Tuesday, February 21, 2012
Crys Cole/Jamie Druin/Lance Austin Olsen - Linnaeus' Hydra (Infrequency)
(may I first mention how beautiful the covers to thee two releases are?)
This is a lovely recording yet one of those that, when pressed to describe "why", leaves me with few descriptives. In a a sense, it fits easily enough into quasi-similar work from the recent past--a trio wending their careful, quiet-yet-bumpy way through a field of intimate sounds. As I know I've said before, rather unhelpfully, it boils down to the choices involved and how those choices mesh with my own (hopefully always changing) sensibility. The means employed (Cole: contact microphones, no-input mixer; Drouin: modular synthesizer, radio; Olsen: amplified copper plates, objects) are, these days, unremarkable enough, but the combination works and breathes quite well, plastically here, ethereally there, metallic sometimes, sandy and scratchy others, generally at low volume but, crucially, with no feeling of constraint in that regard, simply not happening, on that day, to get very loud.
I suppose the best one can say is that my attention never wandered. I was always willing to be led down these paths, always finding more than enough to perk my interest, to tickle my brain and ears. A very good job indeed.
Johnny Chang/Jamie Drouin - Tumble (Infrequency)
I'm a bit less enamored of the duo between Drouin and Chang (violin). I should mention that my copy had some poppage which doubtless hindered appreciation, but I could shut that out of my head without too much difficulty as well as listen on the Infrequency site to an excerpt to make sure I wasn't missing anything. They stick to a drone-like approach and it's ok but I never found it so engaging, it never transcended the everyday for me, didn't gain the traction I wanted to hear. Others mileage may well differ.