Monday, April 05, 2010
Birgit Ulher/Gregory Büttner - Tehricks (1000füssler)
A very attractive 3", containing three tracks. wherein Büttner channels computer-generated sounds through miniature speaker which Ulher uses as kinds of mutes for her horn, so the the electronic sounds reverberate in the bell and body while the actual trumpet sounds mingle with them, forming a nice little knot of sound. The music tends toward the quiet and active, Ulher gurgling and chirping, spacing her contributions aptly, aggressing where appropriate/ Similarly for Büttner, casting smallish sounds into the works like seeds or rice grains. The last cut in particular acquires a fascinating mix of soft crunches, taps and burbles, very savory.
Roel Meelkop - Grey Mass/Grey Matter (1000füssler)
A double-3" with six tracks, apparently assembled over some stretch of time. My experience with Meelkop's music isn't so extensive but I didn't really expect to hear "The Girl from Ipanema" show up. That's one element in this collection of sounds which ranges widely enough that it's bit bit tough to describe. Ont he one hand, they sound quite loose and natural, fluctuating between concrète and field recordings in a relaxed manner though I suspect there's much more "composition" in play. Whatever, they succeed in avoiding entirely the clunky sterility that besets (to my ears) much concrète music. The first "grey matter" piece (which are quieter than the "grey mass" ones) is an especially lovely merging of near-subsonic rumbles, bell and sine tones. Enjoyable, rich work; recommended.
Pascal Battus/Christine Sehnaoui Abdelnour - ichnites (Potlatch)
Battus plays small rotating surfaces, as from the inside of an old Walkman, using them to excite various materials; he does this pretty much non-stop. Sehnaoui Abdelnour plays alto and you might say is generally in a John Butcher-ish area. I find the pieces to busy and reactive in nature, the pair creating many an interesting texture but, once in the"busy" vein, not being obsessive enough about it to really absorb me, though this problem improves as the discs progresses. There are a few intense moments on the third track, "estocade & coulees" and next piece also gets into some juicy, deep-buzzing territory but even there, not enough purpose for my money. The final track, relatively brief at under five minutes, hints at what the pair is capable of. Here a real unity is achieved, an unforced singularity of purpose. Richard enjoyed it a great deal more, so take my view with a toss of salt; not bad, but only really satisfying in parts.
Tim Green/Massimo Magee/John Porter - Of an Evening (Array)
Green (drums/phone), Magee (Sopranino, clarinet, field recordings, multiple electronics, Porter (soprano). In which our friend Massimo and cohorts continue to just play, along the way perhaps looking to reconcile free jazz with at least a taste of eai? Not sure, though this fits far more comfortably in the former, sounding (given the instrumentation), much like an extension of the most outside work of Steve Lacy and sometimes Evan Parker. Though not my cuppa, they do a credible job though, as I often find to be the case, the music is stronger the "straighter" the musicians play, as in the last five or six minutes of the first cut with some very poignant soprano work from Porter. Much of the third track falls into this area as well--reminds me a little bit of early Joe McPhee. Nice sax duet to close out the disc as well.