Instrumentarium, 2012

Over the years, the Staubgold label has delivered wealth of good material. They've brought us some To Rococo Rot, the Magic ID (and other projects by Christof Kurzmann), Heaven And... plus many more. All these bands share some qualities. They hang out in a vague terrain between rock and electronica (and more, hard-to-pin-down avant garde leanings). The label is good enough I will often at least give an artist a listen simply by dint of their being released on it. Such is how I found Boris Hegenbart.

Instrumentarium is a collection of his meeting with 19 different artists--pretty much one per. The guests run the gamut from the abstract percussionist from Vienna's Polwechsel to America's own David Grubs (of Gastr del Sol fame). This should be a recipe for a hodge podge of an album but Instrumentarium plays with surprising cohesion. At heart, none of these meetings are about playing as much as they are each a celebration of sound-for-itself. The sonics of the album are vibrant and tactile. Hegenbart clearly relishes teasing as much out of each moment of performance as possible, creating an ambiguous space where new relationships between sound and listener are given space.

M Makrobe B:

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