The Pitch is a Berlin-based experimental quartet founded in 2009 and featuring organist and sine-waves player Boris Baltschun (of Splitter Orchestra), double bass player Koen Nutters; electric vibes player Morten Joh (of Naaljos Ljom, MoHa! and Ultralyd) and clarinetist Michael Thieke (of The International Nothing, Magda Mayas’ Filamental and the Blurred Music duo with violinist Biliana Voutchkova). The Pitch employs minimal live electronics and collectively composes structures that generate hypnotic melodic movement and deep acoustic textures, inspired by fundamental states of matter – frozen surfaces, gaseous states, plasmatic fibrils, liquid patterns and molecular motion.
«KM28» was recorded at the live music venue by the same name (registered in Karl-Marx-Straße 28) in Berlin in October 2020. The venue is considered by the ensemble as their favorite, located in their favorite borough: Neukoelln. The album was recorded a day after The Pitch played in Poland and the ensemble was slightly hungover but ready to play new repertoire to Covid-19 restricted, sold-out house. «KM28» is released as a limited edition of 75 cassettes plus a download option.
The Pitch’s sonic vision is realized by slowly shifting patterns and fluctuations created by the bowed and struck acoustic instruments. This almost static sonic aesthetics suggests an elusive atmosphere where the listener’s perception is slowed down, and the smallest sonic details constantly float from the background to the foreground, and vice versa. The Pitch delves deeper into just intonation and, for the first time, uses subgroups (solos, duos, trios) to create a richer sonic palette for the whole performance, augmented by homemade, manipulated tape echo and a variety of computer-generated sine tone textures.
The six pieces are performed as one long hypnotizing suite, but each one offers a distinct variation on The Pitch’s disciplined, carefully layered acoustic drones with subtle electronics. The 21-minute, resonant vibrations and overtones of «Frozen Just», a just intonation version of the ensemble piece «Frozen Surface» (from «Transposition Zero», Gaffer, 2010), demonstrates best The Pitch’s refined and detailed approach that seeks a purifying and sublime statis, where the meditative, sustained tones and overtones accumulate into a vivid and tangible aural presence. «Just Pillars», a reimagining of «Pillars» (from «s/t [κασέτα» Granny, 2018), adds a ritualist undercurrent and a powerful sonic presence to the minimalist, hypnotic strategy. This compositional strategy is distilled into the last piece where only the only sounds of sine waves and cassette delay tape paint an alien, transparent aural presence.
Boris Baltschun (just intonation org, sines), Koen Nutters (b), Morten Joh (just intonation electric vib, cassette tape delay), Michael Thieke (cl)