Guitarist N and electric bass guitar duo Deep are kindred spirits. Both have been cultivating extensive psychedelic dronescapes for decades, so this perfectly organic live collaboration between them is a match made in drone heaven, so to speak. It happened on 4 July 2020 at Augsburg's “abraxas” arts centre (hence the title), the venue of the annual “re:flexions sound-art festival” curated by attenuation circuit label head Sascha Stadlmeier. The album contains festival flyers as further memorabilia of the concert documented on this album.
Whoever attends a Deep concert for the first time is likely to hear a duo of bass guitars for the first time, and more likely still to hear bass guitars treated and played in ways they've never heard before. Chords played through an array of flangers and the like dissolve slowly and harmonically into the atmosphere. Gamelan-like percussive elements and the chirping of electric birds invoke imaginary landscapes. Then N's guitar gradually enters the intervals within the chords, giving the drone an edgier, rougher element of microtonal tension. If you thought “relaxing ambient” at first, now think Tony Conrad or Phill Niblock. The sound becomes a gently rising tide which eventually turns into a tsunami carrying everything with it, topped by metallic sounds like the vibration of a ship's hull in a heavy rolling sea. A refreshing trip through the maelstrom that simultaneously turns out to be a journey into space, not outer space but a deep space inside the listener's brain.
File under: drone, ambient
cloudburst coloured (grey-in-grey) 12" Vinyl Album
Released in 2021
limited to 100 copies
price: 18.00 EUR (excl. postage)
N + deep live at abraxas / augsburg
re:flexions sound-art festival 04 07 2020
curated by sascha stadlmeier
written + played by N + deep
recorded and mixed by bernd spring
mastered by michael hahn / rosenquarz
artwork by N + deep
N: amps + guitar
Abraxas is a live performance recording of guitarist N (Hellmut Neidhardt) (who increments the number after the N with every new release, hence the 93) and electric bass guitar duo Deep (Bernd Spring and Stefan Vetter).
This 35-minute set is a recorded performance at Augsburg’s Abraxas Art Centre on the Re:Flexions sound-art festival in July 2020. For this release, the recording is split into two 17-minute parts – the perfect length for a dynamic vinyl cut of course, but in fact it should best heard in one single go.
Guitar and bass are the barely recognizable sources of deep extended drones, slowly working to an intimidating climax and then relaxing again, just as slowly. Only to return even more intense in the middle of the second part.
“If you thought “relaxing ambient” at first, now think Tony Conrad or Phill Niblock. The sound becomes a gently rising tide which eventually turns into a tsunami carrying everything with it.”
I guess that this must have been quite a physical experience that night!