Frank Bretschneider + Steve Roden :: Suite Nuit (Line)

This space is the place for parallel trajectories of time and shape, inciding on perception of space and space for perception.

Frank Bretschneider & Steve Roden :: Suite

Frank Bretschneider and Steve Roden strike as unlikely bedfellows. Despite both seeming to sit neatly under ‘post-digital avant-electronica’ or some such sub-genre, cursory comparison of two decades of separate endeavours reveals significantly differing aesthetics—lowercase Steve’s scuttling sitting-in-a-room stasis vs. minimal Frank’s LFOs and Raster-man clicks’n’cuts actionSuite Nuit sees these chalk and cheese sonicians reconcile differences via a site-specific work originally presented in 2004 at Berlin’s Suite In Parochial, which convened sound and video artists to address the unique sonic, visual and cultural setting of the Parochialkirche. Retrieved, oddly, a full decade after the event by Line, co-curated along with VOLUME, it comes in the form of two pieces—one performance, one rehearsal—in which the duo blends strands of electronics and improvisation with rhythmic infiltrations, making for a diverse and unpredictable yet compelling recording.

Generally Bretschneider makes with the ‘micro’ modular, while Roden fiddles with field-found sound in various forms from airy spaces to scuffling minutiae. “Part 1 live” begins with synthetic sub-thuds getting minimal techno kicks somewhere between R-N post-digital clip hop and BC crossover tech-dub submersions; the pair reshape a tonemass of pliable particulate structure that manages through esoteric transmutations to maintain internal linkages. A kind of liminal minimal techno develops via tiny synthetic bursts and discreet noise shards, bleep and skitter obliquely dallying with dance forms, glitching and teeming with insectoid pitches. From stumble down rhythmic scree, R & B then change tack to crackling soundscape with weighty low-end prods. A recrescence of percussive chatter and drones emerges, before halfway house sees the noise-scape widen with heavy reverberation, beat hip-gnosis and reversing loops. Gong-tones emerge amid more rhythm jitters and a wash of woody timbres, finally finding a warmer drone to run through still skittering beats and prodding bass. “Part 2 rehearsal” deploys similar settings and instruments to experiment more with tone and texture, varying style and structure, with improvisation bringing different outcomes. The bass heavy drones are retained, but for a kind of constancy amid mutability, little loops are launched around which a buzz and flutter rubs up against modular throb—a stream of sequences moving through, weightless, effortless, linked in their own internal logic. It drifts away from rhythmic center till feedback peals and soft tones come to beckon back beat chatter before cession to final ambient drone and field flutter.

This space is the place for parallel trajectories of time and shape, inciding on perception of space and space for perception. Here—where two torrents merge embedding mathematic metamorphic pulse and twisted timbral atmo in a quiet riot of granular detail and twitching circuitry—is Bretschneider and Roden’s point of encounter.

Suite Nuit is available on Line.

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