Music Reviews

thirty9thirty8: thirty9thirty8

 Posted by John Gore   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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May 21 2008
Artist: thirty9thirty8 (@)
Title: thirty9thirty8
Format: CD
Label: Flattened Planet (@)
Rated: *****
thirty9thirty8 (Terrence McManus-guitar; Dave Ballou-trumpet; Devin Gray-drums) swim the sea of experimental free-jazz (or is it post-free-jazz? I can’t tell these days). All I really care is whether the music engages me. There’s plenty of improv going on here. How much of it comes from actual composition is not apparent to me, but does that matter? The end result should be the final criteria, whether all the processes work to bring about a satisfying result. What I missed was a bass to anchor the whole thing. But the various timbres and rhythms at play of all three instruments gives us enough variation to keep the interest going through the whole disk. Music like this takes more than one listen to start clicking.

Ghost in the House: Ghost in the House

 Posted by John Gore   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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May 21 2008
Artist: Ghost in the House
Title: Ghost in the House
Format: CDS (CD Single)
Label: Edgetone Records (@)
Distributor: IOD Alliance
Rated: *****
Mixing the sounds of oboe, English horn, lap steel guitar, and various percussion instruments Ghost in the House (David Michalak-lap steel guitar, buffalo drum; Karen Stackpole-gongs, percussion; Kyle Bruckmann-oboe, English horn; Tom Nunn-crustacean, water phone & other original invemtions) creates an exotic world of ancient ritual and lysergic tableau. I lean towards ancient Egypt, but you may hear something else. Very dreamlike at times, as in good or bad dream. Regardless, a very different trip in whatever way you want to understand the word.

Music From the Film : Playfully Abrasive

 Posted by John Gore   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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May 21 2008
Artist: Music From the Film
Title: Playfully Abrasive
Format: CD
Distributor: CD Baby
Rated: *****
Self-styled as electro acoustic noise MFTF, the solo project of Gary Young (aka Pastor Irrelevant, member of New Killers On The Block, Drooling Zoomers, Bone Bunny, and Entfred), accompanied by Arthur Harrison on theremin and "cacophonator," gives us 24 tracks of sonic mayhem, most tracks under three minutes. Lots of jumping around from instrument to instrument and the occasional processed vocal sample. This has a very cartoon feel to it, combined with an unrestricted, free spirit of expression. Think Pee Wee’s Playhouse and the Residents and you’ll be close.

Yann Novak : In Residence

 Posted by John Gore   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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May 21 2008
Artist: Yann Novak (@)
Title: In Residence
Format: CD
Label: Dragon's Eye Recordings (@)
Rated: *****
Three untitled tracks of subtly layered tones and pulses building a dark, unsettling, and somewhat claustrophobic "ambient" space in which to act or not to act. Mesmeric or soporific depending on your prevailing mood, attention and listening volume. Not all that original but what is nowadays. Very nice regardless. Limited edition CDR of 250 copies.

THE ANTRIPODEAN COLLECTIVE : the Massacre of the Egos

 Posted by Andrea Ferraris (@)   Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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May 19 2008
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Title: the Massacre of the Egos
Format: CD
Label: Extreme (@)
Rated: *****
"It all started with a contemporary-classic piano intro... " this could have been the incipit of a book, but it’s the intro of the first track instead and it’s the debut of what we can without doubt define as an all star band featuring Paul Grabowsky (piano), Scott Tinkler (trupet), John Rodgers (violin), Philip Rex (double bass) and Ken Edie (drums). The opening song of this release is good but I think it’s nothing but a morsel if compared to the richer banquet following: in the middle of the tracklist they’re gonna cook such a delicious dinner you will hardly forget the taste. After the fourth or fifth listening I’ve to admit this’ probably of the few real "free" releases I’ve heard in ages, with this I mean this’ far from the last and useless reinterpretation of Ornette Coleman with all those prepackaged intersections, in "the Massacre of the Egos" the Collective took that original idea and turned it into something else. While the opening "scrawl" still presents some physical jazz splinters in-between dissonance and abstraction, the crew crosses the border with the second episode and never makes it back home. After the initial display of muscular power The Antripodean Collective gets rarefied and in some episodes embraces what in painting would be pointillism, differently from the average electro-acoustic combo they don’t stop at the door of technical dogmas of a genre and the instrumental dialogue at some point becomes really intense ("The need to have the last say"). Don’t worry if you think you’ve already seen all of the colors you’re wrong, that’s why in "Conference of the Baboons" they can compete fearlessly with the best team-works of Painkiller, despite the different global background, the Collective is only more relaxed, less distorted but in someway they’re not that far. If according to Ken Vandermark when speaking about Marsalis, it’s true that someone has institutionalized jazz turning it into wallpaper music, I guess this ship flies the jolly roger.

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