Published Nov 27, 2018Pauline Oliveros was only partly serious when she coined the term "deep listening" 30 years ago. The American composer, accordionist and electronic music pioneer first offered the phrase after recording an album 14 feet underground.
Regardless, it has grown to become a meaningful term in avant-garde music circles, promoting the idea that artists can (and perhaps should) listen and react to their environment when performing. This new effort from Xenofox — electric guitarist Olaf Rupp and drummer Rudi Fischerlehner — and DJ Joke Lanz is another in a long line of improvisational recordings true to Oliveros's vision.
Alarm is suitably titled, not because it surprises — the trio's line-up makes clear their intentions. What it will do is kickstart your day, no matter what time you turn it on. Every one of these five tracks is a bracing splash of noise. The instruments aren't so much played as they are struck, even the turntables. It's not difficult to imagine Lanz travelling with two or three back-up needles just in case.
Combining the spirit and techniques of free jazz interplay with an unsparingly industrial appeal, the result is electrifying. Rupp, Fischerlehner and Lanz are as tight as their jagged-edge playing will allow. When they're not playing off one another, they're crashing into one another. This is what rock and roll should sound like in 2018. (Oltrarno)