After their one sided debut on KRAAK of a few years back and a collab with BL Saunders for a limited spoken word cassette, Razen mainly focused on live performance and experiments in different line-ups. On Rope House Temper the duo’s basic instrumentation (consisting of differ- ent string and wind instruments) is expanded with tabla, upright bass and hurdy gurdy.
The core business remains the same though: an intuitive quest for trance by means of improvisation and deep listening. Razen’s first real full album is a modernist approach to mystic transcendentalism, blending a passion for ethnic mind expansion and medieval music. Rope House Temper refers alternately to musical environments that were also invoked by the likes of Messiaen, C.C. Hen- nix, Angus MacLise and even Muslimgauze or Early Music Consort of London. Building towards a climactical false ending (‘AxRub’), the album finds a second breath in another 30 minute com- position in which Razen is both courted and abused by the genius of Andrew Liles. This closing ‘Aztek Vampire Riddles’ is a contagious and surreal journey, leaving the listener infected with the worst kind of sonic rabies. Folk music has become the new world’s ultimate schizofrenic, and it is brought to you from the heart of Europe, with a bullet.