Music Reviews

Artist: Erik Friedlander/Scott Solter
Title: No Compass: Solter resets Friedlander
Format: 10"
Label: SkipStone (@)
Rated: *****
The starting point of this sonic tidbit by sound engineer, producer and mixer Scott Solter is "Broken Arm Trio", the acclaimed release that his friend Erik Friedlander tributed to the legendary jazz bassist Oscar Pettiford who took up cello after breaking his arm (!), but don't except to find the stylistical constituents (jazz, chamber music, bluegrass, folk and klezmer) Erik added to his musical recipe. Erik himself gave carte blanche to Scott, who fudged on the intrinsic codes by Friedland in order to boost and boast his distinctive art of remixing. Burrs of cello tunes sound pan-fried on the initial "Full Chroma", whereas Scott seems to push them into higher orbit of the deep space within a space capsule on the following "Columbarium", hide Friedlander's sound in disguise of Adolf Woelfli's flippantly schizoid style and rhythmic swirling on the amazing "Assault by St.Wolfli", depict an intriguing embodiment of horror vacui on "Drifting Pyre, No Moon" and parachute cello into a funnel cloud on "Steppe Dub". It's almost unnecessary to spotlight the fact that melodic and rhythmical elements of original themes have been wisely camouflaged by Solter, whose remixing art lies on the manipulation of preeisting material. "My usual remixing technique is to manipulate only the existing multitrack material and not introduce new content such as beats, instruments etc. In some ways my method doesn't always respect the original work, but I'm less interested in that than in discovering a song's troubled siblings. I just pull up the tracks, choose the content that moves me and set about manipulating, eviscerating, expanding, cutting, destroying'¦ ', Scott said while describing his reset of Friedlander's stuff. The only flaw of this release is its short duration, as it sounds like an appetizer which might not satisfy eagerer listeners.

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