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innode - Gridshifter
Austrian veteran Stefan Nemeth (Radian, Lokai) teams up with drummers Steven Hess (Locrian, Cleared, Pan-American) and Bernhard Breuer (Elektro Guzzi) for an album of powerful, acoustic-electronic improvisations that interrogate and complicate our sense of rhythm. According to eMego, the work was conceived as "a series of crossbred experiments where, on one side, a human rhythm triggers electronic signals whilst on the other electronic textures sculpt a platform for physical human engagement. The stark dynamics and Human/Non Human interaction manifests itself as a thrilling expose of 21st Century rhythm and noise." Certainly these are intense, discombobulating pieces of music, simultaneously generating a feeling of unbending, mathematic formalism - the sort of hard, austerely funky rhythm science one might expect from an Ikeda or Bretschneider record - with a feeling of fragility and fluency, of imminent chaos. This curious effect - "composed disorder" as Innode put it - is the result of the trio applying opposing moves to a template of rigid structure: on some tracks a strict timeline or grid is "spiked" by the playing of grids of a different size at the same time, while on others Hess and Breuer "shift" the grid by laying their own rhythms over the top. It's a rhythmic chess match no less, introspective and strategic, but such is the unpredictability of the destabilised sonic environments Nemeth generates, that it's fascinating to observe and participate in.