Boomkat Product Review:
Faust’s Jean-Hervé Peron and Werner Diermaier, and Dirter boss Steve Pittis aka Band of Pain raid the airwaves according to John Cage’s chance composition ‘Radio Music’
Composed in 1956, and premiered in New York the same year, ‘Radio Music’ calls for its performers to “play” the radio to a score indicating 56 frequencies between 55 and 156 kHz, notated with numbers, not on conventional staves. The score indicates that the work is in four sections, to be programmed by the player(s), with or without intervening silences.
This is a newly expanded edition of the 10” released by legendary UK outré label Dirter Promotions in 2011. The four original 2010 performances by Pittis and Faust are supplemented by as many “ensemble” versions put together remotely and mixed down by Pittis and the Germans during lockdown, plus an iteration of Cage’s ‘4’33”’ recorded live at the amphitheatre in Pompeii.
In Pittis’ hands the results scan the dial to pick up everything from radio phone-ins to Abba, adverts and plenty between-stations noise, while Peron & Diermaier’s are naturally defined by German language radio, with the former embracing the intervals. Their new mixes twist the original recordings into more oblique noise and take more liberty to scramble the voices, speaking to the flux of panic/stasis during lockdown.