Music Reviews

Title: favorite encores
Format: CD
Label: Pogus
Rated: *****
I’ve not happened that many times to review a split record that puts together two contemporary composers and I still find it quite unusual, but maybe it’s just a side effect of my infinite ignorance and it’s not that unordinary, by the way it’s interesting: maybe the contemporary music pushed so far that in someway it has become some sort of "punk thing" and for it may sound like a joke, attitudinally this could be truer than true. Forgive my stupid introduction and let’s see what Creshevsky and Al Margolis (If, Bwana) have to offer, I’ll start with Margolis/If, Bwana that here proposes three gloomy tracks dealing with contemporary classic music deeply immerged in electronics. Despite the fact that it could be ambiguous I’ll start by saying say this composer if compared to some European masters of the genre is less glacial while creating something that most of the times really reminded me of a new millennium answer to Bruno Maderna and that alone could be a great point of interest. If, Bwana use of electronics is really appealing since aesthetically it could be much closer to some unlearned electronic experimental artists than to a conservatory trained composer, for example he’s really into filling the sound scenario and differently from many contemporary musician he’s not that fixated on the use of silence/pauses. When Margolis adds Lisa Barnard’s voice in "Cicada #4" is brilliant: can you imagine a Meredith Monk-alike vocals electronically stretched and floating on a pulsing electronic loop?’s something quite close to that idea. Creshevsky studied composition both with Nadia Boulanger and Luciano Berio and leaves us four interesting tracks where he shows us his passion for defragmenting and reconstructing pre-existing materials, in the first track he plays with some violin samples creating a bizarre psychotic composition and even if I’ve had the impression Creshevsky likes really much the sound of this instruments, the rest of his works on this split are quite varied. In "Shadow of a doubt" you have what sounds as a complex orchestral collage where the composition comes out of an interesting cut and paste, as Margolis Creshevsky gives us an interesting display of vocal reworking (the singer is Chris Mann) and if you ever heard David Moss, I’m sure you’re able to imagine the kind of singing (electronically obtained) that dialogues with a violin. While both using electronic music, here we have a good example of two intriguing and really different approach to contemporary electronic music, both composers have some interesting points even if according to my personal opinion If, Bwana’s tracks could be more accessible to an "abstract electronic oriented crowd".

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