Friday, September 26, 2008

And three more...

The Epicureans (David Gross/Saxophone, Ricardo Donoso/Drums, Ryan McGuire/Bass) - Introducing the Epicureans (Semata)

Annoying group name (a play on the fine film, The Aristocrats?), seriously irritating track titles ("Scum of the Earth" [what, Zorn circa 1988?] & "Not Produced by John Cale but Don't You Wish It Was" [erm, no]), Not my cuppa, too itchy and scratchy, but it does work well enough on its own terms; it fills the canvas as we used to say in art school, and does so efficiently. At its best when soft, though the trio runs the gamut.

Greg Kelley - Self-Hate Index (Semata)

First solo Kelley in a little while, I think pretty much unmodified (not that it's important but, if so, I've no idea how he does certain things). I'm pretty sure the first track, for instance, was achieved by attaching a contact mic to a horsefly while it was being tortured by a small child. Kelley ranges from delicacy to extreme noise here, as usual my favorites being when the former is more in play. The second track, "These are distractions", is particularly gorgeous as it navigates from abstraction to pure tones. Nice record. semata

Katsura Yamauchi - Houri (Salmo Fishing)

Odd. Yamauchi overdubs himself on sopranino, soprano, alto and baritone saxophones, between two and six reeds per track (18 of them, usually fairly short). It's very tame, kinda like WSQ at its most clean and polite, sometimes referencing Rahsaan, more often having a certain European sound, even particularly a Dutch one, hearkening to Breuker, ICP, etc. Strangely un-Asian except for a cut or two including one ("Chikushi") which seems directly derived from Korean hojok music. The other good cut is an 8-minute improvisation which is a fine confluence of soft sounds, drones and key pops. Overall, though, pleasant but bland. Available from erstdist


Richard Pinnell said...

hey Brian, were you in a grumpy mood when you wrote those last brief reviews??!! :D

I'm surprised to read your description of the Yamauchi disc, I had high hopes for his music judging from what I'd heard so far.

Personally, I've struggled to enjoy the Kelley solo so far. I'm not sure why but its not connected with me yet.

Jon said...

I'm bringing home a handful of tour-only Yamauchi live CD-Rs of a show he did in Berlin last year, I'd guess those would be more in the abstract direction than this one.

NP: Keith's solo set from last weekend. pretty sure this will be ErstLive 007 if I get the go-ahead from Keith, fucking incredible and pretty much zero overlap with The Room.

Brian Olewnick said...

Yeah, I was surprised by the Yamauchi as well.

No, not too grumpy. :-) I admit it's rather unfair, but I think most of us agree that there can be certain exterior characteristics (of anything, but here CDs) that cause one to wince upon encounter. Like track titles. One attempts, of course, to discount that when listening--but who knows how successful that endeavor is? But things like group name and cut titles at least imply (or can imply) a certain stance toward one's...listening public, a pose, if you will. If that stance is in accord with one's own demeanor, all well and good. If not, it runs the "danger" of embedding a prejudice that needs to be overcome in the listener.

In any case, as mentioned, the area plumbed by the Epicureans isn't so much in my realm of interest, so my comments should be taken with that in mind. But i can surely understand others more in tune with their approach enjoying the disc.

purply words said...

the greg kelley disc does seem to be mostly or all trumpet-sourced, but with occasional production. the first track must have some analog or tape effects introduced at some point, but (speaking as a trumpet player) what makes greg's solo records so special is how he makes the distinction between live performance and studio production so hard to discern.