This is one very important EP from the conceivably deceased intellects behind Dead Mind Records. Materialization of the Intangible marks the seventieth anniversary of Ludo Mich—one of Antwerp, Belgium’s most unique and celebrated artists, improvisers, performers … whatever you choose to label him as, you’re not likely to be mistaken.
There is hardly a proper way to describe an artistic power such as Mich, whose performances wander far beyond any human boundaries or behavioral norms. Whatever your imagination is leading you to believe an artist like Ludo Mich would put in front of his audience is bound to be brought to its extremes in his capable hands. To capture this quality and present it as a recording is no easy task either. As you may have already gathered from this release’s format, Materialization of the Intangible lasts only about ten minutes, but it remains a remarkably sincere glimpse into the personality of an artist who exists solely to create and spread his interpretation of the world, of sound, and of essentially everything that his senses come into contact with.
As you have probably guessed from my comments on Mich’s performances specifically, the two pieces that make up Materialization of the Intangible are live recordings. You close your eyes and this beast of a human being is there, right in front of your face—slurping, screaming, and destroying whatever physical space your imagination can come up with. Laughing, raging, shouting, and at the same time, being both the center of his piece and his own harshest judge.
On Side A, you’ll find a fairly intense performance with Mich’s psychotic astral twin and fellow noise veteran, Crank Sturgeon. That particular recording was captured in some lucky individual’s living room in 2014. Both performers communicate on a completely unknown level, building tension and deforming their own voices beyond comprehension. Just like a long drip of saliva from a sedated person’s drawl, it’s extended in a confounding way until it inevitably breaks under its own weight, disappearing.
Side B is another collaboration, but this time Mich is accompanied by Djuna Keen on saxophone, Babs Van Kogelenberg on theremein, and Maarten Tibos on electronics. The recording itself is a bit more musical, but far more raw in its lo-fi approach. It reminds me of a free jazz record, and I’ve always referred to it as such to whomever I’ve played it for in these past few months.
In fact, it’s really a shame that I’ve only just now chosen to use this particular genre descriptor. Ludo Mich is, by all accounts, jazz, but noise and punk in equal measure as well.
May he live forever.
A1) Ludo Duet Two
B1) Materialization of the Intangible (Excerpt)