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Album Review

Following up on his Firework Edition CD A Lecture on Disturbances in Architecture, Three Overpopulated Cities Built by Short-Sighted Planners, An Unbalanced and Quite Dangerous Airport and an Abandoned Church sees Carl Michael von Hausswolff tackling once more the illogical, sometimes downright ugly aspects of architecture in a formalist way. Of the four pieces presented here, two are brand new, while the other two were originally part of installations presented in New York City ("Audionomical Charter," is here retitled "Muhammad Muratala or So...") and in Bordeaux, France ("An Abstract Model for Something That, in Intervals, Occurs All the Time," is here retitled "Bangkok"). As with the previous album, the music is best experienced on loudspeakers at a reasonably high volume (a subwoofer doesn't hurt either). Hausswolff's deep frequencies fill in the space with quiet, pulsating roars. The two best pieces are the new ones: "Mexico City and Tokyo" is by far the most dynamic and interesting on a musical level. Its drone is constantly joined by a layer of tortured frequencies menacing to break (and effectively breaking) into harsh noise. "Leftover Gods in Chicago" may only be a slow-changing, pulsating low frequency, but it insinuates itself into the aural subconscious of the listener, transforming the usual background sounds of one's environment into something completely alien. In comparison, "Muhammad Muratal or So..." is hardly more than an overlong, self-absorbed drone, tiresome after only four minutes (it goes on for 19 more), while the following "Bangkok" adds little more to it, despite showing a bit more activity. All pieces segue, providing an uncomfortable listen — there are moments when the attention is irresistibly drawn to the sounds, while at other times you simply feel like walking out. Then again, most of Hausswolff's albums produce a similar effect. ~ François Couture, Rovi

Three Overpopulated Cities Built By Shortsighted Planners,, Cm Von Hausswolff
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