Matthias Müller / Christian Marien
1 one 5:05
2 two 6:23
3 three 4:07
4 four 8:05
5 five 10:39
6 six 8:19
Recorded on November 16, 2006 in Berlin by Nikolaus Neuser. Cover design by Carlos Santos.
Creative Sources Records, cs092 10,-€
“Again, new names for Touching Extremes – and, given my immediate liking of “Superimpose”, very welcome on these shores. Nothing found on Müller – a trombonist gifted with a style full of humour, fantasy and, in a way, delicacy; instead, Marien is described as a frequent collaborator in various projects (among the many, the wonderfully named Olaf Ton), an explorer of the “intersection of music and urban calligraphy” in Ritsche&Zast and “Hip Hop and Turkish folklore” in Triple Destan. Pretty mysterious stuff really, awaking my curiousity. Two instruments only; this could make us think about a certain timbral uniformity, and indeed the overall palette of this CD is quite delineated. Yet the constant change of rhythms and accents upon which the duo relies is sufficient to cause an explicit statement of scarce controllability. These guys can play while looking for holes to fill, and they do fill them with large doses of almost tangible inventiveness. Improbable dances and bizarre turns of events ruffle normality until the music becomes a slippery pavement where falling provokes laughter, not harm. There’s a joyful feeling at work in most of the tracks, perceivable at a first try. That positive energy is exactly what propels these six improvisations, flirtatious winks to well-disposed people able to understand when a player puts technique at the service of fun. A lively, solid effort – and not for a moment heavy on the ears.”
(Massimo Ricci in “touching Extremes”, march 2008)
“Put aside any conventional concept of sonic beauty when listening to this provocative horn-plus-percussion CD. As a matter of fact, tolerance for sonic brutality might be a quality to bring to the disc – along with an appreciation for the unexpected.
Noisy, clamorous and blaring are the adjectives that are best attributed to this dual German duet, although just like no two snowflakes are the same, no two harsh noises are indistinguishable either. On Superimpose the players are trombonist Matthias Müller and drummer Christian Marien on a diabolical busman’s holiday from their regular gigs. Both are members of the jokey and jolly Olaf Ton band; the drummer also collaborates with dancers, hip-hoppers and performance artists; the trombonist is also involved with avant-garde theatre and dance groups and teaches trombone in Dresden.
[…] Only slightly less clangorous, Superimpose’s six tracks may sound the way they do because Müller’s subterranean plunger work, braying tones and throat rumbles can’t replicate the continuous piercing shrillness of a reed. But that’s not for lack of trying. Still in mid-range his wide bell space and tongue manipulation allows the absolute sound of air currents and chromatic note clusters to be heard.
For his part, Marien doesn’t take a back seat to Schliemann when it comes to cacophony. Little ruffling or nerve beats are on display when the percussionist can repeatedly rattle what seems to be an aluminum pie plate; trigger the equivalent of single revolver blasts with a pointed drumstick; or produce seamless, reverberations to break up the beat from floor toms and snare; plus create sputtering and hissing decorations from the cymbals.
Tightrope walking on the divide between noise and non-noise, this duo create notable provocative sounds. The point where they can be admired as much as accepted depends on the listeners’ adventurousness.
(Ken Waxman in “JazzWord”, may 2008)
Superimpose (cs 092) enthält sechs Dialoge des Posaunisten MATTHIAS MÜLLER (Bhavan, The Camatta, *1971, Zeven) und des Drummers CHRISTIAN MARIEN (ex-Bloomington, Kapelye Ziganoff, Jahrgang 1975), miteinander vertrauten Partnern im Berliner Quintett Olaf Ton. Blubbern, durch Dämpfer abgeschattetes Knören und Schmauchen amalgamiert mit vierdimensional hingetüpfeltem Pochen, nadelndem Klimpern und flinkem Gerappel zu geräuschhaften, aber doch auch launigen Molekularbewegungen. Von Nahezustillstand und gedämpftem Gefurzel bis zu spritzigen und spotzenden Kollisionen und Querschlägern wird so gut wie alles geboten, wozu Schlag- und Mundwerk in der Lage sind.”
(Rigobert Dittmann in “bad alchemy”, february 2008)
“Witty acoustic improv from this duo on trombone and percussion. Müller is a suprisingly sly player with an extensive vocabulary, from weird breathy jumbling to long twisting and joyous runs. Marien plays in, around, under and on the drums, generally preferring the sound of toms, and deftly underplaying the moment while keeping the music active and unexpected.“
(Phil Zampino in “the squids ear”, june 2007)
“Paul Rutherford s’en est allé et Radu Malfatti est devenu … quasi silencieux. Qu’à cela ne tienne ! Votre serviteur vous avait entretenu des immenses mérites de Paul Hubweber. Et voici que je découvre cet excellent tromboniste qu’est Matthias Müller. Superimpose, évoque un peu l’esprit de When I Say Slowly, I Mean As Soon As Possible (Po Torch), le légendaire lp en duo de Paul Rutherford et Paul Lovens ou mieux To Fall Victim of an Ice Cream (L’Orchestra), l’album méconnu de Paul avec Tony Rusconi, un batteur plus « conventionnel » que l’homme à la cravate et aux pantoufles usées. Christian Marien est, lui, un percussionniste remarquable, sans doute issu du jazz. Il joue en parfaite empathie avec le tromboniste, créant tous deux des échanges chaleureux, subtils et énergiques basés sur une activité polyrythmique requérante. Bien qu’on aurait aimé un peu plus d’imprévu et un plongeon vers l’inconnu ou plus de risques, les duettistes feront passer un bon moment à qui voudra tendre l’oreille. C’est bien le principal.”
(Jean-Michel van Schouwburg in “Improjazz”, march 2009)
“Berlin based duo playing the free impro salsa, it’s on Creative Sources and it belongs to the category of this label devoted to jazz but just the way a Creative Sources performer can mean/play it. Beside that, consider, as pointed out many times by many improvisers/musicians both coming from the latin area and from the north European scene, improvised music coming from the mittle-upper Europe is more fragmented, choked to the extent it may sound aphasic to an untrained ear. But we’re not untrained and according to our opinion “superimpose” is not aphasic at all, nay it arrives to sound really physical at times, I mean they barely articulate what could be the scrawl of a free-jazz attempt. As many other improvisers on this label they’re not afraid to eliminate every trace of melody and emotion from the crime scene. What’s left is the picture of an intransigent radical performance which have dynamic ups and downs where the duo passes from strangulated notes to autistic nervous playing. The good thing about their “modus improvvisandi” is these two gentleman sometimes focus on a phrase and start exploring it’s significance just as much as they need to give it a “meaning”, the bad thing in the other hand is that while refusing every compromise with traditional playing they surrender to some ordinary free-improvising solutions. They are really intense when they catch the right train, but the risk as usual is to sound really ordinary in they rebelling to traditional music, but what happens when the “norm” is not the norm anymore? I think that’s the most interesting question. They offer a great range of sounds which is a great result considering we’re talking about a duo and during this live recording they avoid the use of any additive effect which I’m sure will attract all of the fans of the pure acoustic sound out there.”
(Andrea Ferraris in “Chain D.L.K.”, september 2008)