Stephan Wittwer - Streams (07.2001)
Eleven years after World of Strings, Streams is the second solo record from Stephan Wittwer.
If World of Streams was a live recording, a, if you wish, naked guitar record, then Streams presents itself as multi-layered, complex but thoroughly listenable textures. It reflects Wittwer's work with (live) electronics, which has led into a surprising, yet absolutely logical synthesis (or better, symbiosis). What is guitar and what is digitally processed, what is played live in now time and what was synthesized later-all this is no longer clearly recognizable. But it's not a question of this. Feeding from differing sources, Streams has become a great, multifarious shimmering river.
Wittwer has developed a new musical connection that doesn't sound like what one expects from him and which expresses a lot of what he has been working on in the last few years (or decades). No, no heavy metal substrates any more, no Free Jazz transformations, no "Death Jazz" (the name of a programmatic title on World of Strings). Instead, a density and duration that one knows from his hardest productions, but with a lot of trace elements and embedded crystals-references to very early LPs. Indeed, there are moments that remind one of his legendary FMP record Und? (1977) with Radu Malfatti. The artist himself talks of a "peaceful and introspective recording."
Streams appropriately expresses the status that Wittwer has enjoyed for the last 30 years as a part of the European and worldwide improvisation and experimental music scene. He's worked with Irene Schweizer ... Fischli/Weiss and many others. He composes for and produces Steamboat Switzerland.
Streams testifies to an exact, scrupulous analysis of the material, constantly at the highest level, always with an ear toward the current developments (also of the mainstream), but constantly putting out its neck and not worrying about conventions of genre.
Streams continues Wittwer's cooperation with Grob, which began last year with Werther/Wittwer.
Stephan Wittwer (also on GROB204)
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