Thursday, June 03, 2010
Kevin Parks/Joe Foster - Acts Have Consequences (no label)
It doesn't occur that often but it's often the case when it does, and I wonder about it--that a given recording immediately, in its first few moments, sounds great. You somehow have the confidence that the whole shebang is going to be solid, at the least. When sounds begin appearing on "The Leery Light of Dawn" (all eight track titles, I believe, are derived from texts by either Borges or Vollmann), they're not at all atypical in one sense, but there's a rightness about them, a feeling that all major components are balanced in an unusually precise and fascinating way. It moves like a living thing. As one progresses, there's also a refreshingly huge breadth of sound sources, many of them welcoming, not so severe. But unlike similarly ingratiating sounds encountered elsewhere, there's a sense of these having been earned, of having been revisited after a lengthy and intensive trip to sparer, serer climes. There's also a fantastic, almost liquidly transparent feeling of depth in play here, by which I mean that the sounds are clear and, generally, well-spaced, implying a kind of simplicity, but their relationships, both in temporal proximity and with events occurring minutes before or after, strikes me as quite complex, enough that it's real hard to get a firm grasp on much of the music here; you know you've heard something wonderful but you can't quite figure out why.
More concretely, there's a larger portion of overt guitar in play than one might have expected, including a passage or two that are hard not to read as homages to Rowe. You can pick up Foster's trumpet now and again as well. These episodes of familiarity go a long way toward making the music hear reasonably approachable, though the pair, of course, includes ample swathes of harshness, meta-logical intrusions, etc.
Try as I might, I can't find a stretch of sound here that's less than enjoyable. I've a feeling there's more to be written about "Acts Have Consequences", but it will take many more listens. On the other hand, this is the kind of release I'm confident will get many more listens, for years to come, revealing greater and greater depths of its inner workings. One of the best improvised releases I've heard in quite some time. Get it.
To the best of my knowledge, available only via erstdist