CD Reviews

Thursday 28th January

January 29, 2010

So last year we had a new Phosphor album, and this year a week before I watched a Sealed Knot concert there appeared a new album by Activity Center. Anyone would think it was 2001. In fact, as the sleeve notes to this new album indicate, the Activity Center duo of Burkhard Beins and Michael Renkel has been musically active since 1989. Whilst I knew theirs was one of the longer musical associations in the improv world I didn’t realise they had been playing together quite so long. This release then, the first in a decade captures a new version of the group. I have always known Activity Center as a mostly acoustic group, but here a fair degree of electronics have been added to the musical arsenal of both musicians, and while Renkel still focuses primarily on guitars, and Beins on one form of percussion or another, my ability to tell each musician apart has become much more difficult than it was a decade ago. Or maybe I’m just getting old.

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