s q u a r e h o r s e
s q u a r e h o r s e was recorded at Fylkingen Sweden in October 2003
s q u a r e h o r s e is the point where a dialogue converts to a monologue
s q u a r e h o r s e is a distorted consonance that escapes being a dissonance
music by looper
co-produced w/ the swedish 'utan titel' project which is run by
members of the greek collective 'editions_zero' and work under the flag of
'research center for the definition of happiness's scandinavian branch...
"You need complete silence or Etymotic headphones right into the ear canal to appreciate the subtleties of this recording.
Looper are Martin Küchen(sax), Nikos Veliotis(cello) and Ingar Zach(percussion), here at the soundscape/drone7minimalism end of Improv.
Squarehorse features two long tracks of sustained trance, the cellist most readily identifiable playing arco, with no sharp attacks and change always gradual. Küchen summons quiet energy bytoneless blowinginto the saxophone - whether he´s responsible for the blowtorch imitation I´m not sure -and the occasional silent passages allow the listener to recoup their resources.
In live performance, Looper combine floating sounds withabstract visuals in an intermedia enviroment, but acoustically the effect is hypnotic."
- Andy Hamilton - The Wire - issue 251
Those of you who listened to the wonderful "Radial" by Nikos Veliotis will be happy - just like me - to savour once again the magic potions of this sensible cello player, here in a trio with Ingar Zach (percussion) and Martin Kuechen (sax). As in the previously quoted record, there's a fantastic wealth of sustained arco trance; Looper, though, often mix these drones with placid yet ear-piercing frequencies, resulting in soundtracks for an imminent apocalypse, only once in a while interrupted by long moments of total silence where an already enhanced brain can regroup for a while and start again from zero. If you experience minimal improvisation like if you're deep into meditating, this is one of those cases where one must wear the music all over the body: enjoy the vibrational impact of the cello, the energy channeled by the air blowing into the saxophone, the sparse blessings of a percussive path transforming into pure electric flow. Is this "sacred" music? Absolutely not - but when you play with serious dedication, the enchanting beauty comes out of her abandoned castle.
Looper consists of the Greek cellist Nikos Veliotio. the Swedish sax
player Martin Küchen and the Norwegian percussionist Ingar Zach.
Looper's latest album comes in a white, cardboard circle, which gives the
CD an extra dimension. The music deserves this special attention, it's
just beautiful. Delicate, sophisticated and refined are the first words
that come to mind listening to these electro-acoustic soundscapes. The
general atmosphere is rather dark, due to the cello, and the sounds are
stretched. The tiny details come from the drums and sax.
We do not spoil many words, just listen to this pearl is all we can say!
Cellist Nikos Veliotis is no stranger to the world of Absurd, having already released two albums on the label. Looper is a trio also featuring Martin Küchen on saxophone and Ingar Zach on percussion, and the two extended tracks on Squarehorse (lasting respectively 23'31" and 37'57") represent the group's released output to date. But not for long, one imagines. Veliotis has been increasingly active lately, refining his technique with the BACHbow, a bow specially designed and built by cellist Michael Bach that allows the performer to play comfortably on three or even four strings at a time, gradually refining a music that alternates long, rich chordal drones and stretches of pregnant silence. Anyone familiar with his solo Radial on Confront will recognise the cellist at once. Don't let the clinical white cover fool you, either: adding Zach's elegant percussion (occasional shades of Eddie Prévost and Burkhard Beins) and Küchen's sustained tones (nice to hear he's as good at holding notes as he is flying off them in all directions) adds colour and depth throughout. The music shimmers like Veliotis's own video art, which it often accompanies: superimposed icons gently rippling in and out of synch. Exquisite.
Cello player Nikos Veliotis has released a wonderful solo disc of his dense playing on the cello on the Confront label, sometime ago (see Vital Weekly 405). As Looper he has a trio of himself on cello, Ingar Zach on percussion and Martin Kuechen on saxophone. Of course the first thought is that this is a trio of die-hard improvisational music, hectic, rhythmic and total freedom. Maybe the just the latter is true, but none of the others really. The three play together in the same closed way as Nikos Veliotis does on his solo release. Half the time I though it was just a solo cello anyway, but upon closer study, there was indeed a lot more small sounds to be recognized. Small sounds played by drums and saxophone and the bigger, droney part came from the cello. To set this aside as just improvised music is not entirely justifying this music, because it's rather microsounding music from the world of improvised music than the other way round. Stretched out, with moments that sound
less interesting, the search for a sound, but as a total it's quite alright, altogether. (FdW)
Arild R. Andersen for Aftenposten
Looper is Ingar Zach's favourite project at the moment. The Norwegian percussionist plays together with the greek cellist; Nikos Veliotis and the swedish saxophoneplayer; Martin Küchen.
The three of them creates an expression where drones, slow development and calmnes is evident. Looper re-news european improv and the three of them are compagnions in spirit with Taku Sugimoto and The Necks.
The difference between the instruments is wiped out and a very rare focus on the collective sound is a stron quality on "Squarehorse".