is a project founded in 2007 by Michael Wertmüller
(Alboth, Peter Brötzmann Trio), Marino Piaklas
(Steamboat Switzerland, Peter Brötzmann Trio), Thomas Mahmoud
(ex Von Spar, Oliver Twist Conspiracy) and Gerd Rische
In the early 90s, Swiss drummer Michael Wertmüller and his band Alboth! (that was occasionally produced by Kevin Martin of God, Techno Animal, The Bug) made a benchmark exploration of new terrain somewhere between Metal, Free Jazz and Noise. In the meantime the classically trained multi-instrumentalist plays in Free Jazz trumpeter Peter Brötzmann’s Trio and is a much sought after composer, whose works are performed at major New Music festivals. Amongst other things he’s collaborated with Wolfgang Hilbig and composed pieces for the legendary Peter Brötzmann Chicago 10tet and for bassist Marino Piaklas’ formation, Steamboat Switzerland.
Thomas Mahmoud used to be lead vocalist with the Cologne band, Von Spar, with whom he created a surprising, innovative amalgam of Post-Rock, Indiepop and Prog-Rock before leaving the band after its second album. Mahmoud’s primary interest since launching his solo project, Softgod has been electronic and electro-acoustic music.
During a joint artists-in-residency sojourn at the Berlin Academy of Fine Arts, Wertmüller and Piaklas met Gerd Rische, a musician and director of the Academy’s electronic studio. After Wertmüller had participated, at Thomas Mahmoud’s invitation, in the latter’s adaptation of an old Dada screenplay, "Der Pleitejazz" by Paul van Ostaijen, he invited Mahmoud to join in rehearsals with Piaklas and Rische at the Academy. Ives #1 is the result.
The four musicians’ diverse musical backgrounds complement one another in Ives #1 in an exceedingly explosive mix of uncompromising Noise, ultra-rapid bass riffs, sharp cuts and extreme contrasts. Speedmetal and Grindcore elements meet Free Jazz interspersed with Noise. Compositions played at sight by Ives #1 are extremely precise. They maintain a highly charged tension between rigorous control and escalation; every action fits yet simultaneously there’s something brewing that threatens to develop a momentum of its own; it splinters, is again subdued, kept on a short leash and tightly contracted in order to all the better break loose once again into incalculability. It is the music of contrasts and confrontation – aggressive, quick, abstracted, without texts, without narration – which derives its ideas solely from its own substance.
Ives #1’s music is as yet unpublished. Thomas Mahmoud organises the program of events, "Mutationsklub", in collaboration with Daniel Berwanger and Gerald Mandl.
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