Music Reviews

Artist: Dafna Naphtali and Gordon Beeferman
Title: Pulsing Dot
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: clang
“Pulsing Dot” represents a truly interesting collaboration that takes Gordon Beeferman’s avantgarde and edgy piano playing and feeds it to Dafna Naphtali who uses live processing and electronics to twist and compliment it on the fly. Naphtali also adds sparse and sympathetic vocalised elements.

Five lengthy pieces each evolve with ebbing levels from quiet to cacophony. Opener “Transmission” is imbued with a very sinister and foreboding tone, the alien bass notes and tensely hammered high piano keys feeling very suspenseful. “Surface Disturbances” is a more staccato affair, both voice and piano being used in a more spontaneous and percussive manner that’s rather theatrical. That attitude continues through “Ozone Tongues” which explores the lower registers more resonantly, adding warbling, slightly throat-singing-esque vocal wails as it progresses.

The well-thought-out evolution continues into “Elegy For Bones”, where the rumbling becomes more bubbly, the piano notes more pure and the vocal more operatic as it slowly unfolds into something more like a sonic daylight. “Orbiter” loops us back to a more frantic and again quite theatrical environment of short and fast-triggered vocals racing against relentless piano runs, which towards the end feels like it’s slowing, before a U-turn and build to a chaotic climax.

The result overall has the essence and energy of 1960’s experimental classical and electronic music, when this kind of performance would truly have felt like a new frontier, but baked with modern sharp-edged digital production touches that make it modern. It travels quite deep and doesn’t always brim with energy, but nevertheless it’s an interesting ride and a very successful collaboration.

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