Massimo Ricci, touching extremes (Rome, October 2008)
Three different stories, one common intention, the consequence an outstanding record of borderless playing in which the musicians are not feeling guilty to let everybody know that they can really handle their instruments.
Klaus Treuheit (cembalo, prepared piano) is the sort of voyager that will probably never bow to the rules of ignobility, his manoeuvring of the inside rough stuff equalling the involvement of the spirit in the embracing sections of the record. Violinist Christoph Irmer, an associate of the London Improvisers Orchestra among the many activities, is a designer of timbral ridges, conceived through the most sophisticated relationship with wood and strings, the anatomy of the violin hiding no secrets for him. Georg Wissel (alto and tenor sax, obone) is specialized in insufflating vibrancy in "sculptures of compressed air", as he defines his style, manifesting revulsion against whatever resembles a regular combination of successive notes.
This music pricks, squeaks, pretends and reveals; its rubbery flexibility is perfect for a mudslinging of improvisation's humdrum muffins that we're often forced to gulp down while smiling wryly, thinking that there is a way out after all. Interruptions and suspensions in the canons of ordinary modishness that end up sounding like a new kind of bona fide class, splendidly unpolluted in an impulsive singleness.
Jason Bivins, Signal to Noise, #51 ( Houston/USA 2008)
A release that may well slip between the cracks, this is an excellent improv session that is by turns elegant and prickly, heated and reserved. Treuheit plays prepared piano and cembalo, Irmer plays violin (some readers may know him from his excellent recording with John Butcher from some years back), and Wissel plays alto and tenor sax along with obone.
Resourceful players all, they create compelling group music and touch on a number of ideas that make this session stand out in a crowded field. Like so many of the best improv releases, this one succeeds because of its marvelous contrasts. There’s a stunning moment during the second part of “Enclosure,” for example, where Treuheit imitates a harpsichord as Wissel breathes wetly and menacingly while Irmer drags his bow roughly along strings to simulate the sound of something being dragged across the floor against its will. They frequently juxtapose spooky and melismatic playing against inside-piano clatter. Wild simulated car crash noises open the long, rousing “Interaction Ritual,” whose middle sections are slow moving and gestural like 1980s SME. On the second part of “Katachi,” Wissel makes the sound of a bullroar, whooping menacingly about Irmer's lithe phrases and Treuheit's notes that fall like droplets from petals before entering into the pert contrapuntalism of “Enclosure” part 3. It’s rich, detailed, and quite satisfying, a sleeper disc for fans of European chamber improv.
sands-zine (Italia, 20.6.2008)
...è evidente l'ampio spettro timbrico...I tedeschi Treuheit, Irmer & Wissel tendono a evidenzare gli spigoli e le geometrie, senza sbavature. Picasso e non Mirò. La loro musica ò piu tecnica, schizzata e aspra, sembra fare l'occhiolino alla glacialità di molta classica contemporanea e pare segnata dall'utilizzo privilegato di frequenze alte. Scale e incastri rispondono ad una perfezione che può apparire artificiosa, ma ò tuttavia il frutto di una perizia strumentale acquista dai tre in anni di frequentazioni nel gotha della musica improvvisata europea...il disco ò quindi consigliato...a tono con un pubblico da teatro o legato ai festival ufficiali(zzati).
Ken Waxman, MusicWorks Issue #104 (Canada, 08.08.2009)
Contrapuntal and cumulative trio music, this CD finds German musicians utilizing the kinetic timbres available from familiar (violin and saxophones) and unfamiliar (prepared piano and keyed dulcimer) instruments. With Erlangen's Klaus Treuheit colorfully spraying keyboard variations ranging from organic chording to jagged internal plucks and stops; Wuppertal-based fiddler Christoph Irmer's tremolo pointillism; and the vocalized, werewolf cries of saxophonist Georg Wissel from Köln (see MusicWorks #100) the piece attains self-contained totality.
Irmer and Wissel, members of the Canaries on the Pole chamber-improv ensemble, and the keyboardist who composes for film and theatre, reach profound rapprochement at the mid-way point. Here Treuheit's two-handed chording and plucks and strums on the altered internal strings are transformed into a carpet of harpsichord-like clashes referencing Bach's inventions. Operating in parallel, but non-intersecting lines the others work up a duet of mouse squeaks from the violinist and aviary cries and twitters from the saxophonist.
Earlier atonal pulses are stacked against one another with Wissel tongue-slapping, overblowing and muting his horn's bell against his leg for jagged, broken-octave shrills; Treuheit apparently rolling rubber balls along and between his instrument's strings; and Irmer's angled spiccato bowing bouncing harshly along his strings. At points it sounds as if all the instruments are being scraped along the studio floor.
Counterbalancing this sonic violence are rare pastoral moments, with the keyboardist producing dramatic note clusters that could accompany silent movie, and Irmer sounding pedal-point ostinato or sweet, legato sweeps. Only Wissel's output remains defiantly dissonant, expanding his horns' tessitura with barks, intense split tones and breath pulsations that are all sound and no notes.