Wednesday, July 25, 2012
Cyril Bondi - Komatsu (Insubordinations)
It was brought to my attention elsewhere that I'd heard Bondi in the context of the duo, Diatribes (short term memory fading!). Here, he's paired with Phonotopy (Yann Leguay) on "cracked electronics" and the result is striking an subtly unique. I'm not sure how his floor tom set-upset-up contributes to this dense, throbbing, quasi-rhythmic, menacing and altogether enticing music, but I'd be anxious to see. Phonotopy's instrumental description refers directly to the erstwhile Poire_z, even to the use of the underscore between his nom and the device on the disc sleeve, and I guess one reasonable description of this would be akin to a seriously excellent Poire_z set. That bristling pulse, the sense that there's a ton going on, much of which you're probably not picking up at any one moment, the real darkness and threat that's emitted; it all makes for an extremely satisfying and giddily exciting listen. It gets into some great shuddering moments as the rhythms seem on the verge of toppling into themselves, a real thrill of imminent collapse about 2/3 of the way through as the gears begin to squeak, the oil running low. Instead, it just settles into a slow boil, replete with bubbling explosions, like a hot, viscous liquid. A fine piece, would love to see/hear this live.
Trigger - the fire throws (Insubordinations)
Chris Heenan (contrabass clarinet), Matthias Müller (trombone) and Nils Ostendorf (trumpet) create robust and burbling textures. Structures, such as appear, seem to be subsumed to coloration and three horns in this range, played with more or less standard extended techniques can certainly generate luscious, rich layers of textural pleasure out the wazoo. Is anything left to linger, though? Well, not so much. I'm reminded off and on of a Braxton/Lewis/Leo Smith combination and, on occasion, when things really gel (parts of the sixth track, "Scree", for example) the current trio approaches the basic level of excitement one may have expected from their forebears. But too often, things are more routine. Well played, active in a way that seems to have become more common in recent times (an inevitable reaction against the silent surge of the past decade, I expect) but difficult to differentiate in any way that cause my ears to perk up or my skin to tingle. I feel compelled to point out, as though it's not clear, that reactions like this, to this approach to improvisation, are very much a matter of my own taste and what I desire to hear. I can easily imagine this appealing far more to others whereas, given the instrumentation, a Capece/Malfatti/Kelley grouping would likely generate music far more absorbing to this listener at this time.
Insub Meta Orchestra - archive #1 (Insubordinations)
A large ensemble bearing only a handful of names familiar to yours truly (Christophe Schiller, Cyril Bondi and Jonas Kocher among them) presenting six pieces, all improvisations. Their statement of intent indicates an expansive view, also implying the participation of musicians from various backgrounds. Recordings of big groupings like this, especially improvising ones, can be problematic insofar as, given the acknowledgement of the space in which they're performing and an appreciation of silence, both referenced in the cited document, there's necessarily a spatial aspect that's compromised on disc. Several dozen players will automatically encompass substantial volume. So one has to put oneself in that frame and do a little guesswork and creative listening. Given that, most of the recording fails to stir me. When the group tones things done, there are strong moments, as on much of the fifth track, "Lava underground", which lives up to its title with a slow, dark onset followed by a reasonably gripping eruption. Even there, it's not so much different than what one may have heard form a particularly solid Globe Unity Orchestra performance from quite a while back. Otherwise, the activity level tends toward the overdone side of things with gestures all too commonly encountered.