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Peter Rehberg - Fremdkoerper

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Artist: Peter Rehberg

Album: Fremdkoerper

Label: Mosz

Review date: Sep. 11, 2005

Peter Rehberg, a.k.a. "Pita," has taken up the terpsichorean again; staying in the similar sound environment tinker-toyed together on ErstLive004, a 2005 pan-ethnic summit of insta-comp electronic "composers." ErstLive004, noted for its ur-concentration shared like a graphing calculator between trig tutorials, has bled over into Rehberg's newest music for movements.

Fremdkoerper - German for "foreign bodies" - unites choreographer Chris Haring with Rehberg to soundtrack a dance production apparently about alienation. Which makes much sense, considering there isn't much "giving" given by this music; don't expect leitmotifs. Don't expect screeching squelch either: The aggressive - and highly enjoyable - excesses of '99's Get Out, and '02's Get Down have been gleaned and held tightly. Only occasionally is atonal info tossed out into a pulsing soundscape and mischievously detonated, thumped like jerry-rigged explosives into near lifeless rivers of drone. What's brought to the surface is a clumsy crust of structure that effortlessly dissolves into adroit ambience. Predictably, this strategy elicits a sort of "surprise symphony" effect, where one's ears - and nerves - are nudged into a defensive position, awaiting the next outburst. And so it goes: For the majority of the disc, sounds are subtly, deliberately - and superbly - shaped.

With Fremdkoerper, Pita maintains the mensch-up-on-the-mountain level of mental muscle attained on ErstLive004: Mopey minimalism, sci-fi sound FX, lathered keys, preening vox, and digital scree provides a pleasurable, and sometimes compelling listen. One can't help wondering about the visuals, though; especially by the time track six comes around, sounding like audio surveillance from the jackshacks of the northeast: cold, desperately quick, and dead dry. Perhaps this is the point. In order to provide coy contrast to staid "dance," sound must slip into skin clothes.

By Stewart Voegtlin

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