Lasse Marhaug – Angelica 2011/05/20 (C30, Robert & Leopold)

The two tracks on Angelica 2011/05/20 are culled from a live performance by Lasse Marhaug on the title date at the Angelica Festival, but unlike some live recordings of noise shows, this tape on Robert & Leopold has crystal-clear sound quality, as though it was mixed and mastered right in the studio. The sounds of the tape, too, are varied, and they do feel as concise and of the same quality as something that artists would release as studio albums.

The first side is a very minimal piece starting with simple bass bangs and rhythmic poundings, often so low in the mix that it almost seems there’s no real noise occurring. Lasse Marhaug continues to build this piece, often in the direction of a percussive musique concrete vibe, with the rattling of chains, looping of bass notes, and often slight electronics manipulation that turns the track into a drone piece that never really plays on the nerves but often envelopes the listener in a rhythmic wash of percussion and clanks of steel.

Side B is more bass-heavy, starting out with a really thick layer of bass that extends throughout the piece. It takes on a droning quality, while clicks, bleeps and bloops from manipulated electronics add to the texturing, almost as though this Lasse Marhaug piece is imitating some sort of nature scene. It does seem like there’s a bit of synthesizer running through the sound, or. more likely it is a scratchy tape loop of some sort. But they all coalesce together nicely, textures trading off of each other, even sometimes morphing into static squalls beneath all of it. It’s surprising that a live recording could pick up all of these subtle nuances.

Angelica 2011/05/20 is another great tape from Robert & Leopold; the packing is excellent, the tapes of high quality, and the production values on this live recording from Lasse Marhaug are surprising. And the set that Lasse Marhaug performs is also of high standard, thanks to some very good textural developments throughout the side-long pieces.

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