h\ybrid s\ound s\ystem - Reviews

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"H\ybrid S\ound S\ystem is a spin-off of Berlin's Zeitkratzer collective featuring Reinhold Friedl on piano, Ulrich Krieger on saxophones and Burkhard Schlothauer on violin. All three compose, too, and their work is featured on the first CD of this set along with Manuel Cecchinato's "Four Constellations Before A Dawn" and Cage's "Two", for saxophone and piano. The second CD brings together nine remixes of the material by Carsten Nicolai, Lee Ranaldo, Rene Liebermann, Boris Hegenbart, Craig Willingham, Masami Akita (aka Merzbow), Marcus Schmickler and Dean Roberts, who contributes two pieces. The title, which is also the name of Friedl's piece, is a reference to the Kronos Quartet's bestseller "Winter Was Hard", a timely reminder that Zeitkratzer have followed Kronos' lead in smashing down the fences between contemporary classical and popular music by commissioning figures from the world of rock and leftfield electronica to produce or arrange work for them. [...] Cage's austere "Two" sounds almost baroque in comparison, after which the extended techniques employed in Friedl's composition come across as opulent, impressionistic even. George Crumb comes to mind on several occasions listening to this and Cecchinato's piece, whose extraordinary sonorities seem due in no small part to studio treatment, reverb and spatialisation (though the booklet lists no electronics as such).
[...] Fortunately, the album goes out on a high note with Marcus Schmickler's "friedl.krieger.extension", further dazzling proof that Schmickler is one of the brightest laptoppers out there with a pair of ears to match his software. A satisfying way to round off an intelligent, well realised and highly recommended piece of work."
(Dan Warburton, paristransatlantic magazine 5/2003)