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Xavier Charles & Robert Piotrowicz – ///

Xavier Charles & Robert Piotrowicz - ///

CD, EMD.pl, 2006

“///” is the combined work of noise improvisation experimentalists Xavier Charles and Robert Piotrowicz. Recorded on July 26th 2003 onboard the MS Stubnitz, a World War II ship once moored in Rostock, Germany and now a unique touring experimental music venue. Packaged in a non-descript plain brown card sleeve that folds out to present the CD on opening, “///” focuses on the music rather than the aesthetics from the start.
Almost from the beginning, “///” is a challenging listen with dense and occasionally harsh outbursts of feedback and noise regularly coming in and out of a solid expanse of undulating droning frequencies. At the very start of the piece, a demented and aggressive voice opens proceedings before the noise onslaught begins. Short snippets of radio broadcasts occasionally pop up to offer very brief respite and a lengthier period of higher frequency, more ambient sounds lead into the climax of the recording, almost fading and disintegrating to nothing before returning for one last blast of crackling, buzzing, distorted noise.
Although based largely around walls of noise, “///” is not overly harsh but is also quite challenging listening. With Charles utilising vibrating surfaces and a CD player and Piotrowicz using analogue synthesizers and guitar it is not always easy to identify where some of these sources are featured amongst the mass of noise and frequencies being thrown at you. There is some loose structure to the whole thing but don’t expect any ‘tracks’ or ‘songs’, “///” is pure sound experimentation spread over a single 22-minute live performance.


— Paul Lloyd

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