Pedaltone: that's Bernhard Wagner from Switzerland and Michael Bearpark from England. The CD by the same name has appeared on the british label burning shed. The educated reader listens up, as illustrous names like Porcupine Tree (including side projects) are published here and the catalogue only contains selected productions on a musically very high level.
Pedaltone is built completely on guitar loops played live and consists of two sections (funnily named "Side1" and "Side2" on the CD) built of 5 pieces each: "Overwritten" und "Der Doppelgänger".
Musically, the whole production is to be located in the area which Brian Eno inaugurated in the late 70s with his Ambient Series; stylistically probably closest to Robert Fripp and even more to Michael Brook. So far so good.
By this point many Szene readers might ask themselves, who is Michael Brook, what's so great about burning shed, and what the heck do I care about those damn guitar loops??
Right. You can forget about all that! What counts is the music: If I hadn't said so, many would probably not even notice that guitars are at work here: The sounds are so spheric, sharp, wide, that they can compete with the most sophisticated of sound generators.
What's more: By the use of "acoustic" instruments/sound sources the sound looses the digital rigidity, predictability, and monotony. That's what you hear and what you feel. There's not a single drumbeat on the whole CD, but (this is the point!) by the use of looping the pieces are held together rhythmically and evoke an intensity, escalation, and forcefulness that wouldn't be possible by just piling sheets of sounds.
Pedaltone is like a movie, a trip: There are very calm, almost contemplative moments, but also borderline situations. The trip goes out onto the ocean, you're leaving everything behind - maybe because everything has gone to pieces, because there's nothing more to be said. There's the calm and the certainty it is time to go: Into a new world, into a new life. Rarely have I heard music that touches, awakens, unsettles, but at the same time offers an unordinary/outlandish/strange new perspective, almost hope without being kitschy.
All the time the music remains dignified, preserves beauty and does not require the trashiness to shout: Hey there, I'm damn cool, ain't I?? Pedaltone can very well do without. Recommendable!
|original review by Matthias/medienkonverter.de in German