End Of Summer News. Click For Infos.
here we are again, with a bunch of new arrivals after the summer break (many many more to come in the next weeks)……
al maslakh (Lebanon) :
Mazen Kerbaj “BRT VRT ZRT KRT” [cd]
Mazen Kerbaj : Trumpet. recorded by mazen kerbaj at dahr el souan lebanon (tracks 1, 3, 8, 11 & 14 recorded on 15th of august 2004 at at new york).
Mazen Kerbaj / Sharif Sehnaoui / Christine Sehnaoui / Ingar Zach
rouba’i (ruba’i) – the arabic?word for quartet – was created in 2002 when three of the
pioneering?voices of free improvisation in beirut invited french percussionist le quân ninh to join them for a quartet (rouba3i1). the group?works as a trio with a guest percussionist each time. the 5th version with norwegian drummer ingar zach is the first one to be recorded.mazen kerbaj | trumpet, sharif sehnaoui | guitar, christine sehnaoui | alto sax, ingar zach | percussion.
Broken Face Recordings (Sweden) :
Volcano The Bear “Catonapotato” [cd]?
Certain things just need to be seen and heard to be believed. One of these things is to experience England, Leicester combo Volcano the Bear in the live setting. Nothing I ever say will accurately describe that evening last year when I made the trip down to the unlikely setting of their first Swedish gig (the art museum in Norrköping, a mid-sized town in Southern Sweden) but it goes without saying that it was a night of pure magic and brilliance. Volcano the Bear was formed in 1995 with the constant idea of being a group with uncompromising and boundless ideas, and they’ve always tried to aim for a live environment where they can do pretty much whatever they please. This results in a live show that beyond grandiose sonic qualities blends the very essence of key words such as surreal, shifting moods, myriad of instruments, humor, beauty and to a certain degree even self-indulgence. That being said, these sonic transgressors are not for everyone but if you’re a fan of free-form improvisations, free jazz, weird drones, pagan folk, whimsical acoustic pieces, disjointed percussive riffs, crackling electronics and actually own more than one record by either the Sun City Girls, This Heat, Faust, Residents, The Shadow Ring or Captain Beefheart than you owe it to yourself to check these cats out. If you’re not as lucky as me when it comes to attending Volcano the Bear shows I am happy to report that Catonapotato is a perfect example of what they are capable of in the live setting. All eight tracks presented here were recorded live by the duo of Aaron Moore and Nick Mott at four different occasions in 2004. These four shows took place in Leicester (England), Paris (France), Norrköping (Sweden) and Sheffield (England) and all broadcasts different sides of this talented duo. The number of styles explored throughout seems endless, though words like free, folk and jazz keep popping into my head. Catonapotato is not necessarily free jazz or free folk, but it does indeed display music that is completely free from any sort of constraint and structure. It just floats along however it wants to with the aid of squeaking and skronking horns, corrosive string massage and hypnotic drums that more than once approaches the tribal. It’s mainly an instrumental affair although some vocals come up on a few tracks and as if all this wasn’t enough we’re served some incongruous electric guitar rhythms that recalls the Sun City Girls at their very best. All in all, it’s just a brilliant sonic excursion down a musical path very few are brave enough to follow these days, and along the way the band manages to explain exactly why the true environment for Volcano the Bear is the live setting. If you never have come across this band before I honestly believe that you never have heard anything quite like it. This is meditation music for the drone/noise generation.
Kranky (US) :
Keith Fullerton Whitman “Multiples” [cd]
multiples was recorded at the harvard university studios, where a stash of vintage synthesizers and electronics was made available to keith fullerton whitman during his time as a lecturer there. the eight tracks on multiplesflow through hit hat shimmer to skull-scraping electronic tones to interlocking clusters of repetition. this is whitman’s most inclusive and developed album yet. the limited edition antithesis and schöner flu§engel lps released in 2004 showed the range of whitman’s interests, multiples integrates them into a complete work. keith fullerton whitman has described himself as being enamored of “hyper-programmed rhythms & concrète sounds, bleeding freakout guitar, beach-boys style sweet harmony, eastern euro-prog, vintage synth burbles, classic-era minimalism, early mainframe computer music, fluxus-lineage borderline nonsense, complete and utter chaos, doomy chamber pop, and quiet melancholy.” his solo work for kranky has expanded from the processed guitar drones of playthroughs to the tribal psych ritual of “schnee” on the antithesis lp and on to the ominous miasma of schöner flu§engel. multiples is a fusing of these strains of interest and ability into an effective whole.
Mosz (Austria) :
Peter Rehberg “Fremdkoerper” [cd]
Peter Rehberg born 1968, is an author and performer of electronic audio works living and working in Vienna, Austria. Rehberg has given numerous live performances both solo and collaborative all over the world. He has collaborated live and in studio with – amongst others – Jim O’Rourke, Christian Fennesz, Tujiko Noriko, Kevin Drumm, Russell Haswell, Florian Hecker, Ramon Bauer, Carlos Giffoni, Mika Vainio, Zbigniew Karkowski, Sonic Youth, Rosy Parlane, Keith Rowe,Marcus Schmickler, Meg Stuart, Jade, Lasse Marhaug, SUNNO))), Z’ev, Gisele Vienne, Dennis Cooper, as well as being a member of MIMEO.
“Fremdkoerper” [mosz007] is a collaboration with choreographer Chris Haring. It’s not rehberg’s first work for a choeography. He has composed music for dance companies before [like DACM, Meg Stuart etc]. Haring’s dance production is about alienation, alienated bodies. Rehberg focusses on this ‘leitmotif’ – his sounds are quite weird – drones and dramatic scores alternate, being put in a rather unsettling way. Unlike Rehberg’s last release on häpna – “Get Off” – “Fremdkoerper” lacks of structuring dramaturgy. The single tracks are mounted to an atmospheric soundtrack changing with the movements of the dancers [which can’t be seen but imagined].
Naturestrip (Australia) :
Loren Chasse “The Air in the Sand” [cd]
The San Francisco based sound artist Loren Chasse is apt to describe the many facets of his work through a simple metaphor. For example, Chasse often qualifies his microphone as a physical extension of the ear, and site-specific environments become his ersatz studio and mixing board. Yet these metaphors extend far beyond the concept of sound construction and into sympathetic relationships with everything around him. On his critically acclaimed 2002 album Hedge of Nerves, he applied the often fetishized sound of vinyl crackle to elemental recordings of wind, sand, fire, wood, and surf for an album bristling with tactility whose complex details amassed into an transcendent, oceanic blur. This was not a mimesis of an antiquated technology dumped upon a digital production with the facade of “making something real,” but an abstracted coupling of complementary acoustics hopefully to engage the imagination of the audience.
For his most recent album The Air In The Sand, Chasse posits another metaphor: the composition as a diorama. Within his ideas about the sound diorama, Chasse exaggerates those sounds which he feels to be essential for a space and minimizes everything else. Again, the recording process of The Air In The Sand revolves around Chasse’s active participation within a particular environment. In these unspecified spaces, he broadcasts an array of drones, textures, and field recordings back into the sonic environment where they intermingle with the ambience of that location. Part of this process is an attempt to move away from the constraints of the digital workstation; but at the same time, Chasse is far more interested in the curious alchemy that occurs when a space listens to itself making sound. The nighttime chorus of crickets gurgles within aqueous percolations and the tectonic crash of surf crashing against rock. Elsewhere, rain vaporizes in a caustic sizzle as it falls upon overhead electrical wires, and this sound is compounded by the sharp crack of branches and the slow hiss of sand.
For all of the elemental sounds that dominate his recordings, Chasse extracts subtle musical timbres and fragile half-melodies that haunt The Air In The Sand. While some of Chasse’s recording techniques remain similar, it is important to note that Chasse sets this body of work (along with id battery and Coelacanth) outside of his ongoing pastoral contributions to the polyphonic Jewelled Antler constellation (e.g. Thuja, The Blithe Sons, Child Readers, and even his pseudonymous solo project Of.) With an emphasis placed upon location and its sonic ghosts, Chasse exposes something profoundly beautiful lurking in the shadows of the landscape. – Jim Haynes, June 05
Plop (Japan) :
Fenton “Pup” [cd]
Also known as the critically acclaimed artist Shuttle 358 on the NY based label 12k and of Germany’s Mille-Plateaux fame, Dan Abrams created quite a stir in the minimal electronic scene with his releases like Frame, Understanding Wildlife, and Chessa. Fenton turns a page for Dan, adding acoustic and processed electric guitars to his signature microsound aesthetic. This yields a familiar sound, perhaps even more accessible than Dan’s earlier work : “I always enjoy the beginning and endings of pop songs. I wanted to know what would happen if I made an album out of just those moments. The tracks on Pup are sketches, playfully jumping from the head and
tails of different songs in my mind, staying in that moment, never really going anywhere, but not needing to.”
Unsounds (Netherlands) :
The Cortet “HHHH” [cd]
Cor Fuhler has brought together a quartet of unique and unconventional improvisers that explore worlds of complex sonic textures with ensemble playing of the highest order. The sound world that is conjured on this CD owes as much to electronic music as to the free improvised music styles from which the musicians hail from, and although three of the four instruments are purely acoustic, it is the aesthetics of electronic music which have had a clear influence on their sound. Textures reminiscent of early synthesizer music and jagged sounds that could have originated from digital processing are replicated and transformed through purely acoustic and analogue means, whilst always retaining the fluid form of an improvised structure.
John Butcher who has pioneered a unique sound and technique on the saxophones, creates tones and resonances that reminds one of the crackling and sputtering of analogue synthesizers. Rhodri Davies, using various metal objects, such tambourine cymbals on a closely miked harp, brings to play his trademark abrasive sound world that functions more like a subterranean noise generator than the celestial associations that the instrument provokes. The highly prepared piano style of Cor Fuhler, which makes use of various electro-mechanical devices (including 12 ebows), makes the piano sound like never before ,at times like a sine-generator/overtone-cluster at other times like an electric zither, and every now and again perfectly timed chords on the keys that remind us of the orginal function of the instrument.
The only real electronic instrument, Thomas Lehn’s EMS synthi A , a classic analogue synth with a very rich sonic palette, as well as an archaic sounding spring reverb, is played with the gestures and expression of an acoustic instrument. The resulting music always retains a lightness and transparency of texture, sharp unexpected corners ,a quickness of communication between the musicians, and a cohesiveness as a group that blends so well together, that one is sometimes left wondering who exactly is playing what and how.
Giuseppe Ielasi – Fringes Recordings