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    Voice Crack – Kick That Habit

    Voice Crack - Kick That Habit

    Voice Crack was a Swiss noise duo consisting of musicians Andy Guhl and Norbert Möslang. They formed in 1972 as a free jazz outfit, but abandoned that format in the early ’80s to experiment with what they called “cracked everyday electronics,” which consisted of small, cracked open appliances rigged up with amps. This set-up produced sounds that could turn on a dime from a sparse clatter to an all-out noise tsunami. Although Kick That Habit hails from the 1980s, it looks like it could have been filmed decades earlier in some grey Eastern bloc country, what with its blurry, bleak backdrops and stark, grainy atmosphere.

    The movie, which contains no talking or singing, jumps back and forth between snowy outdoor scenes in the Alps, indoor live performances, random objects like electric fans and dripping faucets, and people trudging around out in public. We join the members of Voice Crack during a game of putt-putt golf. The clanking of the golf balls against the resonant metal contraptions on the course is striking. Then comes an abrupt cut to a roomful of their cracked everyday electronics–complete with the vivid image of transistor radios squealing on twirling turntables–that form an impenetrable sonic stew.

    A bit of junkyard crane clank and dumpster diving leads into a snowy Alps adventure on ski lifts, followed by a live gig in front of 100 people featuring some good ol’ down home long wire pluck ‘n’ torture. In this segment, a piece of metal wire strung all the way across a room is rubbed, tapped and beat with sticks and bows to resonant, reverberant effect. Meanwhile, back in the ski lodge, the focus turns to the sounds of eating and drinking and dropping spoons while a blimp and glider soar the desolate skies. After throwing some contact mics into food and amplifying the results, a man silently and completely destroys a chair with a huge drill and an axe, a very violent act that is ironically accompanied only by the sound of some gentle tapping.

    The final live footage features another round of noise electronics accompanied by a killer kettle drummer. For the grand finale, Voice Crack attaches small light sensors to a wall and projects films over them. As the flickering light and shadows of trees, skies and dandelions dance across the sensors, they emit bursts of beautiful, static drones. Overall, Kick That Habit really ambles along in quite a fascinating manner, thanks to the skillful editing of Peter Liechti, and the movie offers up proof positive that Voice Crack took John Cage to the next level.

    Label: RRR Catalog Number: RRR-TV-14 Format: VHS Packaging: Plastic case Total Time: 43 minutes Country: United States Released: 1990 More: Amazon, Discogs, Forced Exposure, Last.FM, Official, YouTube

    Text ©2009 Arcane Candy

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