Monday, May 10, 2010


Jonathan McHugh/Mark Wastell - Hydriotaphia (confront)

Yes, yes, I had to look it up, though the "taph" was leading me down funereal pathways. McHugh, on ARP2600 and mixing desk, and Wastell, on tam tam, provide 3/4 of an hour of fantastically rich dronage. The slow throb. I'm not sure if McHugh is processing Wastell's sound or only generating his own but most of the non-cymbal presences, aside from some static and high-pitched sine-like tones, seems to reside in the metal-sheet area. With most music like this, much of the success lies in the layering, both the choices of timbres and the introduction and removal of elements--this pair accomplished that superbly. It's at once solid and aerated, pausing for breath, welling up and floating on. It has that kind of cloud aspect for me, some finely striated, complex gas approaching, hovering, passing by. Very, very enjoyable and thoughtful work.

confront, via Sound 323


Koboku Senjû - Selektiv hogst (Sofa)

Koboku Senjû is Tetuzi Akiyama (guitar), Toshimaru Nakamura (no-input mixing board), Espen Reinertsen (saxophones, flute), Eivind Lønning (trumpet) and Martin Taxt (tuba)--a wonderful mixture of textures, first of all. Those colors are always evident, enlivening a track or two that might otherwise stall a bit, but the better pieces, especially the first and last cuts, are small gems. Akiyama stays on acoustic and leans toward melodic blues references--this is key, I think, toward impelling the quintet into slightly more tonal waters, where the music really solidifies and takes off. Perfect balance is achieved by Toshi as well; he's really a central element here, his electronics leavening the horns. Reinertsen's saxophone gets a bit to saxophone-y in a Gustafsson sense on occasion, but the pieces are never less than satisfying and sometimes a good bit more. Something about the set reminded me, generally speaking, of the Beins/Neumann "lidingo" on Erstwhile; not sure what, exactly. Strong release, really fine at its peak, looking forward to seeing them in a few weeks.

They'll be performing, among other places in Philadelphia on May 28th. I'll be there.

Sofa

8 comments:

Jesse said...

has an inaccuracy about erstwhile records really been on the internet for FOUR hours already? ;)

crow said...

God help me for caring, but that wasn't me.

:^D

Jon said...

hehe, Kud.

Beins/Neumann was Lidingö, Stangl/dieb13 was eh. they did come out simultaneously, possibly the source of your confusion.

Brian Olewnick said...

fixed, dammit

billygomberg said...

so peeved I'm going to be in the midwest when this quintet comes through. I loved "Varianter av døde trær" from two or so years ago (same group minus Toshi), and love this new one. Just hits the all the right spots for me....

Jon said...

they're playing Chicago first, Billy. maybe on the 26th?

graham said...

weds 26th at the hideout, thurs 27th at enemy. the first night is duo, trio, quintet, and the second i think is various combos with locals. psyched.

matthew said...

so going! thanks for the heads up!