Music Reviews



Richard Glover: Logical Harmonies

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
 Edit (8354)
Aug 09 2014
cover
Artist: Richard Glover (@)
Title: Logical Harmonies
Format: CD
Label: Another Timbre (@)
Rated: *****
Even if it got delivered by CeReNeM - acronym of Centre for Research in New Music,an international group of academics, sound artists, postgraduate students as well as some funded research and honorary fellows of University of Huddersfield - some months after its official release date in November 2013, this collection of seven pieces by UK young composer Richard Glover is an interesting assay of so-called process music, whose illusory simplicity and instrumental naivete' fed the synonymy with minimalism. Most "algorithms" inspect the alterations of harmony by focusing on a few variable elements and just one constant element of the composition, where listeners could vividly perceive a strange encountering between catharsis and decay besides correlation coefficients and logical-mathematical sets: for instance, harmony itself seems to wither over the six minutes of "Beatings In A Linear Process", where the consonance of clarinet, cello and violin is just an illusion as when two of the three instruments seem to reach the same pitch, one of them fades out; the variable proportionality between silent breaks and single tonal trails from cello, clarinet and piano on "Cello With Clarinet and Piano" could let you imagine the signals from an invisible ship in the middle of a nocturnal ocean; the slight tonal variations on Philip Thomas' piano-driven opening first part and final final part of "Logical Harmonies" could be the perfect soundtrack of time lapse photographic selfies which renders the process of ageing, while "Imperfect Harmony" which features Dominic Lash on double bass sounds like the iconic piece of the specific idea of harmony by Richard, where the somehow frigid implementation of logical processes to composition doesn't taint its capability of speaking to other spheres of human perception.

Unrepeatable Quartet: Edmonton 2012

 Posted by eskaton   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
 Edit (8353)
Aug 07 2014
problems
with image
availability
Artist: Unrepeatable Quartet (@)
Title: Edmonton 2012
Format: CD
Label: Public Eyesore (@)
Rated: *****
The Unrepeatable Quartet consists of Chris Dadge on percussion, Ellwood Epps on trumpet, Jack Wright on alto and soprano saxophone, and Scott Munro on trombone, viola, and electronics. Dadge also runs Bug Incision Records, and each of them also work in a host of other ensembles. This improvisation session was recorded at David Ferris' house in Edmonton in 2012 and now you can experience it as if you were there - and by the time you're done, you'll wish you were. This is amazing improvisation with lots of energy and variety. I get the sense that 'unrepeatable' is intentional ' they would have a hard time doing this the same way twice. This is not all in your face; there is a good mix of dynamics and quiet passages that keep it all interesting. One thing is certain ' they would be amazing to see live. A lot of the jazz I get to review doesn't really push the envelope much; this one does. Needless to say, you won't hear this on your local 'smooth jazz' station (which is a shame). Still, these are highly skilled musicians who manage to make order seem like chaos, which is no small feat. If you like experimental jazz, you need to get this. This album weighs in at around 33 minutes.

Dan Peck: Solo LP

 Posted by eskaton   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
 Edit (8352)
Aug 07 2014
cover
Artist: Dan Peck
Title: Solo LP
Format: 12"
Label: Tubapede Records (@)
Of all the instruments that come to mind when thinking about experimental music, tuba is pretty far down the list. Still, I have been reviewing for Chain DLK long enough that nothing really surprises me anymore, and here it is ' solo tube experimentation. But Dan Peck is no ordinary tubist. He also performs in Tony Malaby's Tuba Trio, a 'doom jazz' trio called 'The Gate,' and has collaborated with such improv notables such as Nate Wooley and Pete Evans. He also plays tuba and upright bass for the Broadway musical 'Chicago.' This album is the opening salvo from Tubapede Records, so let's see what it has to offer.

The text on the back of the record jacket provides a quote from Nikola Tesla, which reads 'The vibrations of the earth have a periodicity of approximately one hour and forty-nine minutes. That is to say, if I strike the earth this instant, a wave of contraction goes through it that will come back in one hour and forty-nine minutes in the form of expansion. As a matter of fact, the earth, like everything else, is in a constant state of vibration. It is constantly contracting and expanding. Now suppose that at that precise moment when it begins to contract, I explode a ton of dynamite. That accelerates the contraction. And in one hour and forty-nine minutes there comes an equally accerated wave of expansion. When the wave of expansion ebbs, suppose I explode another ton. . . and suppose this performance be repeated time after time. Is there any doubt as to what would happen? There is no doubt in my mind. The earth would split in two. For the first time in man's history, he has the knowledge with which he can interfere with cosmic processes.'

With this Tesla quote fresh in mind, we open up with "Longus Tonus," which, the label explains, is 'partially inspired by Karlheinz Stockhausen's collection of text pieces, From the Seven Days (1968)' and the press sheet that came with the album states that the composition 'references drone, spectralism, and sacred music, yet is none of those things.' From my standpoint, it seems that Peck is attempting to act on Tesla's promise by finding the low frequency of earth vibration. This track consists of silence punctuated by low tuba drones. And that's it. For the entire A side. Although I appreciate the concept of the track, the execution is rather boring (although some may call it minimal). I flip the record over and wonder if the experiment will continue, but am pleasantly surprised by 'Satanitorium,' which shows that yes, tuba can be used effectively in experimental music. Peck beats on the metal of the tuba and manages to get sounds out of it that seem downright unnatural. This frantic improvisation stands in stark contrast to the other track with squeals and squawks and continual banging and tapping on the horn. This was great fun to listen to and made me wonder how he managed to get all of those sounds out of one tuba by himself. Turns out that this track features overdubs of an amplified tuba fitted with a tenor saxophone mouthpiece. This is fantastic. I would love to see this happen in a live setting. As a whole, this is a mixed bag. Side A was musically not very interesting, if interesting conceptually, while side B was an excellent testament to what a tuba can do musically.

Dus-Ti: Ti EP

 Posted by eskaton   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
 Edit (8351)
Aug 07 2014
cover
Artist: Dus-Ti (@)
Title: Ti EP
Format: 12"
Label: Ti-Records (@)
Distributor: Broken Silence
Rated: *****
I know nothing about this duo and the website was little help. From what I could gather on the liner notes, the duo cosists of Pablo and Mirek, with one on trumpet and the other on drums. So let's get right to the music. Side A starts off with 'The Wind,' a slow, contemplative jazzy composition dominated by trumpet, which then moves to 'Jak To?' which is a more stripped down number. This is music for the late evening after all of the clubs have closed down and everyone is finally tired and ready to sleep. We flip the record and are greeted with 'Answer Me,' which is much more minimal than the A side and more free-form. This is what I like about jazz ' two people playing what seems to be different tempos and different compositions while still managing to have it all hang together well. 'Saturn' is much more experimental, with electronic manipulations and trumpet washing over percussion that finally takes a central role, rather than that of support. This is grittier, with a more urgent feel to it. The whole thing ends in what seems to be a locked groove. Both sides are good, but for different reasons. Side A demonstrates that Dus-Ti are serious musicians who are able to play more traditional jazz numbers, while side B shows their willingness to break the rules (such as there are any rules in jazz) while still keeping it engaging and fluid. You definitely won't hear this on your local jazz station any time soon, but this would be a good album for someone who wanted to hear some more accessible experimental jazz.

Doug Wieselman: From Water

 Posted by eskaton   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
 Edit (8350)
Aug 07 2014
problems
with image
availability
Artist: Doug Wieselman (@)
Title: From Water
Format: 12"
Label: 88 Records
Rated: *****
Doug Wieselman is a clarinetist best known for his work in Antony and the Johnsons, and he has worked with such figures as Lou Reed, Laurie Anderson, and Bill Frisell. As expected, he has an experimental slant and excellent musical skills, which shows through on this album. The album jacket states that 'This is music primarily made from melodies that I have heard from bodies of water ' ocean beaches, streams, hot springs as well as wind. These melodies sound to me like a chorus of exuberant voices. Each melody is specific to the place. If I return to a beach, even after many years, I hear the same song. I think this has something to do with what the earth can tell us, if only we can take the time and patience to listen. This is an attempt to share what I have been hearing, through the filter of my perception, from water.' For each of these tracks, Wieselman has a story about what spaces and bodies of water evoked these compositions, such as the California coast or a stream in the Catskills. If this sounds like something off a new age label like Narada circa 1990, you'd be wrong. If you think that this sounds pretty mellow, it is. We kick off side A with 'Train,' a peaceful composition, almost like an instrumental lullaby in its repetitiveness. 'Pacific 2' keeps the mellow vibe going with a track featuring mostly woodwinds. The A side concludes with 'Kepler 22b,' an interesting track that sounds almost like a folk dance done only with woodwinds and no percussion. Flipping the record over, we have some solo improvisation on 'Gloria Fleur Madre,' which Wieselman states is 'based on the song I heard in the wind, from the plains near the Catalonian mountain, Montserrat.' As the record continues, Wieselman continues with slow, peaceful compositions until 'Tennessee Valley (Choir)' mixes things up a bit by including vocals for the first time in the form of a choir. They are not singing a specific song, but rather singing tones and sounds. Wieselman explains, 'I wanted to include something in this collection that came close to the actual sound that I hear in water ' which sounds like a choir to me.' The album concludes much as it begun ' with peaceful clarinet. Overall, I didn't think this really pushed the envelope of experimental music, but I'm not sure that was ever his intent. I say this mainly because of likely expectations of our readership. Still, this was pleasant listening and the concept was interesting. It was peaceful without being cheesy; I suspect that this will stand up far better than old new age albums conceptualizing water have. If you want something to quietly relax to, this is one to pick up.


Search All Reviews:
[ Advanced Search ]

Chain D.L.K. design by Marc Urselli
Suffusion WordPress theme by Sayontan Sinha