Kasper T. Toeplitz / Marinos Koutsomichalis – W Piwnicy / στο υπόγειο


CD – Not On Label

W Piwnicy (in Polish) or στο υπόγειο in Greek, is the result of several studio sessions in 2016 in Paris. The release was self-produced by the two artists in an edition of 300 glass-mastered CDs. Kasper T. Toeplitz and Marinos Koutsomichalis are both aware of how much digital technologies have affected contemporary musical practices, both conceptually and in terms of composition and performance. This intense collaboration is based on the pure energy of the sounds put in place, structured through extended drones and electronic emissions, which repeat and gradually vary, giving rise to an emergent auditory structure. The composition presented is 50:50 long, with Toeplitz using max/MSP and Koutsomichalis Super Collider, a software package for real-time audio synthesis and control. The latter it is not exactly intuitive but embodies the state of the art in the field of audio programming. No external input is used by the duo beyond the two computers. It is unclear what is the result of improvisation and what has instead been conspicuously worked on in the editing phase. Today this distinction does not assume decisive importance in relation to the quality of the work. For the first fourteen minutes, the sonorities are harsh and vitriolic, with a constant crescendo and significant transformations, until they suddenly become ethereal, a little spacey and evanescent, almost unreal, like an exhausted synthetic breath which, in turn, grows, becoming abrasive, hissing and pouring. The listener’s perception is put to the test in distinguishing and submitting to a succession of intense variations. Nonetheless, these are never particularly noisy and do not seek exaggerated contrasts, but, rather, a vigilant harmony between the interconnected strategies of the two electronic musicians.