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zeitkratzer performing Reinhold Friedl’s Xenakis[a]live!

ASP3005 Asphodel Records - Asphodel, CD & DVD, digipack, duration: 54:20
all music by Reinhold Friedl, commissioned by Wiener Festwochen, performed by zeitkratzer
recorded live in Vienna, Austria, November 2006; mixed by Ralf Meinz & Reinhold Friedl at Asphodel Studios San Francisco
video by Lillevan with special 5.1.-mix

zeitkratzer directed by Reinhold Friedl
Frank Gratkowski < clarinets | Franz Hautzinger < trumpet | Melvyn Poore < tuba | Reinhold Friedl < piano | Marc Weiser < guitar | Maurice de Martin < percussion | Burkhard Schlothauer < violin | Anton Lukoszevieze < violoncello | Ulrich Phillipp < double bass | Ralf Meinz < sound

Reinhold Friedl’s Xenakis [a]live! is a homage to the French-Greek composer Iannis Xenakis. The piece is conceived for nine amplified instruments demonstrating zeitkratzer's well established tradition of instrumental amplification (e.g. the early collaborations with Zbigniew Karkowski or Merzbow and more recently with William Bennett of WHITEHOUSE) where playing amplified does not only mean making things louder, it also entails having a microscopic view of sound in which acoustic microsounds appear in a completely new context. The references to seminal Xenakis’ tape compositions like “Persepolis” or “La Legende d’Er” are audible in the materials and textures, densities and sound masses performed by zeitkratzer, taking it to new areas of physical qualities that create a huge sonic architecture. Recorded live at Ronchaer Vienna, Austrai during Wiener Festwochen. Xenakis[a]live! adds a stunning new chapter to zeitkratzer’s audacious catalogue and a new sort of intensities to contemporary chamber music.


Great powerfull music!
Vital Weekly, 9/2007

D-Side, Jean-Francois Micard, F, 9/2007

Cela donne une oeuvre de cinquante minutes intense, bruitiste et vertigineuse qui nous accueille dès les premières secondes par un déluge de sonorités supra aiguës proches du larsen. Une entrée en scène brutale et radicale qui après quelques minutes délaisse ces sonorités stridentes au profit d'une masse musicale dense, compacte et intransigeante. A tel point qu'il nous est impossible, tout au long du disque, de distinguer les dix instruments joués par l'ensemble ...
Foutraque, DrBou, 9/2007

Warning: don’t let this man anywhere near a mix tape, record companies. Why? If you do, it will result in the bleakest compilation ever released. The band leader of German orchestra Zeitkratzer, Berlin’s Reinhold Friedl had already set himself and his group the not inconsiderable task of preparing Lou Reed’s intensely challenging Metal Machine Music in order to be played live. After pulling off that near-impossible feat, Friedl must be a glutton for punishment. As he then decided to pay tribute to the musical life and times of Greek composer and electro-acoustic pioneer, the late Iannis Xenakis (1922-2001).
UK-Fusion, UK, Matthew Hirtes, 9/2007

zeitkratzer spielt Neue Musik, die noch vor wenigen Jahren nicht als Neue Musik gegolten hätte, die aber in ihrer Radikalität dem großen Aufbruch der Neuen Musik in den 60er Jahren würdig folgt.
StadtRevue Köln, Felix Klopotek, 9/2007

Comment parler d'une composition d'une telle densité ? A son écoute, on est immédiatement criblé par une nuée de hurlements stridents, anéanti par le vrombissement tellurique, balayé par la violence d'ouragans dévastateurs, pétrifié au centre de la planète qui se dématérialise :
rien de moins ! Voilà l'effet ressenti face à cette performance hors norme de Zeitkratzer, fondé et dirigé par Reinhold Friedl qui signe également la partition. Comme le suggère le titre, l'esprit d'Iannis Xenakis (1922-2001) trouve matière à réincarnation dans ce projet original qui ne se veut pas une relecture formelle de son ouvre. …. C'est un véritable tour de force que réalisent Friedl et ses neuf comparses en parvenant à créer, en live et avec des instruments essentiellement acoustiques, des textures proches de celles générées par Xenakis à partir d'orchestres démesurés ou de bandes magnétiques ! … Preuve qu'il existe un fil tendu entre répertoire académique et expérimentations bruitistes et que le collectif allemand y joue les équilibristes depuis déjà quelques temps
Octopus, F, Jean-Claude Gevrey, 11/2007

…verstörend anziehend. Wie zeitkratzer-Chef Friedl die Essenz der Tapemanipulationen, Feldaufnahmen und elektronischer Synthese auf ein Orchester umlegt, ist mehr als beeindruckend!
Black, D, 11/2007

A violent, eerier and dense listening experience
MusiqueMachine, Rager Batty, 9/2007

Xenakis wirkt, so vermittelt, wie der oberste Caco-Daemon und Prägestempel für den Noise von Feiler, Karkowski und Merzbow, …
Bad Alchemy, Rigobert Dittmann, 9/2007

Among the appropriate correctional methods that I would apply in such an occasion is strapping those flag-bearers of cerebrosclerosis to a seat and forcing them to listen, full blast, to this homage, that Reinhold Friedl dedicated to the late Greek composer, music which - to quote Andy Partridge - sounds "louder than tanks on the highway, louder than bombers in flight". And it is just outstanding, if you ask me. Performed with scary intensity by Zeitkratzer "Xenakis [a]live!" lasts 54 minutes that, except for the dust-settling, pre-standing ovation finale, are perceived as a continuous eruption of held notes, contrasting tremolos, membrane-drilling highs, rippling oscillations, majestic drones, awesome rumbles which, taken as a whole, recall the terrifying power of a destructive natural phenomenon, its ever morphing mass a death sentence for the comfort of those who "know” someone's art by reading a couple of lines on a magazine. …, this is a crucial demonstration of force that should be played LOUD for best results. Pacemakers and peacemakers will be put at risk, though. Friedl's electroacoustic roar, … a candidate to "my favourite thing" of 2007.
Touching Extreme, I, Massimo Rici, 1/2008

Quien desee escuchar a un grupo de cámara sonando como la banda municipal del infierno, debe acercarse aqui.

Bella, complessa, drammatica. Nulla di banale o di ancorato alla tecnica.
Per chi ha gusti più classici!
Allaboutjazz.com, 1/2008

Xenakis (A)Live! does sound remarkably that: alive. If music can be verbal, this composition is waking up, emerging from the darkness of night into a tentative new day as the hidden night terrors only partially retreat. Sonorous tubas bellow beneath the birdsong twittering that seeps under your skin, at once both a lullaby and a warning to run.
Inspired by and dedicated to Greek electro-pioneer Iannis Xenakis, who died in 2001, this is Reinhold and Zeitkratzer doing what they do best - in fact, what only they could probably do at all, which is to take music that it should be impossible to recreate outside of the studio and perform it live.
The result has a lot in common with Reed's Metal Machine Music. Deliberately of course - it is no coincidence that they release their performance of Reed's re-evaluated masterpiece and this album on the same day - and there are thematic links between them beyond the simple existence of feedback and loops. Of the two, this is the gentler, more chilled option, so laid back that it has gone beyond the horizontal.
Its deep tones and juxtaposed twittering samples has an almost womb-like quality, the noises that enter your head during sensory deprivation or when you sink underwater, dozing off half asleep in a very hot bath.
As a counterpiece to Metal Machine Music, it works wonderfully, minimal and loose, floating away into an abyss of electronic dreams, sinking down through feedback clouds to a dark night from which you might one day emerge but where, until then, you'll be happy to lose yourself and forget anything outside of this ever existed at all.
musikOMH.com, 8/2007