Music Review | posted 02.08.2012
Keith Fullerton Whitman
Occlusions
Editions Mego, 2012
Text Sebastian Hinz , Translation Anja Vatter
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Cover Keith Fullerton Whitman - Occlusions

As much as the previous release »Generators« was an example of the development of minimalistic sound, the successor »Occlusions« can be seen as the exact opposite – even though the same machines are used. Keith Fullerton Whitman exercises himself in free improvisation without using previously recorded or arranged sound material. This electronic music is created live, at the moment and it establishes an atmosphere which is known from Free Jazz recordings. The instant nature is also backed up by the focus on the space, which is used for the recordings. The 18 minutes and 17 seconds long »Occlusions (Rue de Bitche)« was recorded in an atelier in Nantes, France. A distinctive cocktail party atmosphere runs like a thread through the improvisation, there is chattering, and irrespective of some verbal acclamations, the music cannot step out of this scenery. It remains an accessory, the Muzak of an art event. So, the A-side can be listened to as a nice statement about the random way we consume music today. On the flip side, space is again key. Now we are in a club in Amsterdam. The space has widened, and the sounds unfold themselves in a belly-like darkness. In the short breaks between Whitman’s eruptive sounds, smallest nuances in space are audible, the vibrating of gear on the table, the handling of buttons, the klicking sound of a lighter. The concentration of the audience in these 17 minutes and 47 seconds is unequally more intense, even though Whitman, in my opinion, turns more free on »Occlusions (Weteringschans)«. Whereas on the first track, the american composer puts his collection of sounds in order after about 11 minutes and is almost remindful of his works as Hrvatski, which he released a decade before on Planet µ, Tonschacht or his own label Reckankreuzungsklankewerkzeuge, here the unleashing remains until the end.

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