Perhaps one of the most unlikely of pairings of the year so far, comes in the form of Steinbruchel and Machinefabriek, whose talents collided at a recent live outing at Kunstraum Walcheturm in Zurich, and was rapidly encapsulated in this neat little release for posterity.
Staub fuses the economic precision of Steinbruchel with the harsh, near industrial aesthetic of Machinefabriek. This fascinating hybrid combines warm laser-sliced tonalities over a gristly, noise-fest, that over the duration of the piece, constantly interface, and shift focus and perspective, giving equal opportunity for each artist to take the lead, and do what each does best. As the piece goes on, the industrial washes of sound become more prominent, with decayed slabs of feedback, or possibly overdriven static, interrupt and infect the clean dronescape, washing it out to extinction.
Having been a major follower of Steinbruchel for several years now, I find it refreshing to see him extending his repertoire into what many would consider as unfamiliar territory, and indeed, this kind of combination and consolidation of approaches inevitably leads to new ground being broken. It is often tempting for “quiet” artists in a live situation to impose themselves on the environment, and Staub could very easily have ended up spiralling into an amped up, overblown monster of a piece, so it is to the credit of both artists here that minimalist restraint and control of the medium was very much the order of the day. Small, but perfectly formed, Staub for me is a resounding success. BGN