Hat, Die Nicht In Einer Geraden Liegen (absinthRecords, 2006). That album’s title says something about a stable body requiring three points of support, so the trio evidently feel they’re onto something lasting.
Apparently they no longer perform live, preferring to collaborate in the studio where “single sound events — either derived from close-miked objects, instrumental or electronic sources — became starting points for…collective multi-track pieces,” of which this short album has but three, “futur 1”, “n-eck” and “futur 2”, all wrapped up in 30:21.
“futur 1” is an electro-acoustic variant of the sort of spacious long-form improvisations conducted by groups like Circadia and Mural, beginning with deep, long-resonating gong-strike reverb washing over over a muzzy flux of piercingly stridulant high-pitch and fluctuating mid-range synth tones. It eventually locks into an abstract kind of glitch groove, like amplified vinyl run-out, and cuts out as abruptly as a needle lifting.
“n-eck”, the longest piece at 12:35, begins with its electronic pitches more clearly separated into piercing sustains and oscillatory surges that island Beins’ small percussion sounds and Baghdassarians’ nonchalant guitar picking. The electronica levels then fluctuate dramatically, cleared of obfusc sound layers when pushing into the red, leaving only clean-toned tinnitus pitches that yaw disconcertingly, enveloping injected test-tone vibrations.
“futur 2” is the album’s subtlest piece. With deep frame drum hits studding tremulous machine oscillation, slow-drip water sounds and fly-fast insect buzzing, it could be a remix of Tomoko Sauvage‘s watery take on electro-acoustic music, or a field-recorded microcosmos.
This is a terrific album, my favourite among a batch of Mikroton releases that also included The Kitchen: recordings by Keith Rowe (electronics, guitar) and Martin Küchen (alto and baritone saxophones, radio, iPod) edited in post-production by Toshimaru Nakamura – highly recommended for fans of AMM, European Lowercase improvisation or Onkyōkei (as, indeed, is Future Perfect). And heads-up for a forthcoming album by George Lewis & Splitter Orchester, Creative Construction SetTM.
Serge Baghdassarians mixing desk, delays, electric guitar; Boris Baltschun computer, sampler; Burkhard Beins percussion, zither.
Buy Будущее совершенное direct from Mikroton Recordings.