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Zbigniew Karkowski: KHZ

Zbigniew Karkowski/Antimatter “KHZ” CD "The second collaboration by Karkowski and Xopher Davidson (Antimatter) is a masterful work that rewards any patient listener with slowly unfolding layers of analog hum and buzz. The CD consists of one 45 minute piece, and this format suits the work well, as this kind of piece needs to develop slowly over a long period of time. The first 13 minutes are calm, and consist of low end rumbling and quiet high-pitched tones. This sort of restraint has often been a prelude to a blizzard of harsh noise in Karkowski’s past work. kHz is successful because it develops in a gradual manner, rather than simply being an exercise in quiet/loud interplay. This calm atmosphere eventually gives way to rapid clicking, analog patterns which hover at a moderate volume, and help the piece achieve a sense of movement. By 24 minutes these hums and buzzes have become a much louder chorus of shifting electronic pulses that are a massive payoff. The next four minutes are an excellent study of the interplay between this all-enveloping drone and some subtle, high-pitched staccato rhythms. The arrival of a brief noisy section towards the end is barely noticeable due to the gradual accumulation of intensity that characterizes the flow of the piece. Karkowski benefits greatly from this collaboration, as it seems to encourage his (relatively) subdued side. It is to their credit that the pair have restricted the length of this piece to 45 minutes, resisting the temptation to fill the CD to its capacity. While too many abstract sound artists explore only one end of the sonic spectrum, Karkowski and Davidson have succeeded in producing a work that focuses on the way these elements can work together. It is uncertain what relevance the only sleevenote, “rebounding=junk of life” -R. Selavy, has to the sounds contained within, but any alliance with Marcel Duchamp’s feminine alter-ego is a gesture to be applauded." – Jim Siegel, Brainwashed (Auscultare/Ground Fault)




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