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Charlemagne Palestine + Z'EV: Rubhitbangklanghear Rubhitbangklangear

img  Tobias Fischer

In the face of death each composer will, Morton Feldman once said, be faced with burning questions: "Being that music is our life, in that it has given us a life – did we make things clear? That is, do we love music, and not the systems, the rituals, the symbols – the wordly, greedy gymnastics we substitute for it?" On their first collaborative recording, Charlemagne Palestine and Z'EV are so busy pledging allegiance to this creed that there's not even time for an answer. Taped live in Palestine's personal studio space, it sees Z'EV performing on various drums and percussive surfaces and Palestine manning the carillon, a church-instrument consisting of bronze bells operated by hitting wooden batons with one's fists. There's both an inbuilt tension and complementarity to this set-up, a constant dualism between the divine and the diabolic, the sacred and the profane. In the duo performances, Z'EV is exploring the bordeline between the rhythmical and the textural, adding strangely grooving accents to Charlemagne's mantric patterns pulsating in perpetually widening and decreasing intervals. In the gargantuan forty-five minute solo closing off this double-disc journey, he is all but maniacally travelling into and through the sonorities of his materials, setting in motion a machinery of reverb, drones and shifting metallic meters and then challenging himself with keeping it all under control. Despite the physical power of the music, there's an astounding sense of refinement to it as well, a lyricism and tenderness. So much art is created with a possible sequel in mind, but here, on the contrary, it seems the protagonist are keen on completely exhausting every single possibility at their disposal, of burning bridges and leaving nothing unsaid. Systems and symbols are blown to pieces, questions of meaning rendered meaningless. Here are two artists truly giving their all to make things clear. And they're playing as though their lives depended on it.

By Tobias Fischer

Homepage: Charlemagne Palestine
Homepage: Z'EV
Homepage: Sub Rosa