Andy Guhl (*1952, St. Gallen, Switzerland) played double bass and percussion as a young teenager. At the age of 16 he turned to electronics and began experimenting with the sounds generated using low-voltage current and soldering technology. At the same time he was also taking lessons in classical double bass. He played in a duo, initially with various friends; then, in 1972, he began to form small improvisation ensembles with Gieri Battaglia, Norbert Möslang, Herbi and Bernhard Leuthold. The Möslang/Guhl formation first performed at amateur festivals; in 1977, they took part in the free-music festival organised by Free Music Production in Berlin, where the Deep Voices LP was recorded. Andy Guhl was also a founding member of Switzerland’s first musicians’ co-operative.
In 1984 the duo became Voice Crack, occasionally featuring additional musicians such as Stephan Wittwer, Carlos Zingaro and Günter Müller.
Voice Crack began cracking everyday electronics before developing the genre as cracked everyday electronics. By manipulating these objects to produce sounds, they broke down the traditional barrier between everyday items and musical instruments and their acoustic perception. In the 1990s the duo expanded their reach into visual representation of acoustic phenomena with several installations, including the Sound Shifting installation they presented at the 2001 Venice Biennale at the invitation of the Swiss Arts Council. In 2002 Andy Guhl began to branch out on his own with ever more innovative installations using audio-visual feedback in analogue electronic systems which he calls The Instrument, i.e. the expanded cracked everyday electronics. “For me, physics is a musical building block,” says Andy Guhl, “that allows you also to see what you’re hearing.”
Andy Guhl is a pioneer sound artist and one of the fathers of European electronic experimental music. As part of the Voice Crack and Poire_Z music formation, he has been a major influence on many generations of musicians and artists of the international underground and noise movements. He has released over 30 albums and performed at venues and exhibitions in more than 20 countries.