NSI. Non Standard Institute, is the partnership of Tobias Freund and Max Loderbauer, and if you know these names, you will know to expect only the unexpected from their collaboration. On recordings for Cadenza, Sähkö and Freund’s own Non Standard Productions label, they have ranged from convulsive experimentation to ultra-minimal techno, from test-tone fugues to electro-acoustic improvisation involving piano and live electronic processing. And the recordings are only half the story: while NSI's live performances are scarce, owing to the intimidating heft of the duo's expansive setup, they have been equally non-standard affairs, examples of the true potential of live electronic performance, rather than Ableton-aided experiences in playback.
If any single word sums up NSI's approach, it's eccentricity: not in the sense of being weird for the sake of weirdness, but in its spatial, elliptical connotation, as deviating from a circular path. Repetition, the lifeblood of electronic music, is key to NSI's approach, but nothing in their music ever happens the same way twice. This is thanks primarily to the fact that NSI don't merely program, but rather play their instruments in real time. (You could, in fact, call it real-time programming, code-crunching with an analog underpinning and lots of twisting wrists.)
Max Loderbauer studied sound engineering, was Germany’s serviceman for the Fairlight Sampler, toured Europe, America and Japan as Sun Electric together with Tom Thiel from 1990 to 2000, one of his latest releases was together with Moritz von Oswald Trio and Re: ECM together with Ricardo Villalobos.
Tobias Freund worked as a sound engineer for 18 years, is Sieg über die Sonne together with Martin Schopf (Dandy Jack), released under his Alias Pink Elln, together with Uwe Schmidt as Atom™ & Tobias and under his main techno / house project, Tobias.
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