Charlemagne Palestine & Z’ev - Rubhitbangklanghear Rubhitbangklangear [Sub Rosa - 2013]This two disc CD set offers up a series of collaborative & solo recordings from American minimalist composer & performer Charlemagne Palestine, and industrial music pioneer, percussionist & sound artist Z’ev. For the recordings Palestine utilized Carillon(a huge small building sized instrument that consists of at least 23 cast bronze, cup-shaped bells, which are serially played to produce a melody, or sounded together to play a chord), and Z’ev plays a selection of different & various percussive matter.
The recordings on offer here are a selection of tracks culled from a three day collaboration between the pair in June 2010 in Brussels at Palestine's sonic workshop. The recordings were made in a live setting, with no audience or later sonic adjustments. The first disc takes in three collaborative tracks, which last between eight to eighteen minutes a piece. And the second disc takes in three solo works, which last between just shy of the eight minute mark, to just under the forty six minute mark.
The first disc starts with “Duo C/Z #1”, which the longest of the collaborative pieces here at 18.26 mark. The track conists of Palestine playing out a series of fairly simply yet hypnotic patterns on the Carillon, as Z’ev backs him with a fairly stripped pattern of moody, ominous, rolling & slightly reverberation large drum patterns- the track creates a moodyskeletal atmosphere which hovers somewhere between religious & ritual. The second track is entitled “Duo C/Z #2”, and this 13.47 track starts off with Z’ev’s brooding & stretched slow percussive rumbles, saws & drags- pretty soon Palestine enters the sonic fray with a slow pitter-patter of harmonic bell tone patterns. Lastly we have “Duo C/Z #3”, which is baby of the bunch at the 8.33 mark. This track starts with eerier scratching & reverberation patterns from Z’ev which to sound like a cross between: the slow repetitive yet complex patterns of a foot operated piece of machinery, subtle rhythmic/ ritual texturing & piano reverb. Fairly soon Palestine appears & this time his Carillon playing seems alot less structured & tight in it’s structure, with Z’ev really holding the whole thing together with his fairly complex yet slurred rhythmic patterns.
The second disc takes in the solo works of the set, and opening up the disc we have the 7.37 of “Solo C #1”. This track is a solo Palestine piece, and it finds him offering up a series of building then descending patterns- with the pace going from fairly rapid & clamouring, to slower & more moody dwells. After this we have the 15.15 of “Solo Z #1”, which is the first of two Z’ev solo tracks- the piece starts off been built around a continuous rolling ‘n’ buzzing ritual drum texture that is under fed by the odd trail of shaker like twists & darts. Around the eight minute mark the buzzing/ shaker textures depart, and we move into a more strip yet constant bounding & dramatic series of double large rhythmic drum patterns- the whole thing is very moodily primal & broodingly ritual in it’s feel.
Lastly on disc two we have “Solo Z #2”, which of course is the second Z’ev solo. This comes in at an 46.09, and it starts off with a spaced series of eerier sort dungeon like clangs ‘n’ bangs, and their tone reverb. But as time ticks on the clangs ‘n’ bangs become more complex, less spaced-out & quite intimating in their feel, yet there’s still a brooding shimmer of reverb at the back of the track. By around the 8th minute the pace has really picked up, as Z’ev feeds out more complex patterns, and nicely shifts/ alters the patterns to keep ones attention firmly in place. Around the 18th minute the textures change, as Z’ev utilizes these more dragging & snaking metallic clanging tones- these rather bring to mind images of a vast metal snake rapidly twisting & jerking in front of you. By around the 30th minute mark the pace has once more got very rapid & darting in it’s attack, as you really feel like your speeding around & around, faster & faster. By the 33rd minute Z’ev has once again changed the textures, and this time it’s a mixture of long dragging/ jittering mettallics that are enchased ritual pitter/ patter more gong like patterns. By the 35 mintue mark the textures shifting again to this sort of skipping-in-tap-shoes dart ‘n’ hammer, which is under fed by a smog of reverb. The remainder of the track sees Z’ev subtle shift through a few more textureal sounds. All told it’s a effective long form track, and I can’t really think of anyone else who could make a near on hour track of just percussive texture sound so rewarding & twisting.
This two disc set nicely blurs the boundaries between harmonic & percussive matter, ritual & religious vibes, arcane & experimental. Apparently this was only the second time the pair have collaborated in their lengthy careers…lets hope they decide to work together again in the future.Roger Batty