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Reviews



Vital Weekly    Netherlands

In the second release in their new live CDR series, Mr. Mutt unveils a minimally frenetic set by Sogar (Jürgen Heckel, formerly heard on 12K). The label is run by Italian composers Tu m’ whose first release on the label was Scanner’s eclectically charged ‘Publicphono’. This set contains excerpts recorded in three Japanese cities: Kyoto, Nagoya and Tokyo. A slice of futuristic noise/sound art this is a completely digital recording that has a medicated theme park feel to it. It is playful yet embodies lives of robots running on low battery power. That’s not to say the sound isn’t fully alive, it just captures dreamy Coney Island-like sequences in the flash of cotton candy swirl. Crispy rotations like those of old-fashioned telephones coil sumptiously. I hear guitars, or are they cans, or is it water on some type of flexible surface? These three tracks run at about 45 minutes and Heckel seems to use every second in a way that avoids electro-filler. From sine waves to gurgling bass, ‘Eel and Coffee’ seems to find good measure in the balance of taking its minimalist chances to maximum advantage. If you amplified the sounds of a music box ballerina, reversed it and subtracted every other note you may be dining with Sogar. [TJ Norris]



Incursion    Canada

The second edition in Mr. Mutt’s CDR Live Series brings us extracts from three concerts by Sogar, aka Jürgen Heckel. The three concerts took place in Japan (Kyoto, Nagoya and Tokyo, respectively), in January 2003. Sogar’s work to date has already exemplified his broad interpretations of the microsound genre, moving freely from melodic to more abrasive passages, from rhythmic structures to utter abstraction. Here he continues to balance a fine line between these dichotomies, and he does it very well, employing not only the sounds and impressions we have come to recognize as being integral to this genre, but in incorporating processed samples of acoustic instrumentation as well. Each of the three long pieces presented here has its own trajectory, and some are better defined than others. Loops, droning harmonics, a brief melodic phrase, a further abstraction, re-abstraction, sustained tones and other, more restless ones. At times it seems as if Sogar lost sight of where certain sections were leading, or how they might unfold, getting stuck in a loop and considering the various ways of breaking from it and finding a new combination, although these moments are admittedly few. At others, it’s me who becomes lost, the arrangements becoming strangely bewitching, mesmerising even. Is it possible for the artist to become lost in his own creation? Perhaps Daedalus himself, while building the labyrinth for Minos and his grotesque progeny, would occasionally drop the thread and lose himself in the maze of his own design, wandering the corridors, encountering blind alleys and dizzying turns, alone, nearly forgotten. But now it’s us who are wandering these passages, and Sogar is always sure to give us his skein of thread, which we unravel as we move from passage to passage, never entirely forgotten, and guided along the way. [Richard di Santo]



Facteur 4    France

Eel and Coffee est la deuxième session du label Mr Mutt créé par le duo italien de TU M’ qui n’édite que des lives et à seulement 200 exemplaires (collectors garantis !) ; le 01 était Scanner, donc...collectors! Sogar, c’est Jurgen Heckel, un Franco-allemand qui vit à Paris depuis 10 ans. Il signe depuis 2000, sous ce pseudo, des comptines sonores minimalistes sur divers labels (12k, List, Beau Rivage...). Ce CDr, à la pochette bleu, présente trois lives qu’il a donné au pays du soleil levant en 2003. Trois oeuvres digitales aussi sensuelles dans le son que complexe dans leur structure. Cristallin est certainement l’adjectif qui caractérise le mieux ce Eel and Coffee. Sogar redonne les lettres de noblesse à ce mot : cristal ! Entre nappes à base de grésillements retravaillées sur Laptop, ritournelles qui parfois tournent à la perfection (plus qu’un beat dessus et il retournerait toute la scène minimale Allemande!!) et bribes de guitare créant de micro-mélodies, ce CDr est à posséder et à écouter, de préférence sur casque, pour profiter de toute sa saveur. Sachant qu’il est assez difficile à trouver, Check It le site de TU M’.

 

01 - Kyoto

02 - Nagoya

Eel and Coffee - Live in Japan

Mr.Mutt (Italy)

Cat. No.: MLive02

Release : 2003

Edition : 200

3 Tracks - 46m:13s

03 - Tokyo

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