idiom that Isa Wiss, a Swiss artist, gives to this duo is a matter of
her versatilty as a voice artist which work ranges from electro pop, jazz,
big band and fully improvised music. Given this information as well as
an interesting array of surreal texts that Isa writes together with this
makes her picture way interesting beyond the typical image of avant artist.
Mostly because her indiviual style and tactics.
OK, I admit it. The prospect of a voice/tuba duo presenting eighteen tracks didn't exactly set my salivary glands flowing. If it was a single 40-minute track, I may have been intrigued. Even the near-alphabetization of the track titles didn't really sway me (though it helped). I've never, to the best of my knowledge, heard either, but I sensed a reduced volume, free improv collection where the vocals tended toward the expressionistically guttural/wheezing/spittlicious and the brass edging toward the flatulent/rapidly breathy. I was pretty close. There's some variation but not nearly enough, and the brevity of the pieces disrupts any potential continuity. Oh, yes, there's some Donald Duck. Yes there is. Not my cuppa. Brian Olewnick (Just Outside)
"Vielleicht stellt man sich zu dieser Musik am besten krakelig gestrichelte Comixfiguren vor. Radikale Antihelden, die zu den Geräuschen aus einer Tuba (Marc Unternährer) und einem Kehlkopf (isa Wiss) scheinbar sinnlose Handlungen durchführen. Die aber in Wahrheit raschelnd und klöppelnd an der Infiltration des gesunden Menschenverstandes arbeiten und an der viralen Zersetzung musikalischer Scheinharmonie. Wer weiss, vielleicht bauen sie auch gerade am neuen Urknall." Christoph Fellmann (Kulturmagazin Luzern)
One would not imagine diminutive Isa Wiss performing the kind of amazing growling-and-gargling tones and spiteful hysterics heard in Sopstock. Hailing from Switzerland, like her comrade Unternährer, this girl is a most welcome revelation, possessing the qualities that typically define a worthy virtuoso of the vocal cords. She uses them all in a Shelley Hirsch / Ute Wassermann / Phil Minton hybrid which touches on a multitude of guttural aspects with brainpower and irritability depending on the moment, but also with a dose of grace. Not to mention the irony and the onomatopoeic bravura – the ranting swapping of invectives (Léandre-style) in "Cyn" is a veritable comic masterpiece. Even when a couple of stereotypes try to rear their ugly heads – the Donald Duck-ish "Londing" for example, or the mandatory track with unnatural laughter that seems to be a requirement for every avant singer – Wiss reduces the excess of obviousness with an indescribable plus that renders amusing what was expectable. Unternährer is a very fine, sensitive player, the tuba an ideal complement with lots of invigorating timbral facets, absurd pitch fractioning and equally hilarious traits. But it is clear that his role here is that of creating the ultimate complement and the episodic interference to the clamorous manifestation of Wiss's talent, the actual billboard of this recording. Massimo Ricci (Paris Transatlantic)
Be it the fact the use of the voice is not absolutely secondary or the fact this duo hails from Swiss I couldn't but avoid thinking to Stimmhorn for those who know this incredible swiss musician. Honestly, despite some small and barely forgettable similarities despite the unconventional use of the vocals and the fact the both are coming from the land of the cheese with holes the don't have nothing to share. Isa Wiss quite often uses her voices giving you the idea your experiencing to some strangulated Meredith Monk meets chocking David Moss working in a electro-acoustic context. Unternahrer saxophone instead sometimes obviously deals with half pronounced segmented notes and works for mouth and saliva, but at the same time ventures ??? in ?? playing some real phrases. Tracks like "Cyn" and "Drisp" show what I think is the real potential of the duo when going for a post-jazz dialogue, as I've said I think the most interesting episodes are those where the dynamic duo don't recede into some sort of autistic electro-acoustic solipsism but where they put together what looks like a track, "Gringlion" could be a good example. A dry, simple and good recording help developing a good sound profile thanks to which you can taste the real essence of this pair. Andrea Ferraris (Chain DLK)