Datum: Sa, 15.10.2005
Veranstalter: Verein Innenhofkultur
Ort: cik@künstlerhaus.klagenfurt

Im Schwerpunktrahmen „electronics.improvised“:

Florian Kmet_guitar
Stefan Németh_electronics

In der Musik von Lokai verschmelzen und divergieren Melodie und Klang. Teile von Stücken – Loops, Melodien, Akkorde – schweben in einer viskosen elektronischen Flüssigkeit. Die Entwicklung ist unvorhersehbar. Fäden überlappen und zerbrechen zu Sound-Clustern, die Musik begibt sich auf den Pfad zwischen Struktur und Auflösung. Gitarre und Synthesizer werden aufreizend prozessiert und editiert, um in Kompositionen zu münden, welche behutsam eine Verbindung von analog und digital eingehen. Sensibilisiert durch die vielfältigen Einflüsse neuer Wiener Klangwelten, gehen Stefan Németh und Florian Kmet unbeschwert mit ihrem musikalischen Gepäck um und treiben ihre Arbeit in Richtung einer üppigen Verbindung von Melodie und Textur. Auch hier gilt die alte Empfehlung: play loud.
Will Montgomery, wire Übersetzung:Friederike Kulcsar

Lebensmittelpunktverlegung 1991 von Innsbruck nach N.Y.C.; 3 Jahre als Rockgitarrist mit verschiedenen Bands, u.a. plastique und gimme some skin.
Konzerttätigkeit solistisch und in verschiedenen Bands als Gitarrist, Komponist und Sänger. Zusammenarbeit mit Wolfgang Mitterer, Gunter Schneider, Max Nagl, Franz Hautzinger, Martin Brandlmayr, Ludwig Bekic, Jorge Sanchéz-Chiong, u.a. mit Konzerten bei Wien modern, Jazzfest Wien, Klangspuren Schwaz, u.a.

Seit 1997 musikalisch als Mitglied der Gruppe Radian hauptsächlich im Spannungsfeld zwischen elektronisch und akustisch generierter Musik tätig. 2003 gemeinsame Gründung das Plattenlabels Mosz mit der Videokünstlerin Michaela Schwentner. Temporäres Mitglied des Bild/Ton-Kollektivs void. U.a. Zusammenarbeit mit Werner Dafeldecker, Martin Siewert, Oskar Aichinger, Franz Hautzinger,….Kooperationen mit Video/Filmkünstlern wie Norbert Pfaffenbichler, Lotte Schreiber, Maia Gusberti, nja, Michaela Schwentner, Michaela Grill, Dariusz Krczecek, VIDOK, re-p,…

radian: radian – rhiz004, Rhiz 1998
radian: tg11 – mr001, Mego/Rhiz 2000
radian: rec.extern – thrill113, Thrill Jockey 2002
Dafeldecker/Brandlmayr/Siewert/Németh: „Die Instabilität der Symmetrie“, grob 547, Grob/doc 2003
Oskar Aichinger: Synapsis, btl 029 – Between the Lines 2003

De:Bug, 2005
LOKAI „7 Million“
Manchmal wäre man froh, wenn man nicht so eine Schlampe wäre, die Promozettel lieber dazu benutzt, dass Tische nicht wackeln oder so, denn ich hab keine Ahnung wer Lokai sein mag. Die Musik aber ist durchaus bezauberndes Slomogitarren und sonstige Instrumente. Zeug, das perfekt klingt, wenn man selber am liebsten vor Hitze zerfließen möchte, dabei aber wirklich keinen Kitsch gebrauchen kann, sondern ab und an auch schon mal die
pure Elektronik brummen hören will. Intensiv und gewaltig, zart und zerzauselt. Gut gemacht Mosz.
Bleed *****

Touching Extremes, 2005
LOKAI „7 million“
Florian Kmet and Stefan Németh create oscillating chiaroscuro images of perturbed tranquillity through an interesting use of guitar and electronics. There are involuntary allusions to several recent similar project – see the above reviewed Arden CD – yet the duo distinguishes their broken-dream atmospheres with a larger employment of noise and disturbance: good examples come from the distorted drones of „Chuuk“ or the initial mass of radio transmissions opening „Histoire DS“. Florian and Stefan’s sensibilities shift the focus nicely, spanning from clear articulations and circular mind-benders to adventurous investigations of electroacoustic implantations breaking an imperfect calmness. Choosing to reduce the record’s duration at about 37 minutes they also show an appreciable will to avoid overstaying their welcome – a rare commodity these days.

cracked, 2005
LOKAI „7 million“
Sound is a mystery to be solved by artists who know that there is no solution. We call these people experimental artists, because their work consists of constant trial and error, but in contrast to proper scientists they will never know if they have failed or not, because failure in experimental music doesn’t mean the results ain’t good and vice versa or even regardless, because failure and success are all the same in this field as well as trial and error being the same. Lokai are two experimental musicians from Austria who have taken the hands-on approach on the dilemma by simply going for it for a living. The result is intriguing electronic noise ranging from subtle trickery to big walls of noise, basically wreaked from the simple analogue contents of an electric guitar.

Lately I have come upon quite a lot of experimental electronic artists turning back to the electric guitar as a source for sound. Fennesz might be the best known, but also Accelera Deck, Arden and Greg Headly turn their experimental impulses for digital sound and noise towards the old axe. Does that comply with the current trend for hippie-commune free-form noise to avant-garde bands as the likes of Animal Collective to Lightning Bolt? Already I am thinking of the return of armswinging and cock-rock posing guitar heroes, but this time around shaking and waving it for elaborated highbrow audiences with an art background. More and more indie-bands seem to include electronic sounds that some years ago were described as “fringe”, while more and more experimental artists from that fringe are coming off on soothing and more traditional guitar sounds; of course setting them in original and innovative surroundings and using them differently, but still, the strong borderlines that used to separate these fields seems to be dissolving slowly. Are we on something here or is it just my imagination trying to make some sense of the auditive debris collecting on my desk and near my stereo like pop culture sediments?

Lokai, which is Stefan Nemeth from Radian (and also founder of the mosz-label) and Florian Kmet, also take the electric guitar as a sound source, but then set on so much processing, filtering and disrupting, then again soothing and smoothing it out, that they are far from any danger of being mistaken for an indie-band. It is even a far stretch to compare some of the more hypnotic and dozy noise-drones on here to My Bloody Valentine. Nevertheless, clearly discernible plucked guitar strings rear their heads from out of the mist or flood of electronic noise.

The difference between the sound of a guitar string or an appreggio on a chord is vast to that of a digitally produced sound, though it is hard to pin it down in words. The hands-on approach of actually playing in contrast to programming, the one-off-ness versus the storage of settings, in other words, the guitar always sounds different, while the settings of a computer processor once saved will always produce the same sound (no change in hardware requisited). No, I ain’t getting back to Adorno here, but hidden in this equation there lies a lot of the magic of live music. But what if those sounds get processed so much you won’t recognize them any more or so much that it doesn’t make any difference anymore, then being mixed and worked at some more and finally pressed onto a CD to be listened to (thereby producing the same sound over and over again as well, but that is quite obvious)? Do the possibilities even if not taken make the difference?

Actually, I am not able to find an answer amidst the varying tracks of Lokai on this CD. There are fragile and delicate patterns building up longwinded looped parts as well as there are noise-storms drifting in from the shore, some leaning more towards natural sounds, others staying cleanly in the digital realm. Amidst the flotsam there are moments of pure tenderness and annihilating rage, with some fieldrecordings sampled for atmosphere. Nemeth and Kmet are taking a subtle approach towards bringing sounds together, feeling them off on all sides to find surfaces that will go well with each other, even if a little force is necessary to make them come together. The duo will also take you from various dynamically moving and quickly changing places to minimal drones. The elegant bass-drone of “Chuuk” seems worth mentioning here, which takes almost a quarter of an hour to develop from almost inaudible into a big wall of flooding bass frequency topped with a little hint of high frequency topping and digital distortion only to finally disappear again into nothingness.

Summing up that means, you get a lot to listen and think about, but no final answers. But since there are never any final answers, for how bleak and depressing would the world be if there were, that is a lot.

RM2, Vital Weekly #490, 2005
LOKAI „7 million“
Lokai is a new duo of Florian Kmet and Stefan Németh, both Austrians. Kmet was unknown to me but Németh is mostly known from playing in Radian, and he also co-runs the Mosz label on which this album is released. Kmet plays guitar, and Németh adds all the electronics on ‚7 Million‘, a short album with 6 explorations of combining the two. There is sometimes a heightened awareness of each other at play here, as the plucking of the guitar sometimes breaks through the electronic frame in delicate ways, but also other moments where it seems that Németh went out by himself, almost forgetting his partner. It could be considered improv in the sense of a lot of Erstwhile releases with their duo recordings, but it holds too many little melodic or at least song-structured elements to fall into that scene. Actually, although I know it’s not the most original comparison, it’s much closer to Fennesz, when the guitar sounds are looped and the electronics float all around it, like on the last part of ‚Mikrostekon‘. Best tracks are those where the guitars are not recognizable as such, as on ‚Chuuk‘, a 13-minute almost-noise epic. Looking forward to hearing more from them. (RM2)