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Christian Wolfarth – hiddenbell records

The release of ‘Acoustic Solo Percussion Vol. 4’ completes the collection of exceptional gems on 7” vinyl: Christian Wolfarth’s solo percussion series!

All four vinyl releases in a special pack for € 25.00 !


 

 

Acoustic Solo Percussion Vol. 1
NEWLY AVAILABLE!


Side A: Skyscraping (6:32)
Side B: Zirr (4:30


 


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Christian Wolfarth - acoustic solo percussion

Compositions by Christian Wolfarth

Recorded in August 2008 by Rashad Becker at his place, Berlin-Kreuzberg
Mixed by Rashad Becker, mastered by Rashad Becker at dubplates & mastering, Berlin

7" Orange Coloured Vinyl, 45rpm, published on hiddenbell records 2009

item no: hbr001
retail price: € 7,50

’Swiss percussionist Christian Wolfarth has a long resumé in jazz and improvised music, but I daresay this is probably the first bright red single he has been on. The first of four planned volumes, it pairs a lovely drone (presumably bowed cymbal/rubbed skin) with a very oddly lopsided full kit attack. That piece combines a constantly shifting base pattern with cymbal glare in a wunderfully upsetting manner.’ - Byron Coley, The Wire 309, November 2009
’That "volume 1" leads us to suppose that volume two (four are projected, I understand) isn't far behind – hope so, because these two tracks, "Skyscraping" and "Zirr", clocking in respectively at 6'32" and 4'30", are fine as far as they go, but leave one wanting more (you can always cheat and play them at 33 if you like, though that's not what Wolfarth intended..), and make it rather hard to assess the Swiss percussionist's progress since his previous excellent full length outing on For4Ears appeared in 2005. "Skyscraping" is a luminous drone – imagine a rather beefed-up Sean Meehan – while "Zirr" is a more energetic workout for snare and cymbals, which sounds remarkably like some of Sunny Murray's late 60s stuff. I await the next instalment with interest.’ – Dan Warburton, Paris Transatlantic, October 2009

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Acoustic Solo Percussion Vol. 2
NEWLY AVAILABLE!

Side C: Elastic Stream (5:15)
Side D: Viril Vortex (4:10)


 


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Christian Wolfarth - acoustic solo percussion

Christian Wolfarth - acoustic solo percussion

Compositions by Christian Wolfarth

Recorded 2008/2009 by Christian Wolfarth & Rashad Becker, Zürich/Berlin
Mixed and mastered by Rashad Becker at dubplates & mastering, Berlin

7" Light Blue Coloured Vinyl, 45rpm, published on hiddenbell records 2009

item no: hbr002
retail price: € 7,50


’Great follow-up to the Swiss percussionist's first single. It has one side of music created by disturbing the skin of a drum head and another with a kind of spidery almost drumming. There is definitely the sense of a drum head being struck by something, but the touch is so light it really sounds more like rain on the roof of a metal building. Tup !’ - Byron Coley, The Wire, 2010
’Here's the second volume of a projected series of four seven-inchers featuring Swiss improvising percussionist Christian Wolfarth, this time without the camel on the cover and pressed on marbled baby blue vinyl. Once more, it contains just two tracks, clocking in at 5'15" and 4'10" respectively (though you could try playing them at 33rpm if you like), and once more they're both discreet and attractive investigations of the world of lowercase percussion Wolfarth has chosen to inhabit over the past few years. I remain to be convinced, however, that the 7" format is really suitable for music like this: Wolfarth's music is patient and careful, and the sonorities he conjures forth from his instruments, whether sustained ("Elastic Stream") or fragmented ("Viril Vortex") are worth getting inside and living with, but having to jump up to turn the disc over just when it seems to have got going is, well, frustrating. If you feel like sitting down for a more extended listen to what Wolfarth can do, I'd recommend his For4Ears solo CD Wolfarth instead – I look forward to a future CD or LP release of the entire Acoustic Solo Percussion series, assuming of course that Vols. 3 and 4 are as good as this.’ – Dan Warburton, Paris Transatlantic, February 2010

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Acoustic Solo Percussion Vol. 3
NEWLY AVAILABLE!

Side E: Crystal Alien (6:51)
Side F: Amber (6:45)

 


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Christian Wolfarth - acoustic solo percussion

Compositions by Christian Wolfarth

Recorded 2009/2010 by Christian Wolfarth, Zürich
Mixed & mastered by Helmut Erler at dubplates & mastering, Berlin

7" Transparent Vinyl, 45rpm, published on hiddenbell records 2010

item no: hbr003
retail price: € 7,50

’ Following his two previous 7“s with ‘acoustic solo percussion’ (see Vital Weekly 687 and 706), here is the third volume. Like before it’s hard to believe its percussion music. But this time we get a detailed notes on the proceedings: side E has ‘two cymbals bowed together with one cello bow’ and side F has ‘a snare drum rubbed with a ring of styropor and two cymbals bowed together with a cello bow’ (and made me wonder how many hands Wolfarth has?). Oh, did I mention ‘no overdubs, electronics and other aids? Maybe that’s something that applies more to side F than E: the rotating sound of the styropor on the snare drum has a percussive element, with the bow bringing the oddity into the composition, but on E, the higher pitched sound of the bow and the cymbals have quite a distinctive electronic feel to it. Two more great sides from a great imaginative player. May I ask for a CD release of all four records, in due time’ – Frans de Waard, Vital Weekly, August 2010
’ Three down, one to go! Swiss percussionist Wolfarth's tetralogy of seven inch solos continues with "Crystal Alien" and "Amber", two more fine but frustratingly brief (said that before) slabs of austere but typically elegant work. The A side – well, E side actually – is for a couple of cymbals bowed together with a cello bow, and "Amber" uses the same instrumentation plus a snare drum rubbed with a ring of polystyrene. Burkhard Beins would be proud of him. I see, on perusing the pages of Frans de Waard's Vital Weekly, that I'm not alone in hoping that the complete series will one day be released as a single disc (said that before last time, too) – that is, if the fourth and final instalment is as good as the first three. And I don't see why it shouldn't be. Watch this space folks.’ – Dan Warburton, Paris Transatlantic, 2010

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Acoustic Solo Percussion Vol. 4
NEWLY AVAILABLE!

Seite G: Cabin No. 9 (4:20)
Seite H: Well Educated Society (6:10)

 


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Christian Wolfarth - acoustic solo percussion

Compositions by Christian Wolfarth

Recorded 2010/2011 by Christian Wolfarth, Zürich
Mixed & mastered by Rashad Becker at dubplates & mastering, Berlin

7" Vinyl, 45rpm, published on hiddenbell records 2011

item no: hbr004
retail price: € 7,50

This is the fourth and final 7” vinyl release of acoustic solo works by Christian Wolfarth on Zurich-based label hiddenbell records.
Meticulously and laboriously well-produced and packed, this limited edition presents Wolfarth’s  extraordinarily focussed percussion.
Born in Zurich in 1960, Christian Wolfarth started playing drums in rock’n’roll bands after brief experiments with guitar and bass guitar. Then he studied with Billy Brooks at Swiss Jazz School, Bern, and later on with Pierre Favre at the Lucerne Conservatory, alongside composition studies with Siegfried Kutterer in Basle. Since the 1980’s he focuses, in addition to jazz, on different forms of improvised and composed New Music.
In contrast to many contemporary percussionists, Wolfarth did never extend his instruments with electronic devices. For many years he rather pursues an aesthetics which, in a sense, should be described as ‘electronic’. Essential to his music is reduction as well as the obsessive love for detail, and a large palette of sound capacities, which he developed for his solo performances over the last twenty years.

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by oaksmus