INTAKT RECORDS – CD-REVIEWS
Elliott Sharp-Christian Marclay

 

CHRISTIAN MARCLAY/ELLIOTT SHARP. HIGH NOON. INTAKT CD 063

This recording by guitarist/reedist Sharp and truntablist/sampler Marclay is fittingly titled. It would be a most welcome soundtrack for a spaghetti western, and titles like «Tin Stars,» «Deadeye,» and «Ghost Towen» indicate the genre inspired this project. It's in a constant state of change, with a great variety of stylistic reference points. «Deadeye» is a pointillistic exercise that evolves into an abstract bass-and-drum groove with odd-time noise ostinatos layered on trop. Repeating samples frequently serve as a starting point for very abstract improvisations containing areas of constant rhythm, all-out noise, feedback-driven slide guitar and episodes of dense, unrelenting tension. «Ghost Town» contains some excellent bass clarinet over a very conventional string sample. This is not easy listening, but it's recommended to those willing to be challenged.
Tony Wison, Coda, Canada, March/April 02

 

Gary Cooper must be spinning in his grave like a turntable. That's because this duo session by Sharp and Marclay -- named for High Noon, the classic 1952 western in which Cooper starred -- isn't a comfy C&W celebration but a face-to-face throwdown by the sort of sonic explorers who populated sci-fi flicks in Cooper's heyday. Worse, not only does Sharp wield an effects-laden guitar like a mean gunslinger -- he probably couldn't properly perform "Do Not Forsake Me, Oh My Darlin'" if he wanted to -- but Marclay also isn't playing Tex Ritter 78s on his machine, but improvising with it.
Yep, Cooper is dead and so are Cold War ideas of what's involved in improvisation. But idea-driven CDs like this only succeed if the musicians involved go beyond gimmickry to produce legitimate sonic soundscapes. Luckily Sharp, who has functioned as a so-called "legit" composer, and Marclay, who has been experimenting with turntables for more than 20 years, are more than capable of doing that.
Too often DJs-come-lately use LP samples to comment on other music with a sort of adolescent snarkiness. Marclay is beyond that. He manipulates pure sound as well as song snatches, shoehorning them into unexpected places. Layered upon Sharp's "Telstar" guitar-style timbres the Western-titled tunes often become otherworldly creations from untraceable sources. Open-minded listeners who enjoy being challenged will love this disc. More conservative ones will likely hate it. Is it jazz? Maybe. Is it impressive improvisation? Very definitely.
Ken Waxman, Jazz Weekly, Canada, Oktober 2000 http://www.jazzweekly.com/reviews



This duo between tone manipulator and distorter, Christian Marclay, and electric guitarist and synthesizer whiz, Elliott Sharp, pushes the limits with twisted sounds galore.Like a painting by Dali, there is a surreal feel to it all, a dreamlike trance interrupted repeatedly by never-ending nightmares. Pops, clicks, warbles, bangs, and dizzy bubble gum-like twists are interspersed with clanking metal to produce collages of some of the weirdest stuff on disk. Marclay is so seldom heard from that each of his recordings is a treasure, and this one is no exception. He takes Sharp's already disfigured lines and manages to mangle them further so that they are barely recognizable in their sliced and diced, transformed evolutionary state. It is hard to identify all of Sharp's instruments, but there is touch of what sounds like bass clarinet, shriveled by Marclay's deconstruction. The results are highly disturbing but gloriously so.Unadulterated noise/music, there is a clear »take no prisoners» approach, one which is sure to delight or incite. (4 stars )
Steven Loewy, All-Music Guide to Jazz, U.S.A, October 2000 http://www.allmusic.com/

 

Da sage noch einer, das Improvisationsgeflecht hätte Löcher bekommen. Das Avantgarde-Duett mit dem Pionier der collagierten 33er-Scheiben, Christian Marclay, und dem Derek-Bailey-Jünger Elliott Sharp legen da mit Starkstrom und freiflottierender Assoziationsvielfalt atemberaubenden Einspruch ein. Von abstrakten Kollisionen bis zu mikosekundendauernden Fragmenten aus Klassik bis Country & Western zerstören die beiden das musikalische Erinnerungsvermögen. Und verschmelzen die Sound- und Melodie-Kerne zu einem Gemisch, für das es kein Endlager gibt.
gt. Der Überblick, Österreich, Dez. 2000

 

Sie stehen sich gegenüber, Auge in Auge, bereit zu ziehen. Äusserste Konzentration, die Sonne brennt, einer wird fallen. Die Luft knistert, der Sand knirscht, das faule Holz riecht, der Westen ist weit, Schweiss tropft, Menschen verstecken sich, der Hut sitz im Nacken, das Holster am Schenkel. Nicht das Gute sigt; der Sieger ist der Gute. High Noon!
Elliott Sharp und Christian marclay spielen mit Western-Klischees. Sie werfen Bilder an die Wand, klonen Erinnerungen. Sentimentaler Futurismus. Sie erzählen eine Geschichte, der man umso leichter zuhören kann, als sie jeder kennt. Dabei zeichnen sie keine Handlungsströme nach, sondern verstehen sich als Seismographen zwischenmenschlicher Spannungen und Befindlichkeiten. Es ist eine Collage subliminaler Situationsbeschreibungen, eine virtuelles Eintauchen in den physischsten aller amerikanischen Träume. Dass es dabei zu Verzerrungen, Karikaturen und Zurechtrückungen kommt, ist ebenso selbstverständlich wie beabsichtigt. Nach etwa der Hälfte des Albums löst sich die Musik vom Sujet, verselbständigt sich, wird zum urbanen Mantra. Der Westen ist überall, heute wie damals.
Wol
f Kampmann. Jazzthetik, Jan 2000

 

Christian Marclay è stato il pioniere (è in attività dal '79) e in alcuni casi il diretto ispiratore dell'attuale compagine di 'DJ d'avanguardia' che amano misurarsi con il mondo dell'improvvisazione (post)jazzista (DJ Olive, Tétreault, Erik M, Yoshidhide ecc.) Dopo diversi anni dedicati alle arti visive, lo svizzero-newyorchese sta tornando semper più alla musica: il nuovissimo High Noon (Intakt, www.intaktrec.ch) è un duo con una vecchia conoscenza, Elliott Sharp (al quale deve il suo esordio discografico, la compilation State of the Union). La lunga frequentazione paga, e le schegge impazzite dei vinili di Marclay (memorabile il Braxton triturato di Tin Stars) trovano una coesine pessoché perfetta con le chitarre quasi psichedeliche (e l'occasionale clarinetto bass) del secondo.
Walter Rovere, Rumore, Bologna, October 2000

 

CD - Féerie chaotiques
Allergiques aux bizzarries, passez votre chemin! Elliott Sharp et christian Marclay ne font pas de compromis. La guitare du prmier évite obstinément tout ce qui pourrait ètre joli ou gentil, le deuxième ne manipule pas que des disques de musique douce. Oui, Christian Marclay es DJ! Ou disons que son instrument est un (ou des) tournedisques. Sur «High Noon», le duo improvise, privilégiant les sons rugueux qui, en s'entrechoquant, font des étincelles! Le résultat est dans le pire des cas très original. Quant il devient impossible de définir qui fait quoi et quoi est émis par qui, ce désordre devient mème jubilatoire … Si on aime les ambiances chaotiques.
Le Matin, Lausanne, 18, Octobre 2000

 

High Noon Christian Marclay & Elliott Sharp (Intakt) Turntable guru Christian Marclay teams with guitarist Elliott Sharp for a series of works that assault the senses. Sharpıs EFX and wily electric guitar explorations serve as an amiable match for Marclayıs scratch turntables and otherworldly musings as these two take us to parts unknown. Here life becomes distorted and perhaps a bit maniacal through the hi-tech applications of this ultra modern - High Noon -. * * * 1/2 (out of * * * * *)
Glenn Astarita, All About Jazz. Licensed with permission from AllAboutJazz.com. Copyright İ 2001 All About Jazz and Glenn Astarita

 

Den furiosen Clash von Gitarre, Electronics und Turntables zeitigte die Begegnung der Metropolis-Gunslingers Elliott Sharp und Christian Marclay mit High Noon (Intakt CD 063). Wie aus einer Zentrifuge geschleudert prasseln Marclay's Scratches und Loops in Sharps Saitenschrapnells und Splitter-Splattersounds. Die plunderphonischen Rikoschetts knallen so dicht ineinander, dass eine infernalische Fusion zweier Klangströme stattfindet. Das neunminütige 'Ghost Town' versetzt einen genau ins Schussfeld eines Shoot-outs zwischen Merzbow und Panacea. Das Ohr kann kaum mehr unterscheiden, was hier der eine oder der andere tut, kann nur noch staunen, wie souverän die beiden das selbst geschaffene Chaos bändigen. Soch Massstab setzender, was sag ich: mit allen Regeln brechender Wildstyle in Fortsetzung von Marclay's Duett mit Günter Müller und Shapr's Psychoacoustic-Duo mit Zeena Parkins ist Hirn erfrischend!
Bad Alchemy 36, 2000, Würzburg

 

Expérimental. Si l'on accepte l'idée du tourne-disques comme instrument de musiques (après tout, cela semble de plus en plus le cas), alors on doit aussi accepter le fait que celui-ci, comme n'importe quel instrument, puisse être joué en groupe. C'est ce qu'a toujours promu, souvent contre vents et marées, Christian Marclay, l'un des premiers DJ à avoir joué des platines hors du contexte du hiphop. C'était il y a vingt ans à New York et Marclay avait trouvé dans la scène punk e no-wave (John Zorn, Sonic Youth) ou jazz (Butch Morris) des partenaires ouverts au dialogue. Aujourd'hui, ave l'arrivée de nombreux nouveaux adeptes, Marclay retrouve l'envie de so confronter à d'autres … L'autre album est bien différent, puisque Marclay y est accompagné par le musicien newyorkais Elliott Sharp. Davantage improvisé, «High Noon» célèbre les noces de la platine et de la guitare électriques. Noces? On devrait plutôt parler de jumelage, tant il est difficile à l'écoute de savoir d'où proviennent les sons. Un album plus difficile d'ecoute, mais néanmoins passionnant pour ses qualités soniques.
Pierre-Jean Crittin, Vibration, Lausanne, Oct. 2000