Sunday, February 12, 2012

Textile Trio - AAA (Songs from Under the Floorboards)

A raucous 2004 set recorded at Instants Chavirés by Alexandre Bellenger (turntables), Aaron Moore (drums, trumpet) and Arnaud Rivière (repaired turntable, prepared mixer). It's interesting that a mere eight years can generate a kind of nostalgic feeling. While my ears are more or less in a different, more...thoughtful (I don't mean that pejoratively with respect to this music) place these days, there was certainly a time when the sounds heard here would have tickled me greatly, alongside things like Voice Crack, Otomo/Tetreault and other noise-intense groups. These days, while I can't get as fully into it as I once could, I can certainly appreciate that Textile Trio does a fine job bustling through this terrain, given great propulsion by Moore. At its best when most active and bubbling over (the second of the three tracks stalls a bit), "AAA" should provide great fun for fans of the area and holds its own with some of the stronger examples of the genre.

C. Spencer Yeh - 1975 (Intransitive)

I don't thin I've ever really heard Yeh's work before, maybe on a compilation somewhere. I was somehow expecting something in a more noise-oriented vein and perhaps that's the case elsewhere but this one, which seems to derive its impetus from the avant garde musical activity in circulation around the title year (also the year of his birth) is rather different. The first five pieces oscillate from lovely drone-oriented work (those named, erm, "Drone") where the spirit of Eliane Radigue is clearly invoked to tape splice equivalent thereof) using hair's-width vocal (and other) samples. Things shift after "Shrink wrap from a Solo Saxophone CD (skit)" which is true to its title and not uninteresting. Two cuts titled "Two Guitars" take the Radigue-ian drone into harsher territory, effectively enough. "Drips", another "skit", is just that. On "Au Revoir...", we finally get to hear, I believe, the wonderfully dilapidated piano that appears on the cd cover, looking as though filched from a Ross Bolleter session and it's used to good, squeaky, scrunchy effect, echoes of Nancarrow. Perhaps again, more electronically enhanced, on the closer, "...Et Bonne Nuit", a bit overdone and loopy for my taste.

A mixed bag, ultimately, for this listener, having more to do with my prior taste involving the references than anything else. A bit scattershot in some respects but I'm guessing he pretty much hit his intended targets.



Anonymous said...

so,your current 'tastes' will inevitably become your prior tastes

why bother with fine china when you can use paper plates

great music lasts forever,but this is about you,not music 10-4


Howard Stelzer said...

I'm the publisher of both of these albums... and for me, a review IS about the reviewer. I'd much rather a writer bring his history to the writing and be honestly subjective than to parrot my press release. Brian has a valuable perspective. That's why he's one of the few people I send review copies to.