released December 30, 2023
With this album, the labels attenuation circuit, run by EMERGE, and Grubenwehr Freiburg, run by Grodock, continue their GFAC series of split tapes, all using recycled tapes. They are aimed at pairing new or lesser known artists with already more widely connected practitioners in the experimental underground scene.
Lärmschutz is the German word for “noise protection”, and would conventionally be taken to mean “protection from noise”. But it would also linguistically be possible to understand it as ”protection through noise” – a concept every listener of noise (the genre) will understand: Stay outside of my protective wall, it's called harsh noise WALL for a reason! Which is not to say that Lärmschutz are playing HNW on their side of this split tape. Usually, Lärmschutz deliver their freely improvised brass and string noise-punk from Utrecht in the duo configuration of Stef Brans (guitar, stuff on strings) and
Rutger van Driel (trombone, electronics, bass). For this release, Rutger van Driel worked on his own and created a rather oppressive, or perhaps 'hospitalistic', assemblage of disorienting sounds built around psychiatry-themed spoken word footage. Quite an effective attempt at evoking early industrial music's obsession with mental illnes and social control.
World-renowned Lithuanian sound artist Gintas K, now with a quarter-century's worth of releases and performances around the globe under his belt, offers an almost literally refreshing contrast with a side-long improvisation, recorded in one take without any overdubs. As the title Wet indicates, the set is themed around water, or rather, liquidness or fluidity, and these qualities surface in both the drippy, squeaky, splishy-splashy timbres as well as the free-flowing rhythms (and stoppages) of the music. More digital in character than the pronouncedly 'analogue' Lärmschutz side, Gintas K's side makes a very good companion for its flipside. The result is a strangely entertaining split tape that showcases very different approaches to electronic music.
File under: industrial, free improvisation, electronica
In der zusammen mit Grubenwehr Freiburg realisierten Reihe mit recycelten Kassetten beschallt einen auf Speak / Wet (GFAC 1004, MC) A-seits LÄRMSCHUTZ. Wobei Rutger van Driel in Utrecht diesmal allein das Paradox bewerkstelligt, Schutz vor Lärm in Schutz durch selbstbestimmtem Lärm zu verwandeln. Mit dem Multitracking von einer euphon tutenden und dröhnenden Posaune, sirrenden Electronics und Bass, durchsetzt mit Stimmsamples von vier Psychiatriepatienten. Erst einer kindlichen Mädchenstimme, im weit turbulenteren zweiten Fall ein Mann mit Ups & Downs, an dessen Stelle, so bezwitschert, umbrummt, von Verzerrungen umsaust und von krachigen Brüchen angerempelt, jedem der Kopf schwirren würde. 'Patient 3', bemüht, mit seiner Entfremdung zurecht zu kommen, wird posaunistisch angeknurrt, von rauen Drones und zischendem Noise bestürmt und geschüttelt, aber auch launig betutet. Der vierte Fall steht im Bann stehender Dröhnwellen und von hörnernem, stotterndem Andrang. Eine Hommage an SPK als Hebamme des Industrial? An Oliver Hardys 'Hornophobie'? B-seits plantscht GINTAS K, der wohl bekannteste Vertreter der litauischen Sound Culture, mit impulsiver digitaler Liquidität. Als Quallen und Spritzen phonographischer Kürzel, feuchter Fürze, quecksilbrigem Gewitscher, überkochender Sprudelei, sirrender Schnörkel, närrisch blubbernder, zuckender Pixel. Als anarchisch rhythmisierte eisige Zapfen und Splitter, in glucksenden Arpeggioketten, rauschender Wallung, impulsiven Wooshes, kleinlauten Molekülen, die vor einem Regenvorhang aufleben. Und schließlich als perkussiver, girrender Flow, der nur noch pianissimo tröpfelt, als fragiles Beinahenichts pocht und in ppp vergeht.
Here, we have the fourth split cassette on the combined recycled forces of two German labels, Attenuation Circuit and Grubenwehr Freiburg. It’s been a while since I last heard something from the Dutch group Lärmschutz, who, these days, seem to be reduced to one musician, Rutger van Driel. He plays trombone, electronics and bass, and on the four ten-minute parts of ‘Patient’, he adds “psychiatry-themed spoken word footage”. While the music of Lärmschutz is usually very free, jazzy, noisy, anarchic punk music, it is also, at times, something else. One such difference in these four pieces is that Van Driel seems to be layering the various sounds he produced, probably unable to play all these instruments simultaneously. Layering means mixing, and mixing means, at least in my opinion, and I am sure not everybody agrees, composing. The musician can alter the context, the order, and the texture of the sounds, making this quite different. It’s easy to see the music as something from the world of improvised music, with many of the trombone parts played relatively freely. Still, because there are several per track, along with a similar set of various layers of improvised electronics, coupled with the cut-ups of voices, this goes beyond traditional improvised music. At times, the electronics prevail, and the music has a rather noisy character without becoming too much of a noise attack. It is an excellent release, and if this is a new direction for Lärmschutz, I am all curious to hear what comes next.
On the other side, the well-known Lithuanian composer Gintas K, the ‘wet’ side of the tape, as he uses sounds of water sources, “or rather, liquidness or fluidity, and these qualities surface in both the drippy, squeaky, splishy-splashy timbres as well as the free-flowing rhythms (and stoppages) of the music”. Gintas is a laptop musician, maybe one of the last standing these days, and uses various bits and bobs of software for real-time sound transformation. Whereas Lärmschutz uses forty minutes, Gintas K only about half of that, and he has a rather traditional approach to laptop music, bleeping away with lots of small glissandi and other transformations. Not bad and quite entertaining, but also, perhaps, not too different from some of his other work.