Sunday, May 03, 2009
Annette Krebs/Rhodri Davies - Kravis Rhonn Project (another timbre)
Very strong, extremely well integrated set, Krebs and Davies meshing perfectly; had I been told this was a (complex) solo set, I'd have accepted that. There's a wonderful gliding aspect to much of the music here, maybe set into motion largely by Davies, a kind of slow, up and down swoop, that's quite entrancing, all the more so when adorned with pebbles of taped sounds, gritty static, etc. Great balance of soft dronage, occasional quasi-rhythms, super-sensitive inclusion of quiet voices--next to impossible to describe to any degree of satisfaction, but that's usually the case with something as beautifully positioned as this. Mandatory.
Max Eastley/Rhodri Davies - Dark Architecture (another timbre)
[No cover image available at this time, I don't think]
I don't think I'd heard Eastley's music since the old Obscure LP. My loss and foolishness. This is an absolutely lovely and entrancing site recording with contributions from Eastley's sound sculptures (presumably mechanically induced, though as natural sounding as could be, including firework-like bangs), his arc (described on his MySpace page as "a monochord of wood and wire, which is scraped, bent and flexed into an orbit of amplified effects"--I pause to note that the music which surfaces from that page is somewhat surprising, to me, given the present recording) and Davies, seemingly staying pretty much with his ebow on the harp. Not all smoothness and light--it grows quite troubled at points--but dwells in the space very convincingly. Might lose a bit of steam in the last few minutes, but an engrossing disc overall.
EKG - Electricals (another timbre)
Kyle Bruckmann (oboe, english horn, analogue electronics) and Ernst Karel(trumpet, analogue electronics) concentrate, as implied by the title, on the non-acoustic portion of their arsenal here, fashioning five fine pieces again, as with the previous releases, balancing the crunchy with the smooth, the fluttery with the grainy buzz. I get a subtle narrative flavor here as well; much of this music would work very well in partnership with visuals. When the horns do emerge, it's often quite effective in a plaintive, melancholy manner. The structures are off-center enough that I find new facets on each hearing, always a good sign. Good stuff.
Octante - Lúnula (another timbre)
The second recording by this quartet (Ruth Barberán, trumpet. speaker, microphones/Alfredo Costa Monteiro, accordion, objects/Ferran Fages, oscillators, pick-ups/Margarida Garcia, electric double bass) if I'm not mistaken, their first since 2003. More forceful than I might have anticipated, very rich and...whatever the adjective is for the sound of rubbing on surfaces of various textures and tensile qualities. It sometimes sounds, on the first of the two long tracks, that all four are deliciously drawing bows across multiple parts of their respective instruments. The second track begins with more space, more separation of instruments and perhaps nods a bit toward efi. It gradually splays out nicely though, seeping into far, quiet corners, before regrouping for some fine, harsher dronage and skronk.
Four solid, strong releases, all of which I'd recommend hearing. Nice job, Simon.
Available in the US from erstdist