tripolar exercises


The first collaboration of Al Margolis (aka If,Bwana), Gerald Fiebig, and EMERGE dates back to the early days of attenuation circuit: In 2012, Fiebig and EMERGE (along with local colleague elektrojudas) supported If,Bwana at his first ever live show at attenuation circuit's homebase in Augsburg, and joined him for a collective improvisation which was subsequently released as the double-album 'crossgrained'. This beginning of a great friendship was followed by a split LP by Margolis and Fiebig, another collective live set in 2015 including elektrojudas, and EMERGE joining If,Bwana on tour across Europe. Ten years after their first meeting, Margolis, Fiebig, and EMERGE set about composing a collaborative album in a completely different manner – and this is the result.

Anyone familiar with the work of the three collaborators would argue that the common denominator of their practices is the drone, and in fact this idiom is present in the interludes of this album, for which EMERGE supplied sounds that were processed, or 'recycled', by Margolis and then joined by other lifeforms via field recordings supplied by Fiebig. The three main pieces of the album, however, tend to exploit other approaches. They were composed over distance, with one participant recording a track, the second one adding another, and the third one adding the final track and mixing the piece. For each of the three pieces, the sequence of the contributors changed as indicated. The challenge of contributing relevant parts to a piece 'emerging' without a preconceived plan, while at the same time leaving enough room for subsequent contributions, along with the choice of obscure sound sources, gives this album its particular texture, in which 'chance meetings' play a rather significant part. The track titles reflect this quasi-surrealist approach, while the first letters of the words in the titles are related to the sequence of the contributors in these 'tripolar exercises'.

File under: drone, electroacoustic, musique concrète

ACU 1064

factory-pressed CD in Digisleeve

Released in 2024

limited to 200 copies

price: 10.00 EUR (excl. postage)

this is a joint-release by

Pogus Productions ° 21095-2 °

gebrauchtemusik ° gm040 °

attenuation circuit ° ACU 1064 ° 2024 °

Al Margolis: strange instruments
Gerald Fiebig: objects, Auki the dachshund, chickens
EMERGE: sound recycling, photo, design, mastering

Also available here:



From 2012 onwards, Al Margolis (also known as If, Bwana) worked with Gerald Fiebig and EMERGE, meeting and interacting at concerts. Much of what they improvise during concerts may end up in a collage on a release. The current one is “Tripolar Exercises’, which, for once, was recorded via the Internet. The first artist records one layer of sound, the second and third add another, and then the third mixes the piece. In between, there are also two ‘interludes’, and what, how, and why these came to need to be clarified. It’s tempting to look for clues; ‘oh, this sounds very much like something Al Margolis would have mixed’ or ‘EMERGE sampled everybody else before creating a mix’. That’s not my approach, even when I heard quite a bit of EMERGE’s and Margolis’ music. It’s better to listen to the music as the result of whatever creative process, the assembly of various interests and sound sources. The more acoustic ones are courtesy of Margolis, field recordings are by Fiebig, and EMERGE covers the electronic side. It’s about the result: did they manage to create a coherent, exciting album? I believe they did. The three primary pieces are excellent pieces of electro-acoustic music, where improvisation is re-modelled into composition, and in the three main compositions, this works out differently. The range is between very acoustic to much more inspired electronic sounds. Consequently, when they use more acoustic sound, the music takes a more improvised turn, and when it’s more electronic, it seems (!) more composed. Each piece doesn’t feel like a few layers of sound but rather a more complex affair. It results in a delicate release of some excellent music.



Ein Spiegel, und schon wird aus Auki, dem Dachshund, ein tragisches Monster mit zwei Köpfen. Akustisch ist das noch gesteigert in Tripolar Exercises (ACU 1064 / Pogus Prod. 21095 / gebrauchtemusik, gm040) im dreifaltigen Verbund von AL MARGOLIS an strange instruments, GERALD FIEBIG mit objects & EMERGE mit sound recycling. Als Troika, die 2012 erstmal zusammenfand und die künstlerische Kollegialität mittlerweile mehrfach ausfrischte. Wobei 'man folded reality' nun long distance entstanden ist aus mundgepresst stöhnenden und züllenden, klopfenden, wiederholt knarrenden und dröhnenden Lauten, furzeligen und hintergründig rumorenden in tatsächlich diesem Dreischritt Margolis? Fiebig?Emerge. 'Fish eradicated maternity' mit seinem Rupfen und Zupfen an Saiten kam jedoch in der Abfolge Fiebig?Emerge?Margolis zustande. Und 'elephant muted factories' gelangte von Emerge über Magolis zu Fiebig, mit pingendem Glockenspiel zu kratzenden und tutenden Lauten, mit perkussiven und brummigen, mit knurrigen Impulsen und mundgemalten Geräuschen. Teils wiederkehrend durch Loops, gern auch überraschend. Verbunden ist das durch zwei 'Interludes' aus Sounds von Emerge, Processing von Margolis und Field Recordings von Fiebig. Wobei das erste ein schimmerndes Sausen zunehmend mit einem flattrigen Blubbern durchsetzt, das kaskadierend verhallt. Und das zweite das sausende Dröhnen mit tremolierendem Saitenbeben verbindet, bis der Hahn kräht, Hühner gackern und Vögel zwitschern.

MARGOLIS I FIEBIG I EMERGE tripolar exercises cover front
MARGOLIS I FIEBIG I EMERGE tripolar exercises cover back
MARGOLIS I FIEBIG I EMERGE tripolar exercises InlayMARGOLIS I FIEBIG I EMERGE tripolar exercises Inlay
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