Pita, Vienna Rhiz, 21 April 2009

This was a rare and all too brief live appearance by hometown hero Peter Rehberg, effortlessly demonstrating the warmth and emotional empathy that, in the right hands, can come out of laptop music. Standing impassively on the small stage of the darkened Rhiz, Rehberg focused intently on his Macbook, occasionally glancing over at a second machine to his right. The music began with slow, tense accretions that gradually uncoiled into an expansive dronescape, thick percussive stabs adding to the sense of foreboding. Before long, though, the epic third track from Rehberg’s epochal 1999 Get Out album came surging through the speakers, crushing everything in its path with its juggernaut melody and sense of delirious abandonment.

As the scouring blast of that extraordinary piece ebbed away, Rehberg continued to issue pulverising drones, networks of rhythmic patterning and the occasional desolate strand of melody. After half an hour it was over, and this most self-effacing, yet fiercely creative of musicians closed his laptop and left the stage.

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