anla courts / lasse marhaug

 

"North & South Neutrino" (CD) Febryuary 2004 Antifrost |afro2021|

THE WIRE (UK) The Antifrost label has put out some of the most challenging records of recent times, and this collaboration between Lasse Marhaug, one half of Norwegian noise thugs Jazzkammer and Anla Courtis, the musical mastermind behind the unruly Argentinians reynols, is as forbidding as they come. For the opening half hour it is a minimalist exercise in the slow motion deployment of a small clutch of extreme frequencies.
Then a richer mettalic texture emerges from the brittle digital atmosphere recalling the isolationist going pieces of Thomas Koener. This darker, more brooding sound is submerged once more into the digital realm, as if we are viewing the same vast, immobile object from above and below the waterline. Or perhaps it is the subatomic particle referenced in the album title under two different magnifications. It's certainly not an easy listen, but submit yourself to its cold, dramatic logic and you will be rewarded. Keith Moline

LIABILITY(FR) Lasse Marhaug est plus largement connu pour son appartenance au groupe américano-norvégien Jazzkammer. Pour autant on ne compte plus vraiment le nombre de ses collaborations avec tout ce qui compte comme artistes frappadingues de la planète. On citera dans les plus connus Merzbow, Aube, Kevin Drumm, Francisco Lopez, Mats Gustafsson, Otomo Yoshihide ou Kim Cascone. Anla Courtis a certes un pedigree moins prestigieux mais elle fait partie du groupe argentin Reynols. Mine de rien cela fait quasiment cinq années que les deux compères travaillent de concert et c¹est sur Antifrost que le duo a choisi de sortir son disque. Choix judicieux puisque ce label s¹est justement spécialisé dans les musiques électroniques obscures et minimales.D¹ailleurs à ce propos on peut facilement faire un parallèle avec le disque de F.Lopez, « Untitled #150 », sortit un peu avant et dont les ressemblances sont assez surprenantes. Le duo prend une direction assez semblable à ce que F.Lopez avait décidé de prendre. Une musique progressive qui se complait d¹abord dans une forme de chuchotement mais qui prend au fur et à mesure plus de puissance. Si chez F.Lopez cette puissance était tout de même assez relative et semblait ne pas vouloir dépasser un certain stade, Courtis &
Marhaug donnent un peu plus de consistance à une dark ambiant solide et d¹une brutalité froide. La crainte était de voir « North And South Neutrino » évoluer comme « Untitled #150 ». Il n¹en est rien mais le début du disque pouvait laisser présager une telle tournure. Evidemment et là encore cet album s¹adresse à un public averti et demeure une musique contemplative sereine et efficace. Malgré tout on ne sera guère surpris par l¹entreprise qui reste assez classique dans son genre. Bref de la dark ambiant de bonne facture qui se consomme comme un traitement thérapeutique. Pour un effort chirurgical comme celui-ci on ne sera donc pas trop étonné.

REVUE ET CORRIGE (FR) L'ombre de Lasse MARHAUG a l'instar de DeathProd sature de sa presence un alarge frange des productions internationals contemporaines. Quelques galons au-dessus de l'asphalte, ses travaux, qu'on peut considerer comme experimentaux ont trouve un voisinage d'ame, une promiscuité
d' ecoute aupres d'un nombre impressionant d'artistes: TV Pow, Maja SK Ratkje, Tore H Boe, Merzbow, Otomo Yoshihide, Kim Cascone, Matt Davis, Taku Sugimoto, Reynols, Matts Gistafsson, Francisco Lopez, Aube, Ronnie Sundin, Spunk, etc en un mot résumé, un succédané del' inernationale des musiques bruitistes, minimalistes, transfigurées et improvisées. Membre éminent de Jazzkammer, élément actif du collectif norvégien a geometrie variable Origami Republica, Lasse
MARHAUG a récemment sorti une épreuve trois pouces sur le label Dokedeker. Anla COURTIS est pour sa part plus connu comme membre (guitariste) et compositeur principal du groupe argentin Reynols.

Les deux hommes fondent ici un compromis musical autour d'une étude sur les hautes frequences et les grésillements asperites rythmiques. Un elongue et unoque plage qui a sillone les ondes hertziennes depuis plus de 5 ennées, prealablement enregistré entre Oslo, Steigen et Buenos Aires et qui se charge su fur et à mesure de sa marche d'une tension sourde, d'un grondement lontain des machines quasi organique. Où l'idée qu'on se ferait d'un orage au milieu du désert avec une radio orpheline de frequences! A rapprocher d'Alan Lamb et de ses études sur les lignes à haute tension. Nota bene: L'image figée, étonnamment apaisante de cet homme en couvertoure pourtant en proie à des congestions ou à une activité gastrique consequente, droit sorti de l'esthetirme violent d'Egon Schiele (ici dessiné par Leif Elggren, artiste suédois) résume à elle seule toute l'intensite de cet album, toutes ses contradictions intestines. Julien Jaffré

CRACKED(A) They are just two small specks in the musical landscape coming from opposite sides of our globe. Lasse Marhaug, from Norway, and Anla Courtis, from Argentina, but they have minds, plans and abilities far bigger than anything on this planet could hold. This CD contains a single epic track of subtle
noise that ranges from high-frequency hissing that creeps up your spine to low bass-rumbling and ends in a gigantic manifesto of the beauty of noise.
You will be moved from one state of mind to the next slowly and gently, but also with a firm grip on the steering wheel and no discussions about it.
Silence can be much noisier than sound.
At first there is nothing, then a little sound creeps in, gets bigger and bigger, expands, explores its surroundings, possibilities and abilities.
After casting away byways and misguided sideways it will find its way straight into the dome of the auditive sense of the listener ­ if he or she is able to stand that crucial first quarter of an hour, the birth of a sound, when there is nothing but a crackling, hissing static with steadily rising volume and a proportionally rising factor of unnerving the listener. (Actually, this CD is a good one to drive unwelcome visitors out of your room, or just about anyone.) Slowly, just like everything on this work is
growing or decaying slowly, a droning bass-sound crawls in. Some seven minutes later it is gone again and the whole mood changes to a flirring and blazing high-pitched ringing, or is that just my ears hurting. But that is only half of it. The best parts, the distorted and distorting parts, are yet to come. Static noise, blazing fire, raging wind, icy rains and growing nervousness alternating with soothing primordial stillness. Until, at my personal highlight, the track starts to breathe over the soothing sound of a gentle interference. A moment of pure magic and silent (?) beauty. Like diving in a giant iceberg.
Obviously, there are two ways to listen to this: One is to play it at a sensitive volume on a regular stereo, to blend in with the background noise of traffic, people next door and me typing on this keyboard. The other one
is to play on a irrationally loud volume and listen to it with headphones on. I have tried both, and the second one will leave you internally bleeding and psychotically torn and broken in your mind. Three quarters of an hour is all that it takes.
Lasse Marhaug and Anla Courtis are well experienced in the field of noise.
The Scandinavian extreme noise-diver Marhaug has been around about 15 years or longer as a central part of the noise-scene over in the northernmost parts of Europe, From the legendary Scandinavian Noise Manifesto via the whole Origami-network (together with Tore H. Boe in the central musical manifestation Origami Replika) and doing the Jazzassin-records label, then moving on to an almost free-impro avant-rock outfit called Del and ever so on. Marhaugs list of releases and collaborations is vast and truly inspiring including Merzbow, Kevin Drumm, Otomo Yoshihide, Sachiko M, Matt Davis, Aube, Bad Kharma, Grunt, Gob, and dozens of others. Funnily, he has never really worked with minimal electronic artists or any of the new breed of electronic experimentalists, but I guess his art is still one that relies a lot on ³traditional² noise-making, foregoing the purely digital pc-based sound-construction and also rarely ever taking harmonious or soothing keyboard sounds into his equation. Anla Courtis is leader of the very great avant-rock-band Reynols from Argentina, about which you can read here, because they have just released an
album in Europe. Lasse Marhaug has worked with the Reynols before, but this collaboration is quite different from everything Courtis has done before. It is a possibility for him to explore the side of really long noise-drones with all their subtleness and extremity to the largest extent. The source recording for this album, or rather: this track, was done in 1997 /1998 and it has taken over five years to mix and construct the final result. My guess, mainly due to the filled schedules of both artists. Great art is timeless anyway. I am not sure, whether this CD will ever be regarded as such (the artists seem to be sure about their minor status, when choosing the title of this record) but the art world has never been fair to the real avantgarde, has it.

TOUCHING EXTREMES (IT) The collaboration between Jazzkammer's Marhaug and Reynols' Courtis is 45 minutes of speckless radiation starting from utter silence and slowly turning into an exploration of cavities revealing much about our sense of resistance to aural attacks. Low frequencies wavering in and out the picture are paralleled by a continuous, stinging high pitch which constitutes the main presence throughout the record; impressive solar winds and worrying rumbling soundquakes put our nerves through serious ordeals, especially if volume is more than soft. This music worms through your guard like something destined to do damage, bearing a sense of inexorability, alerting too late about something we won't be able to escape from. It's without a doubt one of the most intense and beautiful Antifrost releases, too.

BAGATELLEN (US) Lasse Marhaug and Anla Courtis’ North and South Neutrino is simply euphoric. Reynols fans should be familiar with Courtis (Argentina), and Lasse Marhaug (Norway) is an unsung colonist of the Scandinavian noise scene. The rumors are true, Neutrino is a production the two had undertaken over a period of five years(!). A single piece, the track is as breathtaking as anything to come out of "experimental" music, though the textures sound anything but thrown together. Ultra-slow transitions are steered over its 45 minute course, from high-pitched whispered fizz to low, shaking resonances, often overlayed to form a sensible junction of the field recordings used. There is an evolution to the music which Marhaug and Courtis apparently designed without any inclinations to shock, but rather to delicately craft their selected materials. It’s ultimately a step in the direction away from the anything-goes mentality that is sometimes more evident than necessary in new music. AL

VITAL (NL) Lasse Marhaug teams up with Anla Courtis, the guitarist and main composer of the Argentinian group Reynols. Over the last five years they have been working on this piece, which is about forty-five minutes in duration. Things evolve very high and very low pitches of sound, but they are divided.
Over the course of the pieces things move from the higher end of the sound spectrum to the lower end of the spectrum in a very gentle way. These two composers take their time to let things take their own way and make a sort of natural evolvement of the piece. It moves in a rather majestical way. Maybe soundwise not the most innovative piece but certainly in it's kind a very strong piece. Good sturdy experimental music, just the way it should be.fdw

SANDS ZINE (IT) North And South Neutrino dovrebbe essere, al momento, l'ultima pubblicazione di Courtis, seppure, in realta, le registrazioni appartengano ad un periodo che precede quelle di Harmonica Fever. Si tratta di una collaborazione a quattro mani con il norvegese Lasse Marhaug (Jazzkammer) avvenuta, per quanto ne so, attraverso uno scambio di materiale a distanza. Lo stile del CD piu classicamente elettroacustico e si concede addirittura ad alcune raffinatezze sonore. Se vi era piaciuta la collaborazione fra Stilluppsteypa e TV Pow, su Erstwhile, si tratta di un appuntamento da non perdere. La copertina ? stata disegnata nientepocodimeno che da Leif Elggren.

YOT (GER) Lasse marhaug nur anhand seines Outputs mit dem Duo Jazzkammer zu beurteilen, waere zu kurz gegriffen. Wesentlich besser ist dieser Mann in Kooperation mit Anderen - nachzu- hoeren z.B auf der fabelhaften Frozen by Blizzard Winds-CD zusammen mit Kevin Drumm. Auch diese Zusammenarbeit mit Reynols-Gitarristen Anla Courtis ist ausserst gelungen. Zwar ist es mir etwas schleierhaft, wie man funf Jahre fur die Aufnahmen zu solch einem durchgaengingen, 45 - minutigen Stuck Musik braucht - der sich lang- sam verdichtende, nuancenreiche und zwischen Sinustoenen und vibrierenden Drones maandernde Klangraum, der sick hier offnet, legt aber nahe, dass mit viel Sorgfalt gearbeitet wurde. Etwas dark im Abgang zwar, aber dennoch ein slow Burner. tbl

GONZO CIRCUS (BE) De stilte maakt maar traag plaats voor subtiel insectachtig gezoem. Mijn kat sluipt gelarmeerd door de kamer, op zoek naar de onzichtbare gevleugelde irritatiebron. Af en toe lijkt het vliesvleugelig getril zichzelf te elektrocuteren in een postmoderne muggenvanger. Een kwartiertje later begint ook de bodem te vibreren via diepe drones die zeker geapprecieerd zullen worden door fans van The hafler Trio. Feedbacktonen (de bijenkoningin is op haar rug terechtgekomen en raakt niet meer overeind) vervolledigen het plaatje. Maak deze Transatlantische samenwerking tusen fijne lieden van Reynols en Jazzkammer de helft korter
en je hebt een uitstekende mini cd (pv)

BLACK (GER) ...Was kaum hoerbar und zunachst sehr zaghaft im hochfrequenten Bereich mit Fiepsen und Zischen Beginnt, steigert sich im Laufe der Zeit immer
Mehr in eine Welt verschiedenartigster syntetischer Flachen und Sounds, die ganz Ohne nervigen Noise oder gar Rhythmen auskommt. Man muss sich schon etwas Zeit Nehmen, um alle Facetten dieses Werkes wahrzunehmen – Kophoerer nehmen, Augen zu und zurucklehnen C.S

AUF ABWEGEN(GER) ...Eine Album, welches unbedingt unter die Rubrik “knistem” gehort Ist die Zusammenarbeit von Lasse Marhaug und Anla Courtis auf antifrost. Warum? Auf North and South Neutrino ist namlich vor allem Knistem zu horen: Flimende, sich Allmahlich steigemde Sounds, tanzende Partikel einer zerstaubten Klangwelt, bruitzelnde Nicht-Musik. Micht bei Mego?