Strings | Raster-Noton
By SUSANNA BOLLE  |  January 7, 2008
3.0 3.0 Stars
As its title suggests, this latest release by Russian-born musician Ivan Pavlov (a/k/a COH) is all about strings — stringed instruments, that is. Pavlov has been known for creating powerful electronic works that draw on a variety of influences from heavy metal to abstract techno to the post-industrial experiments of Coil. With Strings, however, he seems to be pushing his musical boundaries. Disc one is divided into three two-part sections (“Sidereal As If Not,” “No Monsters No Rock,” “Euphrates”), in each of which a specific instrument — piano, electric guitar, oud/saz — is combined with Pavlov’s sizzling electronics. The results are quite varied: the piano sections are brittle and beautiful, yet never treacly; the guitar tracks seethe with menace and distortion. It’s “Euphrates” that stands out, however, with its intricate electro-organic interplay. As for disc two, a single, 17-minute oud/saz coda called “SU-U,” it’s the sparest track of the lot, and a jawdropper, as Pavlov explores the instruments’ textures and timbres with amazing dexterity.
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