The wall of guitar amps! Soft Power Ensemble Of Vienna @ Fluc, Vienna

Eleven people gathering on stage in front of a wall of guitar amps make quite a lot of racket. An electric guitar orchestra creating both tribal and – at times – even groovy psychedelic noise and freeform ambient soundscapes might indeed be challenging, but has proven once again to be interesting to watch and feel.
Founded lately and emanating from the “Viennese chapter” of the Yuri Landman Ensemble and therefore featuring prepared guitar techniques as well as string instruments built in workshops with the dutch luthier (, the Soft Power Ensemble Of Vienna tore apart the venue with abrasive and distorted sounds.
In the Yuri Landman Ensemble performance on Waves Festival 2013 that was conducted by Landman himself, similar, but not quite the same kind of soundscapes were created. Then, whirring guitars reminded one definitely of No-Wave founding father Glenn Branca’s works, whereas last week, in Soft Power Ensemble’s “world premiere” debut concert at fluc, we witnessed a rather industrial-esque, noisy ritual with well known musicians out of both the indie rock and experimental/free jazz/free noise scenes of Vienna, obviously sharing the love for guitar-based “instant composition” and “parametric improvisation”. Among the ensemble’s guitar players we’ll find Margaret Unknown, Eric Arn of Primordial Undermind and Markus Reiter of The Maybe Men as well as many others, nonetheless dedicated people.
Electric guitar ensembles, everybody needs one.

Text: Maurizio Massaro
Photos: Svetlomir Slavchev
Camera: Svetlomir Slavchev / Lennart Reymann