Album Review

2:3 – Oswald Wiener Zum 65. Geburtstag [coll] – [Suppose]

thewindow   3/30/2014   A Library, CD

This collection is a tribute to Oswald Wiener, a post WW2 Austrian Writer/Musician who was one of the pioneers of concrete poetry aka poetry where words and dialects are used to evoke sounds and shapes more so than meaning (think a verbal analogue of musique concrete*). Most of these cuts are concrete poems in Austrian German with varying degrees of acoustic instrumental accompaniment or glitchy electronic manipulation. If you listen to these tracks more as acapella noise music then the result is some solid deep-listening/meditation music. Taken on their own, I would consider most of these cuts to be too abstract to fully engage the average schmuck during their evening commute. I would recommend instead mixing them with something hella atmospheric like Lustmord or Julianna Barwick.

Some exceptions would include the Mouse on Mars cut, which bridges the gap between Musique Concrete and spastic IDM a la Venetian Snares. Another exception would be the Nihlist Spasm Band jam which sounds like some 20th century avant-improv dude like Derek Bailey half-heartedly trying to make something Anarcho-Punks would like. The Wolfgang Muller selections sound like fucked up children’s music** with super off-kilter rhythmic phrasing.

Track six is the only concrete poem in English and is the audio equivalent of watching PBS shows that you don’t understand because they look cool.

*Wiener and associates however were unaware of what Parisian comrades like Pierre Henri were doing at the time

**fucked up in sound, not content.

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