Friday, April 3, 2009

Mika Vainio, Pita, Charlemagne Palestine - Three Compositions for Machines (Staalplaat, 1997)

Looks like we got ourselves a little transgenerational music machine throwdown on our hands. During the 1997Masterclass Festival at the Hague, Mika Vainio, Peter Rehberg, and Charlemagne Palestine each took a crack at one in an array of instruments designed by C. Schlaege. Though a picture would speak a thousand words on the instruments at use, the sounds serve only to speculate on their nature.

Pan Sonic half Mika Vainio performs on the Rustler, whose whirring and grindings suggest the instrument features some configuration of motors and pistons. Midway a glassy ascension of tones appears, the orientation of which seems baffling. We find Mego-honcho Peter Rehberg on the Schellenbaum, a part of which most certainly is the instrument on the cover. A chorus of ringing bells opens the piece, before giving way to a syncopation of taps and clicks not at all unlike a typewriter aping "It's Time for the Percolator". Elder statesman Charlemagne Palestine appears with the Siren, producing dense clusters of tones that stack higher and higher, producing a cascade of waves and harmonic beating. The album concludes with Vainio and Rehberg in a duo for sounds sourced from a typewriter under which an unidentified hum is laid.

Three Compositions for Machines

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