Review of Mit Ohne [12k2010]

Earlabs (.ORG)

The seven movements presented here were originally conceived alongside a series of visuals by Yves Netzhammer in an effort to establish the environment as a radical exteriority prior to and independent of any optic use, in whose grasp the subject experiences itself as vulnerable and disjointed.

At the very least, such is what one is left to infer, given the installations title – “The feeling of precise instability when holding things” – the one image – from the original seven – included with the release, not to mention the very nature of the pieces themselves, which, though gimlet-eyed and spartan, often evoke the sense of rooms of claustrophobic density or onerous dynamism and precision.

In any case, these rooms are replete with ample sonic detail; and the shifts between them display a coherent flow and balance, which gives the work as a whole a certain dramatic arc, as Steinbruchel threads them together into a loosely constructed collection. The simple patterns of tones tighten and relax across continually shifting tempos, creating the sense that these spaces are expanding and shrinking, inhaling and exhaling. Mit Ohne thus calls attention to how actions are solicited by spaces and the things of which they consist. The work lasts all of eighteen minutes, but it has a real, corporeal impact.

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