Friday, October 17, 2008

Trio Sowari - Shortcut (potlatch)

These fellows (Phil Durrant, Burkhard Beins and Bertrand Denzler) occupy a nice zone within eai, more scratchy than most, more nervous perhaps but never, in my experience, overbearing. They divide things in 13 cuts here, including five brief pieces at the start totaling about 3 1/2 minutes. Beins, the other evening, mentioned something about wanting the disc to unfurl in chapters, beginning with brief flashes, then expanding. Works very well. Hard (for me) to describe without going into more detail than I have tie for. Suffice it to say that Trio Sowari's particular blend is unique, tangy and unfailingly rewarding. Good stuff. potlatch

blanco estira nuestro (+), hermana Helice (Socrates Martinis) (entracte/absurd)

A 45rpm EP, constructed by Martinis, a young fellow I'm otherwise unaware of, using filed recordings and treatments. I know, I know, sounds like more of the same, but it's really good. Not sure of the sources here, but he's apparently done work with far off airplane sounds before and it's possible that resurfaces here. Steady, complex hums and wheezing, very aerated. More violent episodes punctuate parts of the piece ".oeur (S+C)", but generally it cruises along, picking up the odd scrape and enhanced rustle along the way. Nice work. More info here.

Who knew it was already time for an Isolationism revival? Ah, those Dark Ambient days of the early 90s, all threatening, metallic drones, sludgy Laswellian bottom, cavernous echoes, throbbing bass...Well, not much of the latter here, but the general tone brings those times to mind, though perhaps necessarily with less urgency. (btw, remember when AMM was included on that Isolationism double disc put out by Virgin?) The second track here, "Recurring Dream" gets some cool whizzing action going, but overall, the music's occupying a space that I find tough to drum up much interest for. Listeners pining for some 2008 Scorn or Namlook could do worse, though. topheth prophet

Toshiya Tsunoda - The Argyll Recordings (edition.t)

The first release on his own label, this one pretty much defies criticism, but it's....great? Dunno, but I enjoy having it on. Two discs, the first begins with four tracks that alternate between "ground" (presumably some wind, if little else) and grass (mics placed in windswept, tall grass), followed by two done at waterside. I take it Tsunoda employs some degree of manipulation after that fact, but damned if I know what. They're just there, pretty much impermeable to comment. The second disc is split into two equal halves. The first is fantastic, a "wire fence recording", which I gather is just that, in some amount of breeze and other atmospheres; sounds wonderful. The second half is a simple 440hz sine wave; each lasts about 27 minutes. I admit to being baffled as to the opposed parts. I guess one could imagine a kind of diptych where the left half is a rendering of some scene, the right a slab of pure color, though I can't quite understand why one would do so apart from attempting to prove some basic equivalency, kind of a humdrum idea. Anyone who has thoughts on this piece, please advise.


Tilbury's Cardew biography is finally in hand as of last evening. Only read through the acknowledgment and preface thus far, slavering for the rest. John's very formal in these portions, very much the genteel, polite individual, very much how he is in person. So, now I have my benchmark (*gulp*). Just give me a quarter-century....

On a lighter note, I'm having a ball reading Shalom Auslander's "Foreskin's Lament", a memoir about growing up in an Orthodox Jewish community in the 70s and 80s and subsequent trying to break free. Exceedingly funny and biting.


robert said...

Hey Brian,

I've been curious for some reports on that Trio Sowari so thanks for the words. But I'd like to get a frame of reference, how would you describe Three Dances and how would you compare this one to that one?

I'm with you on the Cardew bio, can't wait to really dive in. My weekend plans are to spend some quality time with it.

Brian Olewnick said...

I'd have to relisten to the other disc to say for sure--which I don't have time to do now--but my recollection of it is that we're roughly in a similar sound-world. I did review that one for Bags a few years back: here

robert said...

Thanks Brian. Its been a long time for me as well, but I seem to recall finding Three Dances kinda bland. But reading your old Bags review you speak of it being "rough-n-tumble", "granular" "rough-edged" which doesn't jive at all with my memory. Maybe I'll play it again, but eh, maybe I'll just skip this new one as well. No shortage of stuff I'm sure I'll be into.

Allon Kaye said...

Re: Socrates Martinis

Thanks for your kind words, Brian.
A minor correction, if I may — although this work is indeed by Socrtates Martinis, it is presented under his blanco estira nuestro (+), hermana Hélice pseudonym. There isn‘t an overall title, just track names: ‘Cylindre.‘ and ‘.oeur (S+C)‘.

Brian Olewnick said...

Thanks for the clarification, Allon. I was a little confused about what was what. :-)