Venexia, the new collaboration between noise makers Kevin Drumm and Mika Vainio (on electronics) and experimental horn artists Axel Dörner (trumpet, computer) and Lucio Capece (soprano saxophone, bass clarinet, shruti box), is likely the most impressive co-op this year next to Imikuzushi by Ambarchi, Haino, and O’Rourke.
The A-side begins with constipated spurts of horn barely squeezing through the players’ lips that create a minimalist tension similar to the intro to Rhys Chatham’s Outdoor Spell. This swells in oscillating dissonance and almost-harmonies with the machine operation ring of the electronics, and continues to layer with knife-sharpening feedback. The electronics then rise to a dog whistle pitch, further contributing to this intense sense of unsettling tension. The tension is a welcome sensation, like your nipples getting teased, and eventually the noise breaks through the restraint and euphorically buzzes in its new liberation.
Side B continues the journey with an expanded gesture, departing from the tension and drifting into hazy dronescapes, but not before the electronics first offer a percussive pulsating that the horns feverishly ride in siren-like impossibly long breaths.
The record as a whole acts as the perfect soundtrack to stretching your face in the bathroom mirror or performing incorrect yoga poses and is ultimately brilliant and just plain solid. Highly recommended.
Arists: Mika Vainio / Kevin Drumm / Axel Dörner / Lucio Capece