fake jazz review

Gil Gershman
Fake jazz


Longtime associates in Vienna's world-class improv scene, Burkhard Stangl and Christof Kurzmann otherwise seem to come from different worlds. In various ensemble and solo settings, Stangl has honed his classically trained guitar technique to accentuate the transparency of the instrument's tone. Kurzmann, best known as a behind-the-scenes mainstay of Austrian experimental music, has found a voice of his own in the sample-processing potential of the g3 PowerBook. The improvised soundscapes of "Schnee" were inspired by the duo's favorite films and by Swiss author Robert Walser's poetic meditations on snow. Walser observed a "rather monotonous tune" in winter's white bounty; Stangl and Kurzmann perceive the prismatic splendor of compacted crystals and a trillion tiny facets. Stangl's iceblink harmonics and sustained string bends scatter like sunbeams in the pixel-fine powder of Kurzmann's driven drifts. Kurzmann's sensitive modulations, digital prattle, and granular drone merge with Stangl's brittle insinuations, e-bow gestures, and detuned chord jabs to incite a sensory whiteout. Music of remarkable rapport and exquisite understatement.