JONAS KOCHER-GAUDENZ BADRUTT Strategy of behaviour in unexpected situations

Jonas Kocher: accordion
Gaudenz Badrutt: electronics

1. Strategy of behaviour in unexpected situations mp3

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CD, 18x14cm, in thin sleeve, 5eur.

Recorded october 13th 2011 at Kule theater, Berlin, by Christoph Schlimbach. Mixed by Gaudenz Badrutt & Jonas Kocher. Mastered by Giuseppe Ielasi. Thanks to Rafal Mazur for the title.

The two musicians collaborate for many years in different formations in improvised music contextes. The duo developp a subtil work that explores the relations between the very electronic sounds of the accordion and the instrumental potential of the electronic. They create a fragmented and tensed sound univers, always open to the present and the accidents.

Accordion player and composer born in 1977, Jonas Kocher studied a.o. with Teodoro Anzellotti, Pierre Sublet and Georges Aperghis. He collaborates regularly as accordionist in improvised and conceptual contexts with musicians such Michel Doneda, Christian Wolfarth, Olivier Toulemonde, Hans Koch, Alfredo Costa Monteiro, Duo Diatribes, Jacques Demierre, Christian Kesten, Gaudenz Badrutt, Chris Heenan, … . Jonas Kocher’s work explores the relationships between tone, noise and silence and the processus of listening. As composer he realises projects which are situated between composed theatre, installation and concert pieces. His compositions has been played at Biennale Bern 2010, Jardins Musicaux 2012, SMC Lausanne, Theater Basel, Zentrum Paul Klee, Festival Encuentros Buenos Aires, Umlaut Festival Berlin, Centre Dürrenmatt Neuchâtel, Festival Concentus Moravie, Zagreb Biennale. He composes also for hörspiel, dance and theatre. Jonas Kocher runs the label Flexion records.

Gaudenz Badrutt (electronics & computer) began his career as a pianist in the field of contemporary classic music. Since 15 years he works as an electronics musician in the field of improvised, experimental music. He is mainly known as one half of the electroacoustic duo strøm (together with Christian Müller, electronics and bass clarinet), as well as part of the duo Hans Koch (bass clarinet) – Gaudenz Badrutt and the duo with Jonas Kocher (accordion). His music is coined by a very instrumental use of computer/live sampling and electronic devices. Filigree, minimal noises, drones and dense structures are key characteristics of his music. He is further occupied in the fields of electronic composition and sound & video installation. Gaudenz Badrutt has further collaborated with Bertrand Gauguet, Burkhard Beins, Michael Vorfeld, Norbert Möslang, Dieb13, Diatribes, Arno Camenisch a.o.. with concerts at home and abroad, including: the JOLT Festival Basel 2011, Zwei Tage Zeit Zürich 2012, Influx Toulouse 2011, Transmediale Berlin 2009, Zoom in Bern 2008, Norberg Festival (Sweden) 2006, Taktlos/Tonart Bern 2006. Gaudenz Badrutt lives as a freelance musician in Biel (Switzerland).


33 minutes of subdued, generally solid bumping of heads between Kochar (accordion) and Badrutt (electronics). For most of the work, there’s a fine sense of evolving form, the soft hums, taps and breaths gently swirling into shape, dissipating, re-forming into related figures. Kochar, while more often than not using various extended techniques, largely on the air-rush side of things, isn’t averse to injecting standard accordion sounds and does so very well, playing the instruments richness against the astringent, softly piercing whines that Badrutt conjures forth. At its best, the music is very spare but very gentle, smoky wisps in a dark space. However, about midway through, it veers into a bit of a rambunctious patch, not bad but somewhat disruptive (debating whether that’s a good thing here, undecided) and some accordion-led eeriness that’s uncomfortably close to old horror-movie shenanigans. That segment doesn’t last too long, but it’s soon replaced by a kind of manic traffic jams sequence, replete with tooting « horns ». As I said, the disruption bothers me most of the time but occasionally, it makes a kind of sense, a sideways sort of slant into a room that may be adjacent but also « out of place ». Apologies for the vagueness, but at any rate, the music here got me thinking along those lines. Try for yourself and see.
Brian Olewnick / Just Outside / Vital weekly


This delightfully titled album from the Swiss duo of Kocher (accordion) and Badrutt (electronics) is available as a CD, or as a free to download file from the label. It is not then necessary to pay for this music, but I thoroughly recommend that you do. A single track, recorded (I think) in a live concert setting in Berlin during October 2011, this is a fine example of improvised music that lives and breathes tension. Kocher’s accordion work has impressed me a lot over the last year or two. His attention seems to be on the quality and diversity of sounds he can pull from his seemingly non-versatile instrument rather than slip into the tendency for drones that the accordion used in experimental settings often leans toward. Badrutt’s electronics are of the minimal kind- a combination of sine-like tones, small clicks and bits of fizzing distortion. Its something of a cliché to say that it gets hard to tell the two musician’s contributions apart, but often here this is the case. The music they make arrives out of silence. There are a lot of quiet passages acroos the thirty-two minutes here, either those of complete inactivity or often just thin tones from one or the other musician, but when the music does erupt, as it does often in tiny bunches of sound, it does so in a jarring, spiteful manner. Think the lowercase clicks and buzzes of the turn of the millennium improv scene, but instead of polite little sounds submerged in long silences, when the calm is broken here it is done so in a quite vicious, aggressively cutting way. The temptation is to relax into quiet music, but Strategy of behaviour in unexpected situations exists in a constant state of expectancy- will the next sound be a quiet, calm one or a brittle, edgy one? The tension in this music is such that listening carefully leaves you jumpy and unsettled.
Not much more to say about this one then. beyond that this is music right up my street. What is clear to me here is the attention the two musicians are paying not only to one another but to how they build their music as a whole, and that attention, and the effort and strain taken in undertaking it is palpable here. This improvisation that lives and breathes each time you press play, but doesn’t do so through adrenalin rushes or dense layers of activity, rather relying on the naked qualities of brief, simple, yet affecting sounds placed neatly in opposition to one another. Well worth a purchase.
Richard Pinell / the watchfulear.

The 32-minute eponymous piece that comprises this CD by Jonas Kocher and Gaudenz Badrutt takes place on a bed of silence. In fact, one could call silence the third member of the group. Yet this silence is not empty; it is potent and simmering, with a life of its own.
In many ways this piece is about listening, about patience and expectation as you wait for sounds to arise. And sounds do arise, in all shapes and sizes: whooshes, clicks, beeping, crunching, dark drones, high-pitched squeals, and subliminal vapors that pass through like shadows. The word « unexpected » in the title is also quite telling: sometimes the sounds sneak up quietly, and other times they explode the silence into shards. Kocher and Badrutt like to play with the unforeseen; they enjoy sounds that startle and astonish, as well as the space that’s left when these sounds fade off into nothing.
The modern world is filled with noises, most of which we hardly acknowledge, but a piece of music such as this provides the space to actually hear sounds as they emerge. This is true even when the sound is a high-pitched drone or repetitive beeping; such sounds are reminiscent of the French phrase jolie laide, which literally means « pretty-ugly »: even if these sounds might seem displeasing on their own, they are exactly right in the context of the whole. Altogether this is a gripping piece of ambient music and electroacoustic innovation that’s a pleasure to explore
Florence Wetzel / all about jazz

A thirty-three minute of carefully placed sounds and well chosen silence, I’d say. This is one of those works were you hear something, short, and then nothing, a bit longer. Action and interaction music. Its not always easy to say who starts the action, but perhaps they alternate between each other, and perhaps they both start every now and then, while at other times they both stop. But on a few occasions they collide mid air and when they bump they go on collision course which actually may take some time. This only happens maybe three of four times here. It’s here that they sustain their sounds for a while and deliver more tension to the music, even more than to the other parts. It’s full on, intense listening and playing going on that requires your full attention. You can’t play this while doing something else (I tried and failed). Stay focussed. The musicians, so why shouldn’t you?
FdW / Vital weekly

Le duo Kocher/Badrutt présenté sur la compilation de duos avec Jonas Kocher m’avait déjà interpelé et c’est donc plutôt avec joie que j’ai reçu cette autre pièce d’une trentaine de minutes, improvisée par ce même duo accordéon/électronique.
Le même registre est exploité, dans un contexte aussi minimaliste et très interactif. Kocher continue d’explorer les registres extrêmes de l’accordéon, des registres qui s’entremêlent facilement avec l’électronique (notamment les aigus proches du larsen, mais aussi les bourdons très graves, constants et légers). De son côté, Badrutt tisse des fils très ténus, sensibles et délicats, des drones aigus ou très graves irrégulièrement rompus par des brusques interventions sonores qui peuvent paraître acoustiques: sortes d’interventions bruitistes qui pourraient faire penser à des objets lourds entrechoqués après un calme de plusieurs minutes. On retrouve énormément de bourdons légers, à peine perceptibles, des bourdons qui laissent parfois « entrevoir » des sons extérieurs et étrangers. Mais aussi le même intérêt pour les dynamiques propres aux timbres et aux modes de jeux, ainsi qu’un intérêt pour la tension et l’intensité propres au silence et au calme. Car ce sont bien ces deux termes qui peuvent qualifier la majeure partie de cette improvisation: un calme constant malgré des irruptions violentes sporadiques, ainsi qu’un silence toujours sous-jacent et tendu. Encore une fois: du beau travail – recommandé.
Julien Heraud / Improv-sphere

Vid sidan av Flexionrecords verkar Insubordinations just nu släppa några av de intressantaste plattorna inom vad som kunde kallas experiment eller elektronika eller akustiska rollbyten.
Dragspelaren Kocher och elektronikaspelaren Badrutt, båda med schweiziska pass, finns nu på ett nytt album inspelat på Kule i Berlin förra året.
Här förenas de i de minsta ljuden. Budrutt är en så’n där pillig musiker, som dekonstruerar, plockar isär, framkallar små ynkliga tickanden, en fräsande ton, sinusvågor, knäppningar. Liksom disträ och glömsk av omvärlden. Ett slags killmusik. Men det är mycket charmigt för att det är rätt så barnsligt. Men de ljudmarker de går över är helt olika de vanliga. Inget slags romantik, inget är det minsta ambient.
Toner kan vara som tinnitus, linjer brytas av. Det är lyssnandets musik, en nu-musik. Och de lösa strukturerna och många hängande trådarna bryter sönder tidsupplevelsen. Den lilla väv som finns i både noise och lågdynamik river de hänsynslöst sönder, bryr sig inte alls om att knyta ihop och de struntar totalt i vad som blir kvar. En hög revor att nysta i.
Underhållningsvärde? Tja, det här är musik som skär mycket djupare än så. Kasten är många. Tvära klanger och snabba buntar av ljud, som skapar helt nya bilder. Tålamodet belönas. Och sällan har någon fått dragspelet att dra sig ur en elektronisk bunt av ljud med ett så plågsamt tjutande dragspel som Kocher, och det är menat som beröm.
Jonas Kocher ägnar sig åt både skallöppningar och den fintrådigaste hjärnkirurgi på lyssnarna.
Thomas Millroth / soundofmusic


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