Uri Katzenstein - Audio Works
Illuminating two disc retrospective of Israeli performance/sound artist, Uri Katzenstein courtesy of Oren Ambarchi's Black Truffle. The 28 tracks contained here span close to forty years, beginning in the early 80s and extending right through to 2017, though a majority of the recordings were made in that first decade while Katzenstein was based in New York. If you were previously unaware of Katzenstein's work, New York in the 80s is a good way to start formulating an understanding of what's at play here, reflecting that art damaged downtown scene where avant garde radicalism combined with post-punk praxis to spawn myriad configurations and new formations. We're loosely talking the same territory as Arthur Russell, Mark Freedman/Battery Sound, Laurie Anderson, Arto Lindsay, Leslie Weiner et al - which is to say, an oddpop sensibility couched in all manner of experimental digressions/expressions/left turns++ That said, given there's close to 30 tracks and four decades documented here, it's not surprising that this doesn't quite cover the entirety of Katzenstein's practice, a deep well of polyglot vocal manipulations, complex rhythmic compositions that gesture towards Reich and Riley's eastern looking works and electronic pieces that reference European traditions (Schnitzler, Comelade, Ghédalia Tazartès et al). Which is to say, we're looking at a lifetime of margin-walking experimentation that consistently surprises, at times expressly extrovert, others inward journeying and explorative, unafraid to pull at the wrong thread or indulge a wayward imagination. So much to dig into here, and near-endless in its rewards.
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