Norbert Moslang + Andy Guhl
The team of Norbert Moslang and Andy Guhl is better known now as Voice Crack, the notorious Swiss purveyors of “cracked everyday electronics.” What that’s been assumed to mean is ordinary household appliances short-circuited, rearranged, and made to make sounds they weren’t intended to make. However, back in 1983, Guhl and Moslang weren’t as discriminating about what they’d kick up a racket with. The instruments listed on the sleeve include feldstahlblech, pvc-rohre, luftibuss, and lockpfeifen. Now, if I knew what all that meant, I’d know where all this noise is coming from.
Knack On is more than just an historical document. While it’s nice to see how the Voice Crack evolved, the record holds it’s own in terms of sonic content. It’s interesting to see how the two have become decidedly more patient musically over the years. Their newer collaborations with Otomo Yoshihide, Gunter Muller, and Erik M as poire_z and Borbetomagus; along with their solo efforts, show the duo slowly evolving patterns, and gradually bringing different ideas to the fore. Not on Knack On. Moslang and Guhl rapidly move from idea to idea, inducing frequent and jarring shifts in density and timbre. The electronics are pretty primitive (I swear I hear a weed whacker in there somewhere) but all of the analogue blurts and complement the clanging metal and destroyed guitar.
The enthusiastic liner notes are courtesy of Jim O’Rourke, who reminds us that behind cultural politics of sound art, this record is genuinely a lot of fun. John Corbett, the man behind Atavistic’s Unheard Music Series (of which this is a part) promises more unheard Swiss electroacoustic documents. Who can resist?