AMN Reviews Reviews

AMN Reviews: Rupp, Williamson and Buck, Weird Weapons 2; Joe Williamson, Hoard

Olaf Rupp, Joe Williamson and Tony Buck, Weird Weapons 2 (cs197); Joe Williamson, Hoard (cs199)

With Weird Weapons 2, the multinational trio of German guitarist Olaf Rupp, Canadian double bassist Joe Williamson, and Australian percussionist Tony Buck create a sound that Buck has rightly described as “very active and busy.” Both long tracks are intense and relentless essays into the unconventional applications available to conventional instruments. This is acoustic music as the sound of raw materials—string instruments and drums decomposed into wood and metal elements in a clattering, scraping cloud of sound. On occasion the recognizable voice of guitar or double bass emerges, only to recede again into the sound signatures of its constituent parts. The overall effect is of an accumulation of countless individual sonic facts into a thick mass.

Williamson’s solo recording is very much in the same vein. The two long cuts feature the rough, low frequency rumble of overpressured bowing, providing a throbbing undertow that sounds at times like a straining engine—created acoustically, this is industrial music from a time before electricity.