«Le Temps» is the sophomore solo album of Austrian drummer Katharina Ernst. She is known as the leader of the Ventil band and from her free-improvised meeting with guitarist and electronics player Martin Siewert (of Radian) in the duo ALSO, and with turntables wizard dieb13, Chicagoan reeds player Ken Vandermark and sound artist Christina Kubisch.
As on her debut album «Extrametric» (Ventil, 2018), Ernst explores and investigates the possibilities of the acoustic drum-set as a subtle, intimate and highly versatile and playful instrument. The five pieces of the EP were recorded with no amplification and without any effects. Ernst’s drum-set was augmented by mallets and instruments from traditional Korean music, the samul-nori, as well as by everyday objects such as bicycle bells or bathtub plugs. Siewert did the masterful mix and mastering as he did on «Extrametric». But if «Extrametric» offered an insightful lesson about the primal, healing power of the rhythms, «Le Temps» demonstrates Ernst’s skills as an imaginative, arresting storyteller.
Ernst suggests five distinct, captivating and masterful rhythmic dramas and rituals, with impressive command and refined elegance. The opening «Ouverture ___ for hi hat» begins with a fast, acoustic techno-like groove, soon gravitating into an abstract, resonating vortex, and concludes in a playful and relaxed mode. «Vague ___ for snare, floor tom and bass drum» is a disciplined ritual where Ernst drumming ebb and flow, coloring the meditative pulse with more nuances while patiently building the subtle, dramatic tension. Ernst employs the Korean thunder gongs on the brief «Brisé ___ for kwaenggari» to offer a cartoonish, amusing cinematic soundscape. «Flux ___ for twelve shakers» suggests a Steve Reich-ian methodical, minimalist progression through subtle variations, but with a provocative, enigmatic twist. The last «Début ___ for prepared drum kit and voice» tells a detailed story about a wondrous and exotic train journey.
Katharina Ernst (dr, perc, metal obj, v)