May 10, 2013
A whole evening of contemporary dance which has been set up by three different choreographers is in need of three different sound producers. That’s the set-up of “MASSE“, the sound underlying the gesamtkunstwerk. “MASSE“ as a whole event has been triggered by renowned state ensemble Staatsballett Berlin and Club Berghain right in the centre of the german capital. Plus there’s even more to it: The Staatsballett and Berghain access new territory by staging “MASSE“ at the huge “Halle am Berghain“, a former combined heat and power station besides the club. The painter Norbert Bisky has been chosen to create the stage design. At the core of the dance night lies a tryptichon made out of pure sound: the music of Henrik Schwarz, Dettmann | Wiedemann and DIN was taken as the starting point for developing the choreographies.
Henrik Schwarz – Balletsuite #1 – Masse
Henrik Schwarz opens his suite with “Unknown Touch”, a dense exposition made from acoustic guitars and pizzicati strings floating on an atmosphere. The subsequent tracks let the bass lines wander amongst throbbing electrified guitars, both characterized by their clearly structured arrangements.
Creating a narrative break a synthesizer cuts into the groovy moves of “But Then I’m Different”, accompanied by a sighing violin. To top things off in the final track of “Balletsuite #1 – Masse“ a dreamy and summing-up house piano is aired. The solo piano ends with a quiet closing sequence slowing down the keys more and more to a final nothing.
Dettmann | Wiedemann – Menuett
Marcel Dettmann & Frank Wiedemann are also close associates of the Ostgut Ton family and are in charge of the second part, “Menuett“. Theirs is a 25 minutes long sonic-tryptichon: “Accelerando“ sounds like two space observation centers having a chat, while “Martellato“ is juggling the filters until the polyrhythm somehow transform into a circling movement. A syncopated beat and some shrewd filters bring light into “Spiritoso” – like fundamental electronic research into sound.
DIN – EVOLVE
DIN are Efdemin (Phillip Sollmann) & Marcel Fengler who created this new alias for “MASSE“. Similar to Dettmann | Wiedemann, the Berlin musicians utilize ever new parts of their machine park to create musical abstractions. Out of the humming virginal cosmos of “Creation” & “Variation” mid-range bass drums take shape until they poke a rattling rhythm pattern. In a similar way “Oscillation” first takes a bath in the primeval soup until the drums of an unheard-of tribe are arranged by an invisible hand to engineer a gentle flowing movement. This progression becomes more delicate in “Division” & “Generation” until it unwinds at the stage of “Conclusion” to fade out as a nocturne, urban touch. Given the different aesthetics of the producers that built “MASSE“, it’s uncanny and a pleasure to hear how its music as a whole shapes a fine sonic entity.
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