Suboko & Hübsch & Spieth – K-horns (Schraum)


French outfit Suboko is an electronics-percussion trio of the rattly-squeaky free-improv variety comprising Pascal Gully (Drums), Regreb (Drums, Electronics) and Bouto (Turntables, Electronics, Percussion). On K-Horns (a bizarre reference to male erotic excitement brought on by ketamine consumption?) they’re joined by German brass players Carl Ludwig Hübsch on tuba and trumpeter Roland Spieth. It’s kind of like a postmodern brass chamber group, but there the similarities with Brahms and Ligeti end.

Perhaps not surprisingly, the quintet’s sound is not exactly an attractive one, a combination of clanging metal, random tics and taps, electronic woops and metallic farts, all delivered in understated po-faced earnestness… or is it? There seems to be joy and fun behind these processions, and an engagement from all players, with Suboko welcoming their guests who sit neatly within their fold, winding smoky gasps through their pointillist chatter or punctuating with bolder, strident blasts. First track “Ein’ sets up their language, something like Broadway dance troupe Stomp cutting loose in a bike shop, thrilled by the rubber tubes, spokes, bells and rims, while closer ‘Jahren’ strips things back to an immobile shell, sparse jangles and a breathy, hissing drone. Pompous seriousness or Rabelaisian farce? I don’ know, but the confusion is preferable to either.

Joshua Meggitt


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