When you think of the zither it’s impossible not to be reminded of Anton Karas’ idiosyncratic and jaunty theme to the Carol Reed’s 1949 thriller The Third Man. Whilst the twang is still present on this curious experimental album, all the music and mischief has been sucked out and we’re left with a rather textural exploration of the instrument itself, sound art style. It’s played by Dimitra Lazaridou Chatzigoga, who plucks, picks, drags, vibrates, even hits her beast, often emphasising a unique fuzzy, buzzing metallic resonance, particularly on the 31 minute track curiously titled ‘6’. She’s joined by Barcelona-based guitarist and experimental musician Ferran Fages, who contributes some spooky electro acoustic inspired guitar, often using e-bows or fans, perhaps even a violin bow.
We’re in a heady, at times atonal, arrhythmic experimental realm for this release where the duo eschew any forms of melody or musicality, where at times you even question whether they are actually playing together. This kind of questioning comes on the first piece, again oddly titled ‘3’, where the duo seem to gently trade notes, one for one, allowing time for the decay of the other before chiming in themselves, a kind of “row row row your boat”, for the avant-garde set. Midway they begin to gradually relax the rules, no longer respecting each others space, finishing the other one’s note – offering added texture. Yet this is only slight and by the end they have returned to their earlier positions. It’s this lack of compromise to listeners sensitivities, to their need for understandable patterns or structures that makes Objects Sense Objectes such a difficult listen. The textures are there, the decays, the silence, and it’s quite gentle and non-explosive, there’s even some really interesting ways in which their respective instruments are pushed into really peculiar previously nonexistent realms, particularly during the droning moments on the previously mentioned ‘6’. Sonically it’s beyond reproach, however conceptually it’s s a very difficult beast in which to find an entry point.
Bob Baker Fish