Three 3" minis and a standard, new from Cathnor:
Adam Sonderberg - say no
An archival release from 2000-01, originally issued on Longbox. Interesting for me, as I'm a big fan of Adam's work over the last several years. The first track is great, very quiet, I imagine using some field recordings overlaid with soft pops; holds up beautifully today, very impressive for the time. A trio of brief cuts, one with Salvatore Dellaria on record player, another with Boris Hauf on computer, are less interesting in and of themselves but make ok elements in the suite of five presented here, sharp and crinkly. The last and longest features Geraldine Vo on accordion and if it's not quite so successful as the first, its intriguing combination of drones, lumpiness and subtle harshness points the way toward future Sonderberg work.
Mark Wastell - After Hours
One wonders how much simpler you can get, yet I find these 15 minutes very satisfying. A tubular bell with some computer processing, apparently, sounding in waves, the bell strike having had its initial attack blurred so that it wells to the forefront every 30 seconds or so, then it lolls there, like liquid finding its place in a jostled vessel, before the next muted peal. Totally easy to imagine this, in lesser hands, descending to new-agey levels, but somehow it doesn't. Don't ask me why.
Burkhard Beins/Michael Thieke/Luca Venitucci - Roman Tics
Percussion/objects/zither, clarinet/zither and accordion/preparations, respectively. Despite the Scrabbleisciousness of the interior design, this was the one of the bunch I couldn't quite get behind. Nothing seemed to gel for me, though there were several points where things appeared on the verge of doing so as when Beins initiates one of his fine, scraping drones several minutes in. It's a disc I might have preferred at greater length with more time for development.
Phil Durrant/Lee Patterson/Paul Vogel - Buoy
One fine, solid release here, excellent from start to finish. Durrant (self-made software samplers and treatments), Patterson (field recordings, amplified objects and processes) and Vogel (clarinet and electronics) construct five marvelously varied lattices of sound, gritty and dusty here, liquid and roiling there--sometimes simultaneously--with great depth and detail and unfailingly fascinating texture and sequencing. Vogel integrates his clarinet beautifully throughout, especially in conjunction with a series of low, fluttery sounds deriving from (I think) wind/water tapes and electronics in the third track. But there's not a dull moment to be found, one evocative soundscape after another. Check it out.