Andrea Neumann + Mads Emil Nielsen | Refound
Here are two accomplished and interesting artists, Andrea Neumann (Germany) + Mads Emil Nielsen (Denmark), collaborating (since 2014) on a new surprising 10″ on Nielsen’s Arbitrary imprint. This recording was already on my review list when along came the new Sichten 1 compilation on Raster which we covered here – Nielsen’s contributions were the definitive standouts for me in this otherwise stellar collection. Neumann has been one of the most consummate collaborators since the early 00’s and her contributions to In Case Of Fire Take The Stairs (w/Kaffe Matthews + Sachiko M) and Lidingö (w/Burkhard Beins) are just two incredibly memorable albums that sit proudly in our archives.
Refound is a collection of ten short works that grew out of their ‘deconstruction’ series of improv, a graphic score and an overall remix. The pieces are simply marked 1-10 and begin with a light jangle, some residual micro-static and an open field drone. A high pitch and low rumbling whir combine and separate until tiny ‘pong’ effects enter and mutate. It’s all very subtle, but there is a certain wryness in their experimentation though it comes off a bit dry and concrete at times.
The teensy percussion sounds, amped static and playful recoil start to become a document, a collage, of constructions + deconstructions, small actions that lead to others. There is ample pause in the starts/stops, and to not miss any of the finer points I’d recommend headphones for this one to drown any outside noises that may influence the proceedings. Once track four kicks in things blossom more robustly, with machinations that jigger to/fro, a chattering playfulness awakens the space. It’s as though tiny typewriters are dancing in my mind, yet I’m grounded in the raw tactile nature of other minimal distractions. In the distance a storm looms leading to a wild fusion of layered effects that bleep in a low-range turbulence, then blow like a tea kettle at full tilt.
From striated white noise to thumping patter, the duo engages a range of exploratory noise that seems familiar, but that is just outside of putting your finger on it. It’s such an imaginative set of small scores that interrelate with a skillful and quirky resonance from end to end.