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Anja Kreysing: accordion, electronics, recording
Dan Penschuck: percussion, synth, live effects
Sascha Stadlmeier: guitar, heater, wood, voice, effects, mastering

recorded live @ NoCube, Münster / 19.11.17

attenuation circuit + MAHORKA
ACU 1008 / MHRK198CD

released in 2018 / limited edition of 500 copies
design by Angel Draganov / photography by Dan Penschuck

attenuationcircuit.de // attenuation-circuit@web.de
mahorka.org // evil.petrov@gmail.com


released May 27, 2018

A lone busker plays wistful folk melodies on an accordion in a dimly lit underpass late at night. Ominous clanging noises approach like a gang of thugs, while the deep drones of a freight train passing overhead engulf the whole auditory scene. Or else: Slowly pulsating melodies with a strangely (South) East European tinge ride the crests of an almost static groundswell of drones, while occasional percussive impulses accentuate the almost imperceptible microrhythms. Or else: ...

There are many ways to describe the music on this album, and it is hard not to resort to narrative when doing so. Perhaps this is because this music has a very strong sense of foreground and background. Drones and textures create a space in which the melodic and percussive elements of the music interact, almost like characters in a story. Each one of them has a specific timbral temperament, or should we say personality: the accordion, which Anja Kreysing, trained in Deep Listening in the tradition of Pauline Oliveros herself, uses for full impact on a variety of emotional scales; the heater (used as percussion instrument) and the cymbal, with their edgy, pushy, metallic overtones, which set them apart from the wry, dry, wooden percussion; to name but a few.

The great achievement of the trio who recorded this set live at Nocube in Münster, 19 November 2017, is the way in which each of them constantly operates on at least two levels simultaneously: the foreground and the background, the textural and the rhythmic. Slow harmonic developments culminate into dramatic phases of almost noisy density and moments of silence, almost as if they were just following the flow of their breath. And several times foreground and background change their roles completely. It is the purely musical flow and interaction that makes this music so suggestive. Had they set out to tell one story, they might have ended up with contrived conceptual music. But the sheer sonic richness of this great recording is the reason why it can tell myriad stories at once.

File under: Free improvisation, drone, electroacoustic



For some time we received a lot of releases by Germany's Attenuation Circuit label, but since a few months that is no longer the case. The focus has been shifted to playing more and more concerts and releases have been limited to either digital only and CD or LP releases. The first CD is a co-release with a label named Mahorka and contains a live recording by Anja Kreysing (accordion, electronics, recording), Dan Penschuck (percussion, synth, live effects) and Sascha Stadlmeier (guitar, heater, wood, voice, effects, mastering). The latter I know quite well, for his work as EMERGE and I don't think I heard of the others before. On November 19th, 2017 they played in Münster, Germany, and on this CD there are two pieces, which lengthwise, could have also fitted on a LP; twice about twenty minutes. It seems that Kreysing is trained in the tradition of Deep Listening, as developed by the late Pauline Oliveros, and somehow it is reflected on this music I think. With many of the previous improvisation encounters I heard that included the involvement of Stadlmeier, it was much more electronic affairs and there was always some noise crescendo. That doesn't happen in these two pieces. The music stays throughout on the quieter edge of the sound spectrum and has quite an ambient feeling, and yet also something that is very much improvised. Perhaps, indeed, a sound that is not that different from the Deep Listening band. The occasional accordion sounds waving in is of course textbook Oliveros, but also Penschuck and Stadlmeier adding sounds and a fair bit of reverb to create space deliver their parts very well. The music is throughout spacious and the mood, while a bit dark, is that of contemplation. I'd say: deep listening indeed on this highly successful concert recording.




This three-person drone performance was recorded live in Münster late last year. Anja Kreysing provides accordion and electronics, Dan Penschuck is on percussion, synth, and effects, and Sascha Stadlmeier plays guitar, heater, wood, voice, and effects. Over two long tracks, this trio offers what could be the soundtrack to a demented horror movie. In addition to the aforementioned drones – which are dark and haunting, Penschuck and Stadlmeier set forth disjointed and indeterminate percussion. These latter contributions use what appears to be a combination of found objects and more conventional drum equipment. Another standout aspect of the release is Kreysing’s slow-moving accordion playing. She layers it over and around the synths, but also brings it to the fore to evoke an ominous atmosphere not unlike that of a deranged circus. As a result, Re-encypher goes beyond run-of-the-mill stylings and is an interesting bridge between dark ambient music, free improv, and something mysterious and sinister. Recommended.




Dan Penschuck i Sascha Stadlmeier su poznati revnijim čitateljima Terapije kao stalne mušterije jer imaju brdo izdanja s kojekakvim projektima i vlastitim solo radovima, no Anja Kreysing (anjakreysing.de) je zasigurno mnogima nepoznanica.

Riječ je o jednoj od priznatijih europskih harmonikašica s tradicijskom bazom u stilizaciji Pauline Oliveros, no ona ima i balkansko-romskih glazbenih utjecaja koje skladno transplatira u osebujan spoj elektroakustike, world musica, neo-folka i post-industriala. Do sada je objavila desetak albuma, a na ovome radu je vrbovana od gore dva spomenuta mahera da obogati njihov tromi i psihodelični drone. Unatoč tome što joj je harmonika dugmetara osnovni instrument, ona se ovdje kroz dvije vrlo dugačke teme u trajanju od 40 minuta rijetko odlučuje na nju tek tu i tamo isporučujući lagane harmonije u rastegnutim disonantnim melodijama. Ona je također i elektroničarka poput ova dva partnera, no zanimljivo je da ovdje Stadlmeier za razliku od Emerge i gomile projekata koje ima, ovdje svira gitaru iz koje rabi samo disonante s potmulim, gotovo jedva čujnim noise efektima.

Po običaju kad je ovakva glazba u igri, nema nikakvih vokala, niti naracija. Sve je posloženo u mirne, ali vrlo mračne strukture elektroakustičnog neo-folka, te je čitav zapis nastao prilikom koncerta u Munchenu 19.11.2017. (klub Nocube), ali teško da bi se moglo po ičemu zaključiti da je ovaj njihov performans pokupio ikakav feedback. Unatoč toga, zgodno je za poslušati jer je harmonika poprilično rijedak medikament u ovakvoj sporoj, a često i vrlo napornoj glazbi.

horvi // 19/10/2018



Als we praten over experimentele elektronica kunnen we niet om Attenuation Circuit heen. Dit in het Duitse Augsburg gevestigde label produceert het hele jaar door een constante stroom van interessante albums, vaak alleen te verkrijgen als download en soms ook als LP of Cd zoals dit ‘Re-encypher van Anja Kreysing, Dan Penschuck en label eigenaar Sascha Stadlmeier, die hier voor de verandering onder zijn eigen naam acteert, in plaats van onder zijn alias EMERGE.

Twee stukken telt het album, simpelweg ‘Re-encypher 1’ en 2 genaamd – iets dat overigens nergens op het hoestje vermeld staat. Het eerste stuk vangt aan met duistere, spannende klanken. Het is elektronica wat de toon zet, maar aangevuld met diverse soorten slagwerk, waar Penschuck en Stadlmeier verantwoordelijk voor zijn. Slagwerk dat metalig klinkt, echoënd en voorzien van een onrustig element. Laat ik het anders verwoorden: je ziet een duistere buurt voor je, waar het vuilnis door de straat waait en ongure personen zich ophouden in donkere portieken. De wind giert, in de vorm van de accordeon van Kreysing. Na ruim tien minuten verdwijnt het slagwerk uit beeld en presenteert het trio ons een nevellandschap in een scala aan grijstinten. Echt op je gemak voel je je hier niet, je ziet geen hand voor ogen en je hebt geen idee wat er zo meteen ineens op kan doemen uit de mist. Dan steekt er weer een stevige bries op en vliegen de blikjes je om de oren.

‘Re-encypher 2’ gaat verder waar we met 1 gebleven waren. We horen weer allerlei bevreemdende geluiden, spullen die omvallen, wegrollen, verschoven worden, u kent het wel. Laat de verbeelding vooral de vrije loop, maar romantische vergezichten gaat u hier niet vinden, wel duistere, verlaten fabriekshallen. De zon is al een tijd achter de wolken, het is koud, nat en het waait! En daar in een donker hoekje zit iemand accordeon te spelen.

Maar genoeg gefantaseerd, want hier wordt natuurlijk gewoon prachtig muziek gemaakt. Knap hoe je middels klank zo op de verbeelding kunt inwerken? Er rest dan ook maar één conclusie na het beluisteren van dit kunstwerk: dit is voer voor een filmregisseur.




Was passiert, wenn drei unterschiedliche Klang- und Konzeptkünstler wie Anja Kreysing, Dan Penschuck und Sascha Stadlmeier aufeinandertreffen und gemeinsam live 45 Minuten mit Akkordeon Gitarre, unzähligen Schlaginstrumenten einschließlich diverser Haushaltsgeräte und allerlei Soundeffekten agieren? Wir landen in einem ganz eigenen Soundtrack, in einem akustischen Horrormovie, das man lieber nicht im Dunkeln hören sollte. Und dennoch kann man nicht von dieser Aufnahme die Finger bzw. die Ohren lassen. Faszinierend ist die Art und Weise, wie die drei Musiker auf mehreren Ebenen gleichzeitig agieren - dem Vordergrund und dem Hintergrund, dem Melodiösen, dem Harmonischen und dem Rhythmischen - und dabei in permanente, jedoch äußerst langsame und minimalistische Verschiebungen hineingeraten. Harmonische Entwicklungsphasen, die scheinbar statisch verlaufen, gipfeln in dramatischen Ausbrüchen, gefolgt von absoluter Stille. Kreysing, Penschuck und Stadlmeier folgen einem unsichtbaren dramaturgischen Konzept, das eine einzige Geschichte erzählt, sich dabei aber in unzählige aufregene Untergeschichten aufgliedert. Man ist es ja mittlerweile gewohnt, dass so kluge wie klangintensive Musik häufig nur auf Kleinstlabels und in äußerst geringer Auflage erscheint (hier sind es gerade nur 500 CDs), umso erfreulicher ist es, dass man auch hier wieder den Weg des Downloads via Bandcamp gehen kann.

Roland Schmenner



If you paid closer attention to our previous posts about ambient, drone, and noise music, you certainly encountered our reviews about a very distinctive recording label such as Attenuation Circuit. The number of quality avant-garde records on Attenuation Circuit are unquestionably mindblowing, and label owner Sascha Stadlemeir puts a lot of his effort in aesthetics, imagery, and quality of the records published on an almost monthly basis. Re​-​Encypher is one the records from his opus that will definitely suit admirers of slightly cinematic dark ambient music, which has been saturated with a wide array of musique concrete experimentations. Besides being a publisher of this distinctive material, Stadlmeier also contributes as a performer. This time he is accompanied by Anja Kreysing (accordion, electronics, recording) and Dan Penschuck (percussion, synth, live effects), while Sascha performed on guitar, heater, wood, voice, effects and done mastering for this recording. Re​-​Encypher carries a couple of astoundingly orchestrated ambiances that bursts with a thoughtfully arranged horror atmosphere throughout the entire material. These dark ambiances and subtle drones have been used as centerpieces of the sumptuous compositions, while various musique concrete experimentations and predominant accordion segments are enhancing the cinematic horror vibe. Kreysing, Penschuck, and Stadlmeier are providing an intense atmosphere saturated with clever implementations that are soaked in occasional intermissions. These intermissions have been used as silent passages between various atonal themes, but they also maintain such an eerie vibe that will give you the chills in many cases. Both compositions deliberate these obscure mood swings, but these instrumentations are euphonious in some twisted way. The performance of these three artists provides a comprehensive collection of thoughtfully expressed instrumentations, carefully performed to accommodate horrific sonic imagery. The brilliance of Re​-​Encypher lays down in its complexity, precision, and artistic freedom of these fine artists. Re​-​Encypher has been accompanied by a simplistic but effective artwork comprised of a square-shaped title, while the sepia-toned photography decorates the rest of the imagery at the very background. Head over to the Attenuation Circuit Bandcamp page, and preserve your digipak release.





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