Boomkat Product Review:
No animals were harmed in making this release, although it does sound like it at times, as the Zeitkratzer leader and his french spar coax bestial sounds from piano and modular synths. A strong look for fans of Xenakis, Iancu Dumitrescu, EHŒCO, KTL
Reinhold Friedl, the “inside piano” specialist, and synth inquisitor Eryck Abecassis, were brought together by GRM director François Bonnet for performance at the Akousma Festival in Paris, 2019, where these recordings stem from. Friedl and Abecassis had been in touch for over a decade, and have charted wildly differing terrain over the interim. But a mutually visceral approach to their respective instruments was always begging to be explored in a duo, and the results on ‘Animal électrique’ surely pay up on the promise of their combined energies in gripping, head-wobbling style.
After “intense” rehearsal periods in Vienna and at la muse en circuit in Paris set rough coordinates for the duo, they arrive at a fascinating interzone of sonorities across the album’s 40 minute expanse. Thru secretive processes of transmutation they genuinely baffle the listener’s ear with otherworldly mimicry and imagination, with Friedl’s piano sounding more electronic than ever (although we’re assured it definitely is a piano), and irretrievably entangled with the strangely vocal tones and buzzes generated by Abecassis. In the most primitive sense, their music is all about tension and release, with passages of icy suspense calving away to bilious noise, and sections of calamitous, mechanistic dynamic recalling Xenakis superstructures as much as Manu Holterbach & Etienne Coussirat’s ‘L'Expérience Acousmagique’, with some deadly highlights in the arcane death roil of its first and fifth parts, contrasting the eerily quiet, conversational fourth part.