[reviews] afe126lcd
k11: waiting for the darkness

sonomu []
webzine, u.k., february 2011

A searing intro that could easily be mistaken for the opening feedback salvo of an extended heavy-metal guitar solo bodes ill. But K11 is an elusive artist and the things he can conjure out of nothing more than radio static are surprising indeed. I swear I heard bells.

K11 is the naughtier alter ego of Pietro Riparbelli. While the Italian sound artist releases more serene ambient material under his given name, as K11 he experiments with extremeties.

"Waiting for the Darkness" is a quintette of pieces manipulating short wave radio receivers and was first performed in a forest in the middle of the night. Each track title documents the frequency used and time executed – for example, "30 KHz: 9.00 p.m.".

The forest setting is appropriate and had we not been informed, we might still have suspected the outdoor setting, as the illusion of wind rushing through the treetops recurs. In fact, the second track gives the impression of being nothing more complicated than a field recording of same. Though of course it is not. "300 KHz: 11:00 p.m." is the most dangerous of the tracks, a mad scientiest's laboratory blowing up piece by piece.

The next hour's extract is more palplably "radiophonic", like a DXer twirling the dials looking for distant signals late at night. And with intermittent but violent atmospheric disturbances, the disc closes at "29 MHz: 01:00 a.m.". Like the album as a whole, the beauty is in the detail, as K11 maintains his cool and a calming ambient fundament throughout the ten-minute piece.

[Stephen Fruitman]