Boomkat Product Review:
Coh's Ivan Pavlov has set about an electroacoustic study of four different string instruments: guitar, saz, oud and piano.
Given that it was the work of label founder Carsten Nicolai that helped to define the sub-genre, you'd have to be pretty bold to deliver any piano and electronics material to Raster Noton, yet Ivan Pavlov has done just that, with the first two pieces on this collection offering up a fresh take on the kind of glitched-up sonatas that makes Alva Noto + Ryuichi Sakamoto's ongoing collaboration such compulsive listening.
The same melding of microscopic propulsion with lyrical piano phrasing features here, and 'Andante Facile' in particular comes very close to treading on a few toes. Only Pavlov's distinctively brusque, often noisy approach to sculpting audio prevents the piece from plummeting into an outright reproduction of his boss' sound. Far more interesting is the less percussive 'Piano Tranquillo' which comes closer to the weightless, floating textures evoked by Taylor Deupree + Kenneth Kirschner's post_piano albums. Pavlov's guitar manipulations step into heavily distorted microrock. It's the more subtle treatments on the improvised saz and oud pieces that find the most success however, with 'SU-U' on the second disc being the highlight of the set.
This seventeen-minute exploration of the instruments' timbres proves to be one of Pavlov's most challenging and accomplished productions to date, merging pristine dronescapes into biting rhythmic constructions with utmost fluidity, all the while retaining the sonic identity of his source sounds.