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Heribert Friedl
Trac[k]_t (Line) CD

 Heribert Friedl is a Viennese sound artist and founder of the ultra-minimal Non Visual Objects label. This latest CD, his first on Richard Chartier’s Line imprint, is the final in a series of releases made using a single sound source: the cimbalon. For those who are unfamiliar with the instrument, it is type of hammered dulcimer, most commonly used in Eastern European folk music, but also favored by composers such as György Kurtág and Igor Stravinsky. Friedl uses the cimbalon in variety of ways, processing and sculpting its percussive, yet resonant sound. As one might expect from a musician with Friedl’s microsonic pedigree (he has collaborated in the past with Bernard Günter and it doesn’t get more micro than that), the short pieces that make up Trac[k]_t are spare and sculptural, informed by a keen ear for the finer details of texture and tonal color. It’s a conceptual record, to be sure, but somehow Trac[k]_t, like the best works of Asmus Tietchen, is neither clinical nor overly precious. There are moments of real drama and beauty here, as knife-edged shards of sound pierce the near silence and the occasional lower-end burst plumbs the reverberant depths. A really pleasing, ear opening record.

Susanna Bolle


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