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Sutekh - Incest Live

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Artist: Sutekh

Album: Incest Live

Label: Force Inc.

Review date: Oct. 20, 2002

Recorded Before A Live Studio Audience

A live album devoid of crowd noise, botched notes and proselytizing by self-obsessed lead singers may not echo the inherent nature of say, a classic rock live album, but within the context of the curiously contrary world of experimental techno, a live music album that was recorded in a studio with absolutely no audience other than the artist’s cat (and it’s classic that it’s a cat because a dog wouldn’t sit still for such pretension), suits the theoretical framework of most laptop based enterprises.

It’s no surprise that an attempt at reformulating live music’s basic tenets would arise out of the fiendishly subversive West coast laptop community. Sutekh – one of the regions premier exporters of highly cerebral digi-tech-house – has been tinkering with the nuts and bolts of techno for years. By challenging techno’s dependence on the often bland mixture of innocuous pre-set sounds and standard bass drives with the addition of an amorphous array of highly processed found sounds, Sutekh successfully renovates techno’s background while maintaining its foreground appeal.

His new album, Incest Live is the result of the splicing together of several real-time studio sessions recorded during June and July of 2002 in both Barcelona and San Francisco. It’s comprised of sound snippets taken from both released and unreleased works that, over the course of three years, were included in Sutekh’s live performances. It helps to think of Incest… as a compendium of Sutekh’s most versatile sound sources, a cache of his most compelling emissions memorialized in a testament to the evolutionary progress of these sounds. It’s as if Sutekh, by way of merging the choicest elements of his live performances with the post-op luxuries of afterthought and editing programs, is striving to create the perfect statement, the most suitable forum for these diversified sounds to compliment one another.

Thankfully, the music on Incest Live is not dependent on Sutekh’s heady ruminations for clarification. Immediately following the steady flow of white noise drips that coat the first track, the skittish noise blasts and heavy outpouring of bass of the second track make it abundantly clear that this escapist fantasy to the outer recesses of sound is not for mere sight seeing purposes. Sutekh’s mission includes a much more purposeful attempt at blending the chance environments of found sounds with deep, bruising bass lines. Upon his way, almost all temptations for melody are avoided. The sole appearance of a chopped and treated guitar figure at the end of the first track and the random piano notes which materialize toward the latter half of the album serve as his only reference to traditional practices. With Incest Live it’s clear that Sutekh has mastered the one hand in the air, one hand on the mouse pad pose. Inest… is the career long statement he’s been striving for and although his retexturing of live music settings and processes may not equal the theoretical monolith constructed by the likes of Markus Popp, his music alone is enough to nominate him among the likes of techno’s greatest past and present.

By John Yandrasits

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