KK Null & Z'EV: Artificial Life

Percussion and percussive elements compose the majority of the source material on this collaborative disc. However, the five pieces on this disc are anything but traditional percussion. With tracks ranging from dense, complex rhythms that sound like angry gnats to sonorus bowed metal and shifting sine waves, these recordings emphasize why these artists have earned their places in the pantheon of experimental sound artists.

A review on a CD like this could start like this: "Do these two heavyweights of experimental music need any introduction? Probably not." But then who remembers that KK Null was originally a guitar player, although in the recent years we see him mostly playing electronics? Something similar can be said of Z'ev, although in recent years he shifted back from electronics to percussion, which is the thing that gave him his household name since the early 80s. Recently both were on tour in the UK, and on that occasion this CD was produced and in a way can be seen as a continuation of a recent work they did with Chris Watson. Both are works of playing together, but in the case of the release with Watson, it was Z'ev putting the stuff together afterwards based on the sound material offered by KK Null and Chris Watson, whereas in this case Null and Z'ev were together and played the music in an improvised way. That means there are differences to be noted. The Touch CD was much more densely shaped with a wide variety of sounds being blurred together into fine woven pattern, whereas here electronics play a main part but separately from the percussive elements thrown in by Null (who gets credit for electro-percussion) and Z'ev. Less dense, but with a lot of variety. From the tribalism third piece (all are untitled) to the abstract and quieter second and fourth piece, these two gentlemen play a fine piece of music. Throughout they know what they are doing and it may seem that Z'ev is the man who plays the "solos" here, meaning he gets a more distinct sound, but it's a wonderfully varied and intelligent disc. No wonder they are heavyweights.--Frans de Waard, Vital 524



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