Looper is one of the most experimental projects of the prolific Swedish sax player and sound artist Martin Küchen. This trio, with like-minded experimental improvisers and sound artists – Greek cellist Nikos Veliotis and Norwegian percussionist Ingar Zach, was performing occasionally since the beginning of the millennium and «Ljubljana» is its fourth album, released by the Scottish Bandcamp label Scatter with its name-your-price label. The cover art features photos of Küchen and Veliotis
«Ljubljana» is a hypnotic and minimalist 49-minute drone recorded at the Sound Disobedience festival in Ljubljana in November 2014. This almost silent and deeply immersive piece is anchored by a distant and sustained, oscillating pulse, patiently triggering suggestive extended sax breathing techniques, percussive touches and rubbing of the cello strings and its wooden body as well as extended bowing techniques. Together, Looper expands the timbres of their respected instruments and sketches suggestive and intriguing sonic storms, briefly intensifying towards the end of this piece.
The bBb duo – Küchen on sopranino sax and trombonist Ola Rubin (who also plays with Küchen in the Lazy Rude Monk dedicated to the Steve Lacy/Roswell Rudd Quartet) – «makes everyday music for distracted times… for our leaking Now – both trying closing the gaps and intensively listening to the hard metaphysical rain that the present is flooded with». «One must lie like the devil, not timidly, not for a time only, but boldly and always» (a saying associated with the French philosopher Voltaire) is already the fourth album bBb and like its previous ones is released by Scatter. It was recorded on a two-track reel to reel tape recorder using recycled Scotch magnetic tape (with a pre-existing recorded Swedish drama course for 11th-grade students, from the 1970s), with no editing, at the Annelund Industrial Complex #4 in Malmö in November 2021.
«One must lie like the devil, not timidly, not for a time only, but boldly and always» is mostly a minimalist piece but much more dadaist and theatrical in its spirit. The daredevils Küchen and Rubin play with whatever is in their hands reach, from the narrow neck of the sopranino sax and the emerging sounding facets of the trombone vault (its secret is in the lows, Rubin says) to the physical contours of the industrial space, and embraces all sounds, familiar and innocent ones, including from the archeological tape, and noisy and wicked ones.
Martin Küchen (s, pocket radio, iPod, mutes, perc), Nikos Veliotis (c), Ingar Zach (perc), Ola Rubin (tb, radio, mutes)