cd-cover

inien - favoriten

recorded 2010 in Berlin by Dave Bennett

mastered by Christoph Amann

supported by SKE / austro mechana

released 2011 on schraum

more at www.schraum.de

reviews:

Chain D.LK., USA (eskaton):

(…) This is interesting experimental classical. One gets the sense that they are playing the wooden bodies of their instruments almost as much as the strings, as the entire album is washed in a layer of heavy grinding static. At times the bass comes to the fore for some heavy droning resonance. (…)

If you think Kronos Quartet is too mainstream, this may be one to check out.

JazzWord, Canada (Ken Waxman):

What’s more relevant about duos such as these, is how distinctive complementary textures become.

(…) Despite the family connections of cello and bass on the other CD, mysteriously enough it sometimes appears as if textures from a reed and a piano have been added as well, This may be the illusory result of creative tones that can be shaped by Haller’s electric bass or perhaps Tröndle’s cello amplification; but technical expertise could contribute to this as well.(…)

Two of the most illustrative tracks are “Cotta” and “Stetzsch”; (…) Concerned with multiphonics, the former manages to showcase crackling oscillations from both instruments at the same time as Haller creates a steady drone from his lower-pitched strings and Tröndle’s buzzing staccato gradually inflates in volume and speed. (…)

Fascinating sound intersection illuminated by two atypical duos, either of these CDs should interest double bass players of all stripes, as well as connoisseurs of out-of-the-ordinary music.

freiStil, Austria (Andreas Fellinger):

(…) Gemeinsam streichen sie gewissenhaft, wenn auch in aller gebotenen Stille über ihre Instrumente. Heben kleine akustische Ereignisse vom fein improvisierten Instant Composing in den Stand eines strukturierten Konzepts. Entwickeln aus lose miteinander verknüpften Soundpartikeln ein dichtes Konzentrat, das sich in knappen, kryptischen Titeln wie „krippen“, „kolin“, aber auch „decin“, „mojzir“ etc. widerspiegelt. Kompakt kommen die „favoriten“ in einem Stück daher, ohne störende bzw. wichtigtuende Pausen zwischen den Tracks. Hier sind die Töne genauso wichtig wie die Zwischentöne, die fixierten wie die in der Schwebe gelassenen. Das klingt fesch nach kontrollierter, klug ausgelebter Freiheit.

tokafi, Germany (Tobias Fischer)

(…) Haller and Tröndle seem to masticate on the sounds of their electric bass and cello on Favoriten, spitting shards of their instruments back into the mortar and then grinding it all into dust. Strikingly, each track seems to be as in love with the sound of the mistake as the intended. Although in a context like this, where all the music seems badgered into existence through sheer force of will, who knows what’s a mistake and what’s not. And who cares, when there’s a track like “Kotta,“ where metal vibrates against strings, a cello saws inchoately and koto-like pizzicato emerges, a whiff of sulfur fumes as it all stops dead. These sudden stops found on many of the tracks seem almost arbitrary, as if all the pieces could go on indefinitely, locked into there own permanent furrows.

(…) But the ferric focus to each of the pieces is unique, if slightly off-putting, like some subliminal blister on the back of your mind. But the off-putting can be a good thing, and blisters can be the best indication of a job well done, of the dignity of work. This music isn’t interested in assuaging you, but seems far more fascinated by the essence of some elemental sound- - qualifications like ugly or beautiful seem to make little sense here. It’s as if Haller and Tröndle want nothing more than to find themselves riding on that one right sound in that one right moment and to play it to pieces.

Cyclic Defrost, Australia (Nick Giles):

(…) Contained within Favoriten’s 10 tracks is a pretty thorough exploration of non-conventional sonic properties of each instrument, not strictly bound to conventional technique.(…)

At times whisper quiet, in others snarling with hellish intent, Haller and Tröndle twist and turn in many directions, from the trampolining plucks and growls of ‘Cotta’, to the whispering eeriness of opener ‘Decin’, the soundscapes traversed are many. As ‘Biehla’ sways into improv jazz territories, then takes a rapid step in the opposite direction on ‘Stetzsch’, with paper rubbings sounding off against hollow bodied resonance, the sense of breadth in these two artists collaboration is startlingly evident.

Foxy Digitalis, USA (Mike Wood):

All this subtle poetry is delivered by the duo of Axel Haller and Johannes Tröndle. (…)

Several sonic themes run throughout this deceptively humble release: a piercing tone, continuous static-based noise, with the occasional recognizable but eerily distorted, instruments. That is enough intrigue to give "favoriten" repeated listens, when the minimal but emotional power present in the latest by inien. (…)

With a tinge of Carnatic drone, they approach industrial noise, but keep the overall hermetic, raw but meditative tone of the record. The infinite sounds and emotions possible with both the cello and bass are explored deeply by the duo of inien. "favoriten" challenges and disturbs as often as it comforts with its down-tuned, delicate but assertive brilliance.

The Sound Projector, UK (Ed Pinsent):

(…) What I like about this one is they keep on doing it continuously (i.e. no pauses or mysterious silences for contemplative purposes) and their tones are rich and resonant, sometimes bordering on near-industrial grind. Amazing what a difference playing real instruments can make. Slow and achey abstract noise which grinds into you like a bucket of garden slugs poured over your belly.

Vital Weekly, Netherlands (Frans de Waard):

(…) Of course the two instruments are linked together in the way they sound, low bass like, but in the hands of these players, the two large instruments transform into objects to produce sound. (…)

There is a lot of bowing and plucking here and they don't go out all the way into the more current versions of improvised music. Inien cleverly combines both ends into a particular powerful work. Not always the big surprise, but a thoroughly fine work.

Kulturní Magazín Uni, Czech Republic (Zdenek Slabý):

Nejde o popis míst ani za mák, vylíčení fluida loci z kompozic nevyvěrá jakbysmet. Veškerou místní inspiraci oba hráči přetavují do drónové abstrakce, která se však neproměňuje s  názvem jedné z deseti zvukových exhalací, nýbrž vytrvává jako halucinační opar nad celým albem. A  tak Tröndle a Haller na své nástroje drnčí, skučí, hřmí, drncají, drkotají, bručí, zurčí, vrčí, sviští, haraší, hučí, syčí, víří či hvízdají a jejich projev připomíná tu posunování vlaků, tu broušení ocílky, tu zase skřřípění brzd, hrkavou tramvaj v zatáčce nebo práci míchačky. Nečekejte žádné bouřliváctví, v pozadí projevu dvojice slyšíme spíše vzdálené pohřmívání, do něhož zazní zrezavělý rumpál, kolotavé zavíření, brumlavé zalykání, drcení ořech či cokoliv, co chceme vidět jako vizuální zástupnost tohoto intenzívního, nicméně většinou přitlumeného strunobraní. (…)

Improv.hu, Hungary (Dusted Hoffman):

(…) A Favoriten darabjaiban nagyon ritkán fedezhetünk fel tradicionális hangszerhasználatot – a cselló és a nagybőgő Tröndle és Haller kezében tárgyakká válnak. Békés kamarazene helyett itt meglehetősen agresszív, elektronikán átpréselt zajokról, zörejekről van szó. A két hangszeres a felvételek nagy részében együtt mozog: Haller a háttérben, Tröndle a frontvonalban. A nagybőgő hangja időnként az abszolút előtérbe kerül, ekkor a duó zenéje valamiféle baljós, fülsüketítő drone-ba fordul. A lemez egysíkúsággal biztosan nem vádolható: minden másodpercben történik valami, és hangszer kétszer ugyanúgy sosem szólal meg. Ez izgalmasnak biztosan izgalmas, viszont nem érzem magam megnyugtató biztonságban, nem tudom önfeledt élvezettel hallgatni a Favoriten felvételeit.

Nem jutottam még dűlőre az album anyagával: néha kissé nehézkes, ugyanakkor gyakran nagyon is izgalmas hallgatnivaló. Idő, igényes.

Westzeit, Germany (Karsten Zimalla):

… haben sich inien aufgemacht, die Weiten zwischen Harmonie und drone, zwischen Reiben und Flirren, zwischen Musik und Klang zu erkunden. (…) Mission accomplished.

Bad Alchemy, Germany (Rigobert Dittmann):

(…) Ihre Feinarbeit und ihre Mikrowellenschläge erinnern zuweilen an Blasinstrumente, die als Roadkill platt am Straßenrand kleben. In allen nur denkbaren Nuancen knurren, surren, schaben, schleifen Bögen über Saiten. die bei ‚Cotta‘ dann auch flattern. (…)

Beide wischen und kratzen und lassen kaum etwas unversucht, den Instrumenten selten gehörte Geräusche zu entlocken, daxophonische ebenso wie schäbige, graubraune, halblange, holzwurmige, fadenscheinige, drahtbürstige, tschechische und knurrige. Jedem Werkstück liegen vorgegebene Parameter zugrunde. Das mag mancher fad finden, kurios ist es allemal, und irgendwie stellt sich ein kleines Lächeln wie von selbst ein.