Avantgarde Home Entertainment, Customer Edition 3" CD-R
Crank Satori, 2003
The first track initially reminded me of early Zoviet France with some scratchy loops, like playing a metal record and emphasizing all the pops and hiss. And then came the drum machine sounds, pretty much out of left field. At first I thought it was to be some humorous and short-lived (yet catchy) Casio beat disco attack, but no. Rhythmic layers appeared, and the piece became more brilliant as they increased. Think of side 2 of Current 93's In Menstrual Night LPÑthat's the connection. The second track didn't grab me as strongly. Much more sparse, with guitar and piano samples, and a little more on the minimal and subtle side.
BORIS HAUF - AVANT GARDE HOME ENTERTAINMENT, CUSTOMER EDITION (3"CDR by Crank Satori)
Of course you know Boris Hauf, member of Efzeg and improviser from Berlin. Here he comes with a nice little 3"CDR which displays his work on the laptop quite well, and displays his interests in various types of music. The first piece, called 'I Want To Reach The Point Where People Hear My Name And Immediately Think Of Real Country Music' is built around droning ambient glitches, but with strong yet minimal drum sample and bass sounds. Nice hasty music, and nothing to do with 'real country' music. The second piece 'Because We're Humans We Go For The Honey' sort of falls apart on two sides. It starts out with microsounding, musique concrete-like noise sounds which over the course is replaced by the use of guitars (played by Dean Roberts), thus adding a sense of pace to the piece. In case you never heard Boris Hauf, this might be a good place to start. Short and sweet.
Maria's right: Friday's performance was marked with radiator-like breaths, creaks and clicks, and a wonderful organic use of three instruments that can be used quite inorganically. Greg did some interesting breath work on the valves of his trumpet and used several small pieces of metal to capture vibrations at the bell of the trumpet... and to scrape along the side. Zach has a sensitive and warm approach to bass accompaniment and, IMO, was underfeatured in this trio setting. I'd like to hear more from him. Lots of nice, subtle string pops, resonant bowing, and a cool use of a metal rod slipped between the strings to flick, and to clatter, and to hum. And Boris? I was definitely struck by the feeling that Greg was the "leader" of this threesome, but it was Boris who I came to see. His playing exemplified the radiator hiss and tick that hit me hardest, and he expanded into some full-form blowing amidst the key clicking, leg muting, and other tender drawings out of the saxophone's sound.
Other interesting accidental instruments included the door to the Village, conversations from the street, and a man who was painstakingly thorough chaining his bicycle to a street sign outside. The three were thrown a little by the door initially but handled the small intrusions well. Kudos, all. For the persistence and the performance. My first boss-improv style show in awhile, and a reason to get back into the game.
America Says Farwell (LP by En/Of)
...With TV Pow you get one of the ten different computer prints with holes by Angela Bulloch. TV Pow are, besides a laptop trio, also three people actively involved in Chicago underground improvising scene and it seems that this side of them prevails here. Using a whole array of sound devices, from the elcetric koto to the coins and laptops, they offer a record that has a wide dynamic range: sometimes things move only at a barelly audible level for minutes, but things may move quickly to a noise level. Luckily it never gets obnoxious loud and never stays long in that part of the dynamic range. At times, certainly on side one, I was reminded of a digital Nurse With Wound, like Steve had acquired a laptop. Maybe some of the older fans, who just know their CD's so far, will be put off by this more imporvisational record, I sure like it.
Frans de Waard, Vital Weekly #323
Number four in Austrian saxophonist Boris Hauf's series of private releases also offered as digital downloads, Shameless 0202 was recorded on February 7, 2002 and released at the end of the same month. At the time the artist was staying in the US, hanging around Chicago with Adam Sonderberg}, a young sound artist with whom he already recorded --- - in 1999 (the pair also appears on Sonderberg's 2001 EP Say No). This 3? CD contains one 19-minute studio track with Hauf solely on computer and Sonderberg on guitar and junk. While the material on --- - consisted mostly of very short, abstract improvisational gestures, here we have a long static piece that feels more like sound art than free improv. The mention "recorded and assembled" (typical Sonderberg vocabulary) preceding the date on the cover adds to the mystery. No matter how it was produced, the piece is brilliant: it pushes Hauf's art into more minimalist territory. Hums, sine waves, sparse clicks form the basis of the sonic shroud over which Sonderberg pins indistinct sounds, rummaging through junk or using objects on the guitar without ever sounding a string. One thinks of Otomo Yoshihide's most extremely anti-climactic projects (I.S.O., Filament) or the group Polwechsel. Recommended but very demanding.
No one has done more to link the improvised-music communities of Vienna and Chicago than saxophonist and computer musician Boris Hauf. True, his countrymen in the group Polwechsel are no strangers to town: since 1997 they've played Chicago both as a unit and in mix-and-match collaborations masterminded by local bass clarinetist Gene Coleman, and Polwechsel guitarist and composer Burkhard Stangl staged the third part of his opera Venusmond here in 2000. Hauf travels in similar circles--he contributed to Venusmond and plays with Stangl in a band called Efzeg--but he's the only Viennese improviser who's gone so far as to live in Chicago. Since 1998 Hauf has spent part of each year here, working with a wide range of locals--among them category-crushing rock band Lozenge, laptop trio TV Pow, and electronicist and guitarist Adam Sonderberg (with whom he's recorded two CD-Rs). On saxophone he eschews tunes, preferring a highly evolved, texture-oriented vocabulary that includes squelchy wet kisses, long breathy whistles, and fine-grained multiphonics. Even when he switches to laptop, he shows a profound appreciation for the physicality of sound; at a Deadtech concert last year, one of his primary signal sources was the amplified creaking of his Powerbook's hinges. This weekend's concerts conclude Hauf's current two-month residence in Chicago. Saturday he'll play computer alone, with Sonderberg, and in a five-way face-off with Sonderberg and TV Pow; Sunday he'll play a solo computer set and then go analog, picking up his saxophone to join headliners Lozenge.
Saturday, March 23, 9 PM, Deadtech, 3321 West Fullerton; 773-395-2844. Sunday, March 24, 9 PM, Prodigal Son, 2626 North Halsted; 773-248-3093.
BILL MEYER, chicagoreader
This is the second installment in avant-garde saxophonist Boris Hauf´s Shameless series. Shameless 1201 is a 19-minute free improv duet with Dieb13, mostly known for his experimental turntable work but here performing on computer and a bit of trumpet. $Hauf also spends more time on computer than on his sax, which weights this piece much more on the side of microsound electro-acoustic improv. People acquainted with EfzegÍs music and Dieb13Ís collaboration with G$uuml;nter MÙller and Jason Kahn released almost simultaneously by For 4 Ears) will find this a nice companion. And yet this is not a stellar performance, by far. The tension created by silence (actually computer hum) does not find satisfying resolution. An interesting informal session, it lacks a level of engagement in comparison, Shameless 0102 sounds a lot more vital and accomplished. Shameless 1201 is available as a free download a hauf.klingt.org/shameless/1201 and was released on CD-R by the artist as a private and very limited edition.
Number three in Boris Hauf´s series of digital downloads/private CD-R releases, Shameless 0102 presents a superb set of duets with Martin Siewert. Both musicians took part in the development of an Austrian music scene revolving around electro-acoustic improvisation (Polwechsel, Efzeg, Comforts of Madness, etc.), but here they revert to acoustic playing, Hauf on tenor and baritone saxophone, Siewert on acoustic guitar. The six short pieces comprised on this 27-minute EP have the clarity and naivete of Taku SugimotoÍs music, but the pastoral feel of Roger SmithÍs domestic pieces (see the beautiful Extended Plays). Hauf uses delicate breath/mouth sounds and restrained notes in a fashion similar to Axel Dsÿrner and John Butcher. Ghosts of songs flicker by, chord sequences stand at an elusive distance, the gap between relaxing instrumental music and sound art is temporarily bridged. As limited this release is (but free to download at hauf.klingt.org/shameless/0102), it is well worth hearing and could stand as both musiciansÍ most seductive work. Highly recommended.
Duo Billy Roisz und Boris Hauf. Boris Hauf spielte G3, dabei handelt es sich um ein Laptop eines bestimmten Computerherstellers, der in der experimentellen elektronischen Musik gerne Verwendung findet. bediente eine Videokamera, die sich mit einem Fernsehgeraet rueckkoppeln liesz, und Videomixer. Beide KuenstlerInnnen generierten relativ einfach aufgebaute Strukturen, die waehrend der Darbietung von video out in audio in / audio out in video in kontinuierlich um ein zentrales statisches Motiv variiert wurden. So rueckte Boris Hauf ein dezentes an ein Helikopterrotorengeraeusch erinnerndes Rattern in den Mittelpunkt seines Laptopspiels. Begleitet wurde das Rattern von wenigen laenger andauernden knarzenden und fiepsenden Toenen, die in ihrer Intensitaet verschieden stark ausgepraegt waren, aber immer ein sehr minimalistisches, vornehm zurueckhaltendes Ganzes bildeten. Somit wurde der Wahrnehmungsapparat nicht einseitig ueber den Hoersinn affiziert, und man konnte sich ohne grosze Muehe an den Visuals von Billy Roisz erfreuen.
Vier senkrechte in gleiche Abstaende gesetzte gelbe Linien bildeten das statische Motiv auf der Leinwand. Allmaehlich begann ein Flackern und Flimmern einen Zerstoerungsprozess, der es scheinbar auf die Linien abgesehen hatte, darzustellen, doch diese blieben hartnaeckig und lieszen sich im Endeffekt nicht in die Knie zwingen, auch wenn sie kurzzeitig von der Leinwand verschwanden.
Der zweite Teil der Visuals hatte einen giftgruenen Hintergrund mit einem farblosen kleinen Quadrat in der Mitte, um das der Umriss eines schwarzen Rechteckes zu taenzeln begann und leichte Metamorphosen vollzog. Das taenzelnde Motiv wurde noch dahingehend verdoppelt, dass sich Tropfen von den Ecken des Quadrats loesten und um dieses wie fette Fleischfliegen um eine Lampe schwirrten. Boris Hauf lieferte stimmig das Surren; oder war es umgekehrt? Bediente Billy Roisz ihr Equipment zur Geraeuschkulisse? Es liesz sich nicht feststellen, was der beste Beweis dafuer war, dass die Musik und die Bilder trotz hohem Abstraktionsgrad miteinander harmonierten. Das ist kein Widerspruch, vorausgesetzt die KuenstlerInnen verstehen ihr (digitales) Werkzeug und verstehen sich zu vernetzen. Beides war der Fall. Darueber hinaus lieferten sie ein gutes Beispiel, was Transakustik bedeuten kann, und dass es sich lohnt, das iftaf zu besuchen respektive kennen zu lernen.
"...Saxophonist Hauf is discreet, except in some muscular passages, particularly in the third track, but his presence adds a welcomed contrast to the electronics and guitars... Efzeg's music unfolds slowly through successive waves. The band covers a wide volume palette, going from the almost inaudible to deafening noise rage. Each improvisation bears a distinctive organic character, which in my opinion is the most important aspect of all this Viennese music I have been constantly telling you about lately. And Grain is very representative of this aesthetics and a very nice piece of work."
françois couture, inentendu-unheard, critiques / reviews 2000/06/25, (canada)
"boris sinclar hauf and ernst long bend, stretch, and spindle sounds into doing their bidding. thoughtful and quirky goodness."
"it didn´t take long to establish the tone of the fourth annual empty bottle festival. ernst long and boris sinclair (hauf) waded through an aloof set of understated amnbience; with sinlcair (hauf)´s computer furnisching a humming static, long electronically muted trumpet elected subdued clicks and desolate buzzes, rising, as its most spirited, to a light simmer. the set was the first of many that would test the audience´s attention span."
john c morgan, the wire, june 2000
"also featured were the electronics duo of chicagoan ernst long, who coaxed crackly tone from his downturned trumpet, and austrian boris sinclair hauf, whose patient demeanor before a laptop suggested a new york cartoon on performance art."
lloyd sachs, chicago sun times 05/00 on the 4th annual empty bottle fest of improvised music
"their scrapings and shimmers are coordinated for ensemble drama and their set impresses on the first listen. however, cds are meant for relistening, and second time round, the minimal harmonic climate feels restricting. on track two, the drone gradually amplifies, then ebbs away - a traditional device that verges on banality. the problem with music that gets by on novel sonorities is that once you´ve clocked them, there isn´t much thought or ambiguity to ponder"
ben watson, the wire(199)
"...the composed themes are awkward and burlesque, the music seems to pose questions that are never quite answered- and nevertheless the music makes its form of performance intelligable"
wiener zeitung (january 1998)
"...ascetic, abstract soundscapes tempt with unconventional habitus and doubling lines."
"...playfully and joyfully the sounds, scrapes of melodies and strains are posed into space. lines are drawn, timbres tasted; smart circumspection and economy in the concept... cause slim transparent soundscapes. the consistency of the soundscape is for the benefit of avoiding expresive extremes."
concerto (dec. 1998)
"...efzeg...carries on intensive conversations, that don´t even stop at extended possibilities of their instruments. inspite of improvisational ecstasy the structural suspense is maintained"
der standard (sept 1998)
"...most precisely designed suprisingly tight sets of a astoundingly compact texture, comprehensible and adventurous sound structures."
noe nachrichten, klosterneuburg 09/2000
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