Zbigniew Karkowski One and Many

Billed as "an ode to loudspeakers,” Zbigniew Karkowski’s new work is informed by his current residency in Tokyo, Japan and his involvement in its underground noise scene. Taking the familiar route of industrial-strength collisions of feedback, distortion, sudden alterations in volume and stereo sweep, he still manages to display touches of subtlety and dynamics. Drawing from a background in orchestral and electro-acoustic composition, Karkowski organises the noise into movements, giving the whole work more narrative flow. The quieter moments do not so much diminish in brutality as recede. This movement of sound is not unlike watching tornadoes in the distance work their way through a field of telecommunication equipment. The storm predictably swirls back, engulfing us in a fracas of whirlwind-whipped antennae and sheet metal. The last ten minutes is not unlike the aftermath, the hum of ungrounded electrics and overlapping radio signals providing uneasy stillness. (Sub Rosa)