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His Name Is Alive

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Forget any preconceived notions about His Name Is Alive and Warren Defever and sit back and enjoy an entertaining conversation and performance. We talked about 4AD, Brothers Quay, noise, the stupid music press, and getting pictures taken at 6am! The band are on tour right now supporting Low and it's not worth missing for anybody who either once was a fan or is finally coming around to them.


The Eye: Video of the Day


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Review of the Day

Korber/Müller/Steinbrüchel, "Momentan Def."
This rapturous disc is the result of a live improvisation conducted under an aqueduct in Zürich, a 40-foot-tall acoustic space that perfectly matches Momentan's simulation of poised ebb and flow. Not standard microsound fair, of minimal movement or painfully obsessive blip-bending, the piece ingests each members' contribution, Korber's threadbare guitar scratch, Müller's increasingly spartan percussive manipulations, and Steinbrüchel's grainy drone cycles, lifting all in an undulant, misty passage across the broad hollow, action that plays perfectly on the disc's punning title. The piece seems obsessed with "momentum," full of sweeping static washs and low-level machine hums that arrive quickly and pointedly as if to establish motion, but are consistently buffered by contrastive elements more indicative of detail, or a particular "moment" staking its claim within the sinuous whole. Sections of Müller's inventive hitting and surface-testing frequently occupy both ends at once, coalescing into strands of rhythmic interference that are quick to fold under the weight (or lightness) of each stroke. Often Korber or Steinbrüchel will introduce thunderous or ominous sounds via processed feedback or laptop, as if only to watch the colored noise fade into the pale complexion of its surroundings. The level of communication between players that allows this pause-less dialogue to proceed is astounding. Any back-and-forth that appears in "momentan live" (the 30-min. improv session is accompanied by 3 remixes, one by each contributor) occurs underneath the opaque surface of the piece, and a dominant "voice" never comes to the front. The fluidity and graceful progression will recall Müller's recent solo work and Poire_Z's + record, but the real heroes of Momentan are Steinbrüchel and Korber. The young guitarist is a master of beautifully tempered feedback tones and frail note clusters that run nicely alongside the former's synthetic drones and microscopic click-tracks. Their combination allows for the darkly expressive sheen that coats this work, full of intricate, fleeting gradations. The three remixes are equally successful, if more single-minded pieces. Korber introduces a surprising amount of rhythm, his process more additive and loop-based than the others', crafting a bottom-heavy gem of post-technoid atmospherics. Steinbrüchel's is less engaging, a minimal reconstruction consisting of one deep, droning waveform that sounds directly pulled from Korber's feedback and layered with digital crickets and crackling fire. Müller's mix is the most sympathetic to the original, combining the churning pulses and short loops of Korber's take, with the Steinbrüchel's textural achievements to produce a highly differentiated piece that shares "momentan live"'s preoccupation with issues of drift and stasis. While not a landmark recording, the disc stands as a welcome addition to the catalogs of three artists at the top of their respective games. - 


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