Music Reviews



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Artist: Domenico Sciajno
Title: Sequens
Format: CD
Label: Bowindo Recordings (@)
Rated: *****
A proper composition (composed in 1999 as an homage to Luciano Berio’s, 'Sequens') by co-operator of Bowindo Recordings, Domenico Sciajno, in four parts, combining composed parts with improvision (in this case the composer’s editing of original material). The description for the composition of the piece is as follows: recordings of the Berio piece were digitized and reedited by Sciajno (some places quite obviously, adding to the textural vocabulary of the pieces) along with the addition of a sequens of his own. The resulting composition presents us with remix essentially. I’m not sure if this is 12-tone or not, but it definitely sounds modern. Short fragments of notes in combination with long statements by various instruments (flute, harp, voice, piano, trombone, viola, oboe, violin, clarinet, trumpet, guitar bassoon, accordion, alto sax, soprano sax, contrabassoon). No melody to speak of. With this kind of musical expression you can approach it in two ways, through the written score in front of you (available on the artist's web site), or the overall impression created by the performance. Does it engage the attention? Does it give some kind of pleasurable stimulus (that’s the point of music isn’t it)? I’d say yes to that. The element of surprise is usually the way I deal with this style of avant-gardism. It surprises and definitely engages the attention. It’s music appreciation here folks and I appreciate it.
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Artist: Domenico Sciajno & Kim Cascone
Title: Hyaline
Format: CD
Label: Bowindo Recordings (@)
Rated: *****
Another great Bowindo release pairing the longtime sound artist Kim Cascone on laptop with Domenico Sciajno with his Max/Msp processing. According to the dictionary "hyaline" describes something as glassily transparent. Take that for what it’s worth. Looking in or looking out would work here. Not really sure who’s doing what. Both fit well together creating deep tones, atmospheres, ambiences, rhythms, rhymes and reasons to listen. Like listening to neurons firing. Mysterious and spacey at times. The five pieces work well in either reduced or normal volume listening environments.
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Artist: Domenico Sciajno & Gene Coleman
Title: Diospyros
Format: CD
Label: Bowindo Recordings (@)
Rated: *****
Four longish tracks from this duo of Domenico Sciajno (who runs Bowindo) who processes the Bass Clarinet performance of Gene Coleman in real time with Max/Msp in real time. What we have here is not actual tunes but textures, mostly thin and agitated, but sometimes fuller and serene. At times its hard to hear where one stops and the other starts. Very modern, very abstract. A good combination of sounds demanding some attention, but a rewarding listen all the same if the above description appeals to you.
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Artist: O Paradis
Title: La Corte del Rey Pescador
Format: CD
Label: Tourette Records (@)
Rated: *****
Cool mixture of Spanish romantic croon neo-folk and cut n’ paste, drum loops, and accordions. If that sounds like a strange combination to you it still works. I have no idea what he’s singing but his voice is not a little hypnotic . Like walking up on a street singer and being held by the sound of his voice with the sounds of the city streets bleeding into the mix from a hundred boomboxs. Not afraid to be dark. This is Demain’s tenth release, the second on American label Tourette. A 20-minute CD packaged with another mini-CD by Escama Serrada. A limited edition of 300 copies. Each disk in its own digipak and wrapped with an obi and hand-numbered.


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Artist: Escama Serrada
Title: La Reine esta Mala
Format: CD
Label: tourette records (@)
Rated: *****
The companion mini-CD to the disk by O Paradis. One can see why they were released together. They share a sensibility, while not a straight imitation: the use of found sound, sampled recordings, cut and paste; although Escama is much darker and experimental. While O Paradis uses the sampled material as a spice, the experimental side is the meat for Escama. He also sings, but his voice is usually effected. Demian of O Paradis masters this disk. A limited edition of 300 copies. Each disk in its own digipak and wrapped with an obi and hand-numbered.

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