Thursday, April 19, 2012

Kasper T. Toeplitz & Z’EV – Fleur de Peau (Agxivatein, 2011)

Toeplitz is a Paris based musician utilizing the computer and electric bass for composition and has collaborated with composers such as Zbigniew Karkowski and Tetsuo Furudate. Z’EV consists of Stefan Joel Weisser who was born in 1951 in Los Angeles. He is a percussionist who has collaborated with many musicians including Mick Flower, John Zorn, Merzbow, Oren Ambarchi, and many others. On this release, Fleur de Peau (lit. “flower of skin”) Z’EV plays skins and symphonic bass drum and Toeplitz is featured on the bass and the computer. The album was recorded live in Toeplitz’s Sleave Art Studoi in Paris in January 2010.

The piece begins quietly with free form, bass-y drums thundering. Gradually, layers of oscillating drones fade in sounding quite harmonious. The down tempo warm-skinned drums create a nice tension with the noisier, percussive textures coming from the electronics. Towards the end of the piece Z’EV is making the skins sing, presumably pushing down on the skins. The aesthetic becomes languid yet ethereal. The upright bass enters on a low, bowed drone sounding nice and thick. With the low bass, the electronics seem to become lighter in quality. Perhaps it is in the editing which is noted on the album sleeve, but as the music transitions back and forth from gentle to aggressive, there is a characteristic ebb and flow that is built and then taken apart.

CD-R for purchase:

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