Annette Krebs, Zarzutzki Gutzeit, Labycz Fandino Baker All Ages Recommended Soundboard

When: Fri., Sept. 23, 9 p.m. 2011

When I first heard German improvising guitarist Annette Krebs more than a decade ago, I was flummoxed—but not in a bad way. She made terse, elliptical gestures rather than playing lines or riffs, and she used extended techniques, electronic processing, and contact mikes to eliminate just about all of the guitar's characteristic sound. As out-there as her early work was, though, in the past two years Krebs has released four duet recordings that make it seem almost traditional. In particular, Motubachii (Erstwhile), her 2010 album with Japanese sound artist Taku Unami, has forced me to recalibrate some of my aesthetic ideas every time I've listened to it. Krebs augments oblique guitar sounds with spoken-word phrases found on the Web and terse samples of what seem to be TV broadcasts, but that isn't the confounding part—rather it's how she fits those things into the bizarre series of noises Unami makes. In one photo from the recording session Krebs sits behind a computer and Unami seems to be using pulleys to drop wooden crates—which explains the blunt crashes throughout the album. It's an interesting post-Cage collision: deliberately musical gestures butt up against nonmusical sounds carefully deployed to sound random. More recently Krebs has appeared on Peashot (Olof Bright) with veteran Swedish free-jazz drummer Sven-Ake Johansson, an album that punctuates harsh cymbal scrapes, high-pitched squeaks (bowed Styrofoam? rubbed balloons?), and jagged tom-tom patterns with unexpected elements like prerecorded laughter, samples of babies cooing, and bits of weather forecasts. —Peter Margasak Krebs headlines in a duo with Eric Leonardson. Opening are Aaron Zarzutzki & Brent Gutzeit; a trio of Brian Labycz, Daniel Fandino, and Jim Baker; and Krebs again, in a duo with Julia Miller.

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