KOMPLEX (2015)

Roger Döring | Konrad Korabiewski

Full length vinyl album by German sound art label Gruenrekorder in collaboration with Skálar | Sound Art | Experimental Music, East Iceland.  Supported by Danish Arts Foundation, Danish Composers Society’s Production Pool, KODA’s Fund for. Social and Cultural Purposes.

The project was created over two years in Seyðisfjörður, Iceland and in Berlin, Germany, and is an evolving conversation between Döring’s improvisation on acoustic instruments such as clarinet and saxophones, and Korabiewski’s electronic live treatment and composition with Döring’s sounds. A third compositional element is contributed by the particular ambiences of the spaces in which the recordings took place, as Korabiewski and Döring came together to record at sites with personal and acoustic resonance, from Döring’s apartment in Berlin to an abandoned herring factory by the sea in east Iceland.

Musically Komplex moves seamlessly between ethereal ambient refrains, to a somber, churning low end, to a hypnotic looping reverie that slowly disintegrates as if under the burr and scratch of a gramophone needle. Melodic elements occasionally distort and peak into noise, lending the simplicity of solo instrumental improvisation an atmospheric density, and revealing the material and spiritual limits of the fragile musical moments around which the album circles. The track titles, made of German expressions and short sentences, refer to the restless transience of creative life, much like that of a journeyman craftsperson centuries ago. The result is a highly expressive, dark, and deeply felt, honest album, reflective of shifting emotional states and uneasy sagas from the north.

Komplex Vinyl LP (limited edition 300 copies – 8 Tracks (36:29)
Komplex – Press-release
Cover picture
Official Video

Direct order                                                                                                                                                                                    http://shop.gruenrekorder.de/?full#Gruen_126

selected reviews:

Musique Machine (UK)
“The production utilises the natural acoustics of the space and with light use of reverb creates the impression of a complex interplay between distance and nearness, as if a quartet of players were secreted around what might be an ancient sacred space (…)”

illustrated Amateur (Canada)
“…Quite surprisingly, Korabiewski has a soft touch, letting the saxophone breath—using his role more to provide an atmospheric contextualization. I haven’t heard such subtle manipulation since Brian Eno and Harold Budd’s collaborations (…)”

The Wire – Adventures in Sound and Music (UK)
“It would be a cliche to recourse to the idea that Iceland’s treeless environment impacts on any music made by artists living there. But the plaintive baritone saxophone on Kremmerstrasse vividly suggests it does, as it plays out over voices that alternate between agitated talk and half-singing. These tracks could be brief extracts from films, their mood and tempo changing as the flicker from one to the next. The clarinet melody closing Zeit Heilt Alle Wunden is an almost direct reference to the vocal melody ending Warszawa on Bowie’s Low” (…)”

The Sound Projector (UK)
“Emotional conflict. I’ll say that the recordings here are exceptionally clear & vivid, and I’ll admit the overall sound of the record does have a certain weight and authority, which may be partially due to the mixing skills of Schneider TM (…)”

Vital Weekly (The Netherlands)
“So their musical dialogues are overall of a meditative and reflective nature. It like their improvisations most all because of the physicality and concreteness of the sounds produced. Very pure and with an emotional content. Very impressive is also the picture on the cover of this album. Two people in the front seats of an automobile, photographed from the back. Just seeing the silhouettes of both persons. Intriguing (…)”

Loop (Chile)                                                                                                                                                                                                    “Las notas melódicas del saxo barítono aparecen solitarias en un paraje desolado y frío que denotan cierta melancolía que se ve interrumpida a veces por ruidos. No obstante la característica es que el saxo se esparce en un ambient plácido en el que tenues tratamientos electrónicos apenas emergen a la superficie como el drone en ‘Zeit heilt alle wunden’ (…)”

Feardrop (France)
“Une musique ambiante, véritablement ambiante et habitée s’illustre alors en réminiscence d’un expressionnisme primitif, dans quoi les formes les plus simples exacerbent le rythme intime pour refaçonner la respiration et la cadence cardiaque sur le modèle du chantonnement crépusculaire. Alors, hantés par le miroitement du cuivre et le vrombissement infra, les souffles maîtrisés de l’instrument, dans leur circulaire obscurité romantique finissent par rappeler la grâce d’une œuvre aussi essentielle que The Radio de Steve Roden (…)”

Freistil Magazin für Musik und Umgebung (Austria)                                                                                                                       “Nicht unwesentlich bei der Entstehung der vorliegenden Soundscapes ist die Berücksichtigung verschiedener Aufnahmesituationen. Die reichen von einer Wohnung in Berlin bis hinaus zu einer aufgelassenen Fabrikshalle auf Island. Entsprechend unterschiedlich ausdifferenziert findet dieser Komplex klanglich statt. Von smart bis hart reicht die Ausdruckspalette. Manchmal herrscht mildes Klima vor, dann wieder wilde Verzerrung. So kommt diese ambitionierte. Ambientmusik daher: roh und ausgekocht zugleich(…)”

Le son du grisli (France)
“Les instruments de Döring & Korabiewski sont d’un naturel époustouflant et leur jeu est pétri de mélancolie (pas de cette mélancolie fastoche post-ECM, … , mais d’un vrai truc qui vous prend là). Et les huit petites pièces qu’ils lâchent sur ce vinyle sont autant de bouteilles à la mer lancées contre un glacier (…)”

Dagbladet Information (Denmark)
“Der er en vemodig berlinermodernisme over de melankolske og blødt beboelige klangrum, som duoen fremmaner. Her foregår mødet mellem mennesket og maskinen for en gangs skyld glat og uproblematisk, ja nærmest smukt (…)”

Seismograf / DMT  (Denmark)
“Urovækkende og dragende bekendtskab, der fremstår simpelt i sit udtryk men gemmer på et umage samspil mellem forskellige klanguniverser. Det er en uhyre stemningsfuld plade, som konstant leger med opfattelsen af akustiske rum, og hvilke følelser det ene fremkalder frem for det andet. Det er interessant lytning såvel som et spændende studium i grænselandet mellem akustisk og syntetisk tonedannelse(…)”

Nowa Muzyka (Poland)                                                                                                                                                                                   “Płyta „Komplex” mogłaby być ścieżką dźwiękową do jakiegoś dokumentu Wernera Herzoga, lecz póki co istnieje jako autonomiczne dzieło pełne osobistego uroku. Ciężko jest się oderwać od tego winyla, mam nadzieję, że i was on zachwyci(…)”

Textura (Canada)                                                                                                                                                                                      “Pieces range from sombre funereal meditations (kremmenerstraße) to brooding nightscapes redolent of mysterious European cityscapes (flucht), with many of the duo’s plaintive reveries unfolding at a slow and measured pace. Though Komplex would be short by CD standards, its eight evocative settings fit the vinyl format perfectly (…)”