Jens Döring & Ulrich Troyer: 20050429-151223-154026
(livejam recorded 2005, duration 28 min. - released by klanggold)
Concepts, who needs them? On the concisely titled "20050429-151223-154026" (ask for it at your local record store!), these two sound artists certainly didn´t. Troyer plugged in his guitar, Döring took a seat behind his "electronics" and off they went on an almost half an hour long jamsession beyond standardised forms or preconceived functions. How come, then, that the result of their spontaneity has turned out so congruent?
To answer that question, it will not suffice turning towards the individual biographies of the artists - even though their appreciation might be helpful in unravelling the mystery. Jens Döring´ s previous outings have, for all we know, been structured more firmly. As a director and producer of audio books (a booming media in his native Germany), he has only recently been responsible for a delicate synthesis between poetry and sound with compatriot Caroline Hofer. Ulrich Troyer, too, has been involved in other disciplines, discussing architectural sounds with blind people in his current homebase Vienna. In both cases, the eagerness and the will to go beyond what would usually constitute music implies that the duo perceives their collaboration as more than just blending sounds together. Just like one can appreciate words outside of a given context (dada, poetry), music can exist without intellectual structure. The process of getting these loose threads to work in an emotive and inspiring way is what Troyer and Döring seem to be after here. Carefully listening to what the other is doing and reacting without an exact knowledge of their musical partner´s next step, they search for coherence and patiently await the opportune moment for it to occur. Subsequently, there are instances when the clouds of smoke are suddenly dispersed by harmonic winds, a softly hissing beat rises from the digital ashes and dreamy guitar chords melt with associative abstractions. Then again, opaque organ chords loom from behind veils of irregular noises, singing songs of melancholy in a scattered wasteland. These moments are never very long and soon the guitar motives are wilfully turned and twisted or the beats disintegrate - but they are not islands in a stream of arbitrariness but rather the conclusion of a constant participational technique. On a more general level, "20050429-151223-154026" once again proves that improvising means something else for electronic artists than it did for the traditional jazz combo. After all, there is no motive in the classical sense to use as a starting point for variations. The success of playing together from scratch is instead determined by shared aesthetics towards sound and the process of manipulating it. It is therefore the unspoken understanding between these two artists which leads them towards unity where, from a rational point of view, none is to be found.
All of this is, of course, rather lengthy and maybe even academical. The fact that the only notes to the album consist of "jamsession@schellhammergasse 16" indicate that possibly the reason for the coherence can be found in the fact that Döring and Troyer simply had a blast while recording this. And just as much as they didn´t need concepts to have fun while performing, I certainly didn´ t need long explanations to enjoy listening to them
Tobias Fischer, TOKAFI 2007-08-07.