Monday, July 30, 2012

Ergo PhizMiz et. al. - Purposeful Lady Slow Afternoon (Bôłt)

Were I mulling over a list of 20th century avant-classical works, choosing one to give a new rendition, I'm not sure Robert Ashley's powerful "Purposeful Lady Slow Afternoon" would have ranked so high. Not because it's an unworthy piece of music--it's not; it's an amazing, disturbing work, imho--but just the opposite, that it would seem to be a pointless thing to attempt. The original, with the chilling, impossibly detached reading by Cynthia Liddell, is so sui generis that any attempt at configuring it anew seems to be a fool's errand. Under the aegis of Mr Phizmiz on voice and piano (admittedly, it pains me type those letters), Alessandro Bosetti (laptop), Maciej Cieślak (guitar), Dj Lenar (turntable), Lula (voice) and Julia Ziętek (violin) make a stab at it.

it begins quite well and differently from the recorded version by Ahsley, with several minutes of high-pitched eerie strings and electronics. Then there's an oddity. Ashley's instructions, as I understand it [see response below--I was mistaken about this], were for the speaker to recount an experience, a sexual assault, that actually happened to her, striving to omit any moral judgments or overt emotionality, instead describing the sensations, tactile, auditory, etc. that she experienced. Here, Lula reads part of the original text in Polish-accented English. This immediately pushes the work back from its normal extreme closeness to the listener, back into the realm of repertoire where it becomes much safer, and blander. Phizmiz then intervenes with text from another source, not one involved with the subject at hand as near as I can tell, though it does rather engage in food pornography. Lula returns, back to the script, as before sounding as though taped in a small room. So it goes, back and forth. Phizmiz sounds a little like Derek Jarman in "Blue" but, again, far less moving or troubling.

And that's the problem. Considered purely as a piece of text/music, it's fine and had there not been an antecedent, one may have been more affected by the content. But knowing otherwise, it seems such a pale shadow of the original. Ashley's work is everything a David Lynch could ever want, a pure evocation of the terrifyingly normal of a horrid substratum of sexual domination. Here, it's been neutered and recast as a somewhat edgy art piece. The original is something I'd be very hesitant about playing for friends, for fear of its negative impact. This one would not present any problem. I have to consider it a failure then, in that sense.

Jean-Louis Costes - Justine (Bôłt)

I'd never heard of Costes before now but a brief search revealed that he's considered by some to be the GG Allin of Europe. Photos depict as often bloodied. Ok, then.

A big caveat: There exists a loosely defined genre wherein a speaker declaims archly and histrionically, overdramatizing almost every word, adopting an extremely affected demeanor, adopting various voices from baby-like to pseudo-operatic to lunatic, etc., etc., few of which having much to do with how people actually live, talk and think but fit in perfectly with a kind of third-rate absurdist theater. I can't stand that stuff, just drives me up a wall. And Costes is about as perfect an encapsulation of that approach as I've heard in years.

So he reads from Sade's "Justine", in French-accented English sounding like Michael Palin intoning in franglais. I can't help but chuckle which I gather isn't the desired response. All solo voice with the odd hand-clap, usually spoken, sometimes sung, reading a text I guess Costes still finds transgressive which of course, it was when written and for sometime thereafter but, at least as acted out here, often sounds silly and daring only in an adolescent way. Shitting in Justine's mouth...yawn...I'd prefer to re-watch "The Aristocrats".

Hey, might be right up the alley of many; by all means have at it. Me, I'm hoping this before now excellent Populista series gets back on track....


Sunday, July 29, 2012

Reinhold Friedl - Mutanza (Bocian/Bôłt)

An utterly wonderful repertoire release by Friedl, concentrating on works that, in his mind, use the instrument in an unorthodox manner. First up is Helmut Lachenmann's "Guero", originally composed in 1969 and, inspired by the percussion instrument the guiro, consisting of sounds made by sliding one's fingernails over various portions of the piano exclusive of the strings. A 19784 revision added two plucked notes at the very end and they are delicious indeed, as is the rendition here, recorded at close enough range to amplify what was originally a very quiet piece. This is followed by Friedl's own "Epitaff" (1996) where an iron pipe is used as a bowing device on the strings resulting in incredible masses of sound, very "choir-like" as Friedl points out. Both of these works are quite sensual, setting the stage for what follows.

The wild card here is Glass' "Music in Fifths" (1969). Friedl justifies the inclusion in that the severe limitations Glass imposes on note range and lack of pedaling qualify as unorthodox".Listeners may disagree and, of course, Glass has fallen into some disfavor among any contemporary audiences (with good reason) but if, like me, you still derive a true thrill from his music up to (and including, in my case) "Einstein on the Beach", you'll love this reading and, moreover, it makes for a giddy waypoint during the course of the program.

But it's back into the churning maelstrom with "An American Dream", a 1974 work by Mario Bertoncini, a composer new to me. He developed a motorized wheel "made of gum" (I'm wondering if the term "gum" is a misleading translation) that generates tones analagous to bowing. The piece is rather monolithic, but impressive for its brief stay. Witold Szalonek's "Mutanza" (1972) begins with more delicacy, a plinking series of tones from the inside of the piano, small splashes and scurryings, before erupting into a more vigorous, agitated state. I many ways, this is the most "traditional" piece here, one that conforms more to other activity from the 60s in terms of general shape and inflection, possibly less satisfying because of that.

Nothing like a dose of Lucier to cure that and his "Music for Piano with Magnetic Strings" (1996) does the job. So pure and yet contain so much life and grit. Drone-based musicians can learn so much from Lucier, the master. Phill Niblock's "Pan Fried II" (2003) takes us out and returns us to the rich, thrumming zone glimpsed in the Friedl and Bertoncini scores. The technique is apparently realized with a plastic cord tied to a piano string, which is then "bowed with rosin-coated fingers" but, damn, you could have fooled me. I wouldn't have thought it possible, with that approach, to generate the canyon of sound as heard here. It's a beast and, as Partch said about his Blo-Boy, it does exactly one thing but that one thing it does superbly.

One of the most enjoyable albums I've heard this year. Hear it.

Oren Ambarchi/Crys Cole/Keith Rowe - black plume (Bocian)

An LP release documenting portions of the trio's North American tour in late 2010. I caught their set at Littlefield in Brooklyn (which occurred roughly a week after the excerpts here) and recall it as being fine if not earthshaking, notable for being my first exposure to Crys Cole and having been impressed by her musicianship. As there are three dates listed here, from Winnipeg, Toronto and Montreal, I take it that Ambarchi has stitched together segments into a whole, or in any case, two sections separated by vinyl sides.

Cole played with great subtlety and reticence in Brooklyn and I'm assuming it's the case here as well, her contributions tinting the atmosphere limned on the one hand by Rowe's fairly rough-edged scrabbling and on the other by Ambarchi's more tonal washes, though when I heard them I was also impressed that the latter didn't play nearly as smoothly as I feared given my most recent exposure to releases under his own name (which, I should say, I like well enough, only that they seem to have drifted well away from where Rowe has found himself in recent years). So, one can pick up certain Rowe-isms and assign, perhaps, the more drone-like sound to Ambarchi, ceding Cole the remainder, if one chooses to parse things that way. Or you can just sit back and enjoy.

It's an interesting exercise to listen to Rowe when he's involved in a project that's not so conceptually important to him. Not at all to denigrate this trio, but it was more of an offer to tour with people he liked and he did so. Around the same time, he was working with Kjell Bjørgeengen on something that was far closer to his heart and which he simply approached differently. Here, it's a more relaxed affair, Rowe simply trying to fit in as best he can. This often results in a "smoother" flow as is the case here, though a dark one, like very strong coffee laced with some unidentified but potent liquor, It simply involves a different aim, an effort to evoke a more direct sensory experience than elsewhere, where much subsequent processing is often necessary, In that sense, it's e fine, satisfying set, kind of an update on the myriad recordings he did with Ambarchi early in the oughts, tougher and more cynical and with the refreshing presence of Cole, from whom I *still* would like to hear more.


Saturday, July 28, 2012

300 Basses - Sei Ritornelli (Potlatch)

I admit to being predisposed to like an ensemble called "300 Basses" consisting of a trio of accordionists. Or, to paraphrase, Homer, "Accordions! Is there nothing they can't do?" Alfredo Costa Monteiro, Jonas Kocher and Luca Venitucci, supplementing their squeezeboxes with objects, open with a low, information-packed hum, quivering and prickly, one that fades in and out like troubled breathing, before slowly exploding into a needle-filled wheeze that's both harrowing nd absorbing, all dry, keening scrapes. I get the impression hat some forethought was applied in the generation of the six pieces (though no compositional credit is provided), the next track consisting of a different sort of high-pitched, pained throb, also extremely rich with detail and admitting of much more substance than one can discern on a single hearing. "Gira Bile" can almost be read in a free jazz context with two of the accordionists providing a droning (superbly so) backdrop whilst another "solos" atop, his sounds having an air and vernacular of blown reeds; I was picturing a primo Brotzmann performance....on accordion. It works. Throughout, there's more a sense of the sere than deep mellowness, the latter used sparingly as a color. Each of the "ritornelles" (choruses, I'm informed) is strong and captivating. If there are still listeners around who balk at accordions (difficult for me to imagine!), do check it out. Everyone else as well--a very fine recording.


erst dist

d'incise - prairie (obs)

Swiss-based Peter Laurent (d'incise) offers four lengthy works on this double-disc set, centered around drones and the audible elevation of small sounds. These range from vibrating drum skins to the amplification of "quiet parts" from past concerts (an idea I rather like). This latter is my favorite piece here, yielding a varied rnge of not-overtly-related sounds and textures that possess a very full feeling, elements jostling around in space, buffeting each other, sliding past one another, chaotic but of a whole. In the notes tot he release, he writes, "When it gets boring it becomes interesting" and d'incise abuts that subjective divide now and then. All the tracks are listenable though at times, my attention wandered,which is perhaps fine. I'm guessing that they'd function quite well as traditional (that is, Eno-oriented) ambient music in the sense of subtly causing one to think differently. Hard to say. Listening to the final piece, assembled from "feedbacks, open piano, magnetic glitches, pre-amps, laptop and house noises", one realizes that there's a hell of a lot occurring beneath the apparently simple hum though attempting to focus on it, like looking directly at a faint star in the night sky, often causes the cohesion to disappear. Very interesting work, especially the second disc. Worth checking out for those inclined in this direction.


Cool Quartet with Lina Nyberg, featuring Eric La Casa - Dancing in Tomalilla (hibari)

There are odd recordings, then there are odd recordings. This is one of the latter. So you have the "Cool Quartet" (sitting here, I'm unsure how tongue in cheek the music is but assume that at least the name is a joke; I hope so) which seems to have been in existence for at least seven years, with Axel Dorner, Zoran Terzic (piano), Jan Roder (bass) and Sven-Ake Johansson, augmented by singer Lina Nyberg, They apparently concentrate on jazz standards, how straightforwardly I'm not sure but perhaps we can analogize to Otomo's ONJQ. For this disc, however, the five musicians are simply a sound source, the major one to be sure, for Eric La Casa's manipulations. These appear to include both the initial recordings (done in Sweden in 2008) which I get the sense were done like many ambient field recordings, that is to say, with the mic in motion and, here, not always so close to the music, as well as subsequent and substantial editing and recomposition a couple years later.

Given the principal source, to my ears a rather desultory and not terribly interesting jazz band, it's hard not to get the sense that the whole project was done with something of a sneer on La Casa's face. Something on the order of, "Let's deconstruct this archaic, schmaltzy music, slice and dice it into something new." Well, that's one problem. Specifics aside, it's not so new. And then the question, "Why bother?" Had the music really been considered as one element out of many, who knows? But it's thrust up front, shards from different performances glued together, intruded upon by other sounds, presumably transfigured ones from the environment. So, in the first three tracks, you have "Tea for Two" abutting with warming-up music, patter, billowy sounds, "I only Have Eyes for You", Dorner's trumpet going a bit outside, the mic sometimes right with the group, sometimes a couple of rooms away, etc. Listened to purely sonically, there's an amount of cohesion but it's hard for this listener to abstract himself so much--the music just stands out and it's not great music. Sometimes I think there's a double layer of archness: one on the group level, one on La Casa's, as well as a feeling of one-trick-pony-ness.

The last final tracks are straight ahead standards only tinted by club audience ambiance, chatter and applause. Were I in the audience, I might have been chattering as well. The difference between the group and a hotel lobby ensemble isn't all that great. Ah, I'm being unnecessarily mean, perhaps; the band is competent, just bland. My mom would like them. This set of songs sits in clear opposition to the first suite. It's almost as though La Casa presented a largely post-production-enhanced field recording then included several tracks to illustrate the source in its natural habitat. All well and good, though it's tough to suppress one's knowledge about discussions on the viability of jazz or lack thereof that we've all engaged in over the past couple of decades (at least), hence the tint of winking knowingness that gnaws at me.


available from erstdist

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.


Saturday, July 21, 2012

Angharad Davies/Tisha Mukarji/Dimitra Lazaridou-Chatzigoga - outwash (Another Timbre)

I suppose one of the "fears" I have when slipping in a disc like this, with this kind of instrumentation (violin, piano, zither) is that it might be overly plinkety-plonkety (forgive the technical term) and, at the very beginning of the first track, I thought that indeed might be the case. Foolish me. The trio executes a fine balance between the kind of thin, airy sound I might have expected and a rich layering of extended tones, a very beautiful interplay with the shorter, spikier offerings surfacing like pebbles (or irregular gaps) in the kind of moraine flow alluded to in the disc's title. That image is actually quite effective, I find: "material carried away from a glacier by meltwater". The references to tonality posses just the right tartness so as not to become overly lush,, the structures, that "laminar flow", are very well laid out, occupied in always intriguing and varied proportions by the scratch of the violin, the insides and outsides of the piano (deeply tolled every so often, acting as a base current) and the rubbings, pingings and buzzings of the zither. The more I listen, the more I'm impressed by simply the array of sounds, the almost bewildering variety and apposition, all within a calm, serenely flowing environment.

Something about this works for me on every level--I could listen for far more than the 40 minutes presented here. Excellent recording.

Christoph Schiller/Birgit Ulher - Kolk (Another Timbre)

Schiller plays a spinet (prepared), not an instrument one encounters everyday in this field. Given the preparations, one is hesitant to say anything about its basic sound, but given that it's variously defined as both a kind of harpsichord and piano, my impression of its being about midway between seems about right. In any case, it's a fine fit with Ulher's grainy, unpredictable trumpet and, at best, produces some choice moments. The duo isn't the easiest nut to crack and it took this listener some metaphorical shifting around in my seat to get comfortable, to sync myself with the flow. This is often the case, for me, with Ulher's music (on disc, that is; live it's as natural as breathing); I'm only marginally familiar with Schiller's work but perhaps it's the same. Sonics aside, it doesn't particularly stand apart from other work in the sphere but it's simply good, solid, gnarly music and some days, like this morning, that's enough.

Barry Chabala/Bonnie Jones/Louisa Martin/Tisha Mukarji/Toshimaru Nakamura/Gabriel Paiuk - unbalanced in (unbalanced out) (Another Timbre)

Another in the series of long-distance compositions Chabala has engaged in recently. Here, he chose five other musicians he admires, asked them to play 20 minutes of music in a 50 minute span (how they organized it was up to them). This was done sequentially with, in this case, Paiuk going first, sending the results to Chabala who mixed the work then sent it on to the next musician, here Nakamura and so on, Chabala entering lastly. Does it work? Well, on occasion, to this listener, but not consistently enough. The piece goes through several phases and, of course, there's a certain fascination with knowing how it was constructed and attempting to piece it together with what you're hearing but, ultimately, one listens to it simply as a chunk of music and it kind of ricochets back and forth between unwieldiness and plasticity. As ever, it's not easy to say why this section works (for me) and that doesn't, but it's not until roughly the 40 minute mark that things begin to gel, that an engaging, thought-provoking area is entered. Given these opinions, one can listen to the disc as a journey toward that end, but you may find much of it not a tough slog but something of a routine one.

(thinking there might be something to be written about these long-range collaborations. The first that I came across, I think, was Otomo and Carl Stone, "Amino Argot", from 1994 or so. MIMEO's "sight" still strikes me as the pinnacle of this particular mode of attack.)

Catherine Lamb - three bodies (moving) (Another Timbre)

One may have guessed that Lamb was a student of Pisaro's from the title of this disc but the music itself--and it's wonderful--wouldn't give too much of an inkling. Written for a trio of cello (Erika Duke-Kirkpatrick), violin (Erik km Clark) and bass clarinet (Phil O'Connor), what comes to mind is Feldman, though less in an actual structural sense than in overall feel. I exists in a similar timeless, relatively undifferentiated space, the three instruments weaving longish tones, mixing sweet and sour, about each other--approaching, receding, not having "gone anywhere" over its 45 minutes but, as in much late Feldman, giving the impression of having been at this activity before the piece began and continuing on afterward, this portion simply when a doorway opened and closed. One interesting feature is that the bass clarinet is pitched fairly high throughout; the cello tends to be the lowest presence, and not so low at that/ Yet, there's nothing of shrillness or dryness. There's a gentle, seesawing lilt throughout and a tonality that, to these ears, references both Renaissance music and, now and then, British bagpipe traditions. But I may be hallucinating. Whatever the case, I can listen to this forever, drifting on the semi-regular but always mutating rhythms, that delicious sourness of pitch and the subtle wonder of akin but always varying relationships between voices. Beautiful work.

Pascal Battus/Bertrand Gauguet/Eric La Casa - Chantier 1 (Another Timbre)

A recording of a project in two parts in which the second is presented first. Battus (rotating surfaces, found objects) and Gauguet (saxophones, amplified and not, other effects) creatively recorded by La Casa, played in a construction site amongst workers there. But they later performed in a "neutral" space, their music based on memories of what occurred earlier. It's these (two) tracks which are presented first, an odd strategy in that the listener (unless he's read about it at the Another Timbre site) doesn't have the same frame of reference as the musicians. I'd also comment that, for this listener, the two tracks weren't very rewarding on their own, shrill and harsh with little else to offer (nothing against either quality; they just didn't work for me here).

When the third cut appears, the first thing noticed is how much the space has opened, the volume of air flowing about. Whatever surfaces Battus is rotating and metal tubes down which Gauguet is propelling breath, when integrated with water, whistling, the banging of things unloaded, hammering and chatter, they sound far, far more interesting and, surely, of their environment. In that such sites often employ rotating surfaces and forced-air devices of their own, the four latter pieces become, essentially, field recordings in the classic sense, albeit it pretty enjoyable ones, particularly the last, longest piece which includes (per the conversation at the AT site), some Kurdish music off a worker's cell, a fine cultural cross-reference to a people disinterested in Western affects like...field recording.

Another Timbre

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Zero Centigrade - Umber ( и|music)

Said temperature reading comprising Tonino Taiuti (electric and acoustic guitars) and Vincenzo de Luce (trumpet and sounds) who present twelve vignetters in a style that's sometimes post-Bailey, sometimes more in the eai mold and sometimes refers to rock or blues. I wrote about their prior release, "Unknown Distances" (Audio Tong), last fall, enjoying it well enough and this one, while covering some different ares, ends up delivering about the same level of satisfaction. The first track refers not so obliquely to Fahey and the Delta blues tradition while, sliding sideways into abstraction; a very nice job, not so far from what one can imagine Fahey himself having done had he lived. The guitar s generally heard as such, often the trumpet as well. This sets up a difficult problem, to negotiate some potentially well-worn avenues and not sound derivative. One obvious "route" around this obstacle is to simply play what you truly feel instead of trying to do something and I get the sense that this pair manages that on occasion, as on the lovely "Dead Flowers" where there may be echoes of Bailey and Wheeler but not so many as to distract from a moving performance. There are several of those nuggets to be found here where they find a good balance between the nostalgic and the harsh again, not so dissimilar to what Fahey was investigating in the mid 90s, including several throbbing, bluesy rhythmic figures. (I've no idea if that's a recognized reference for these fellows). Other pieces either don't quite gel or can be heard as palate cleaners between more successful attempts. This disc grew on me a good deal at each subsequent listen; good work.


Michel Doneda/Nils Ostendorf -cristallization (absinth)

I don't think I've heard trumpeter Ostendorf before but he sounds like an ideal partner for Doneda who, along with Martin Kuchen, wields the greasiest, dirtiest high reeds in this end of the improv spectrum. That said, in recent years, I've been less enamored of Doneda than I had been upon first hearing him in the late 90s; he tends to be more more gestural and out front than I'm comfortable with though, as with Kuchen, when he really digs deep, really lets go, there's solid music to be found. But here...well, there's exactly what you might expect: hollow, air-sheathed sounds from both horns, a tendency toward the pinched and shrill, long, smeared tones. I have more the impression of effects than conception, in a nutshell and effects that, however well played--and they are--don't amount to something deeper. Even when, as is often thee case, the quieter tracks allow for more space and reflection (and work better), there's still a constancy of sound, a seeming reluctance to pause and listen. The result is the kind of improv recording that still, even if tangentially, has roots in a more efi-oriented formulation. All well and good and listeners with that bent can doubtless find much to appreciate here. To my ears, there's a bit too much of both aridity and over-activity.


Monday, July 16, 2012

Un Nu - Recoupements (Public Eyesore)

A strong recording from Pascal Battus (guitar pickups) and Benjamin Duboc (double bass). Without know precisely what sort of sounds Battus was likely to elicit from that particular source, I already liked the idea of any (presumably) shrill and whiny electronics in tandem with a deeply sounded bass, which turns out to be what occurs here a good portion of the time. Duboc uses the bow quite often, usually in the quieter, darker reaches of his instrument (though quite forcefully) while Battus extracts a wide range of higher, drier, screechier, squelchier sounds from his mere pickup; hard to imagine that this was the sole source, in fact. Be that as it may, the single track, running about 52 minutes, breathes very well, moves from its somberness on occasion, is smooth and humming here, awkward and tumbling there, including intimations of traditional rhythm and melody, but just the faintest tinge. The more agitated portions don't sound overbearing; there's always a sense of listening and consideration for placement, even then where many would be sawing away without regard for anything but their projection. Here, when this arco display occurs, it's marvelous on its own and is then brilliantly enhanced by a slowly emerging, grinding, metallic scrim from Battus; the point of intersection between these two sounds is extremely delicious. It meanders a bit much, maybe, about 2/3 of the way through, but overall a tough, gritty performance, featuring unusual sonics, well achieved and worth checking out.

Jean-Marc Montera/Francesco Calandrino - Idi di Marzo (Public Eyesore)

I first heard Montera at Victoriaville in 1999 and was rather put off by the overt showmanship in his performance, the rock-star aspect that seemed entirely out of place. In the ensuing years, on the few occasions I've come across his work on dis, I've had pretty much the same reaction, perhaps unfairly influenced by that earlier encounter, who knows? Here, the guitarist is in the company of Francesco Calandrino (lo-fi stereo, manipulated cassettes, field recordings, clarinet) and...I still have the same response. It's not all as in your face as I've previously experienced--though there's enough of that, to be sure. It gets spacier, but always jam-paked, always rich to the point, and past, of surfeit and, crucially, almost always entirely ignorable. Very odd, in this sense, that it's fundamental smoothness allows it to virtually pass unnoticed, nothing for me to grasp a hold of, like a torrent of cake icing. Granted, as said, I may not be coming at this as objectively as I might, but there's little here of interest to these ears.

Public Eyesore

Saturday, July 07, 2012

Eight releases from the Israeli label, Interval. Please forgive the brevity of the appraisals, but I'm very bogged down at the moment!

Ido Govrin - Moraine (Interval)

A very rich and lovely set of six pieces wherein Govrin, I take it, creates more or less orchestral string effects electronically, augmented occasionally by actual cello (Karni Postel) and violin (Carmel Raz). The works are unabashedly lush and almost neo-Romantic--several times I found myself thinking of them as an extension of Barber.--but contain enough grist and grain to stand on their own in 2012. I supposes Bryars is an inevitable comparison as well; some tracks have a similar deep sound and sense of mystery as some recordings of "Titanic", especially when a low, bass clarinet-y sound weaves through. The last couple of tracks shift gears somewhat, first into a very quiet zone then throwing grittier sounds into the rich mix--airplane engines? Both work really well, perfectly off-setting what came before. The music is slowly paced, contemplative, perhaps brooding but totally absorbing. Recommended.

Kiki Keren-Huss - Mi/Me (Interval)

"A chamber opera for four singers, six players and electronics." Opera by no means being a strong point of mine, this fairly pared-down production, combining aspects of modernism within music that refers directly enough to traditional folk forms, has its charms. But eventually the archness more than anything wears very thin on me. It's simply a style I have shrt patience with and have serious trouble sitting through. Your mileage may vary.

Mem1 - Alexipharmaca (Interval)

A recording from 2005 by M. Cera (electronics) and Laura Thomas-Merino (cello). Twelve really enjoyable tracks. As with the Govrin album above and some others on this label, there's a certain kind of lushness in effect, not an overindulgent one but a tacit admission of the fact that this kind of vaguely tonal, vaguely rhythmic music is a valid approach. The electronics are beautifully integrated to the string work here, a real sense of cohesion. There's a surface calmness but generally more than ample undercurrents of instability. Not sure what else to say about it except that every piece is strong and that I hope to hear much more for them.

Mem! - +1 (Interval)

The same duo four year later (now listed as Mark & Laura Cetilia--congratulations). Here, the pair is joined by a single other musician on each piece, hence the title. The music is not entirely dissimilar to the earlier recording, perhaps a bit more astringent which isn't a bad thing. Despite how much I enjoyed "Alexipharmaca", its richness rewards a bit of a palate cleansing. Not that this is acerbic or particularly vinegary, just somewhat sandier, more calmly inhaling and exhaling, perhaps also a little more clearly composed. That said, it also seems more meandering, not so much to be a big problem and perhaps a step toward more expansive music in the future, but the focus of the prior disc seems to me to have blurred. There are also more overt rhythmic elements of the ambient/techno variety that I could do without. What portion of these quibbles is a reflection of the added participant, I've no idea. Still and all, an enjoyable affair, very refreshing.

Jennifer Walshe - Nature Data (Interval)

Again, the reader will have to forgive me, but if there's one thing I have shorter patience for than arch operatics, it's histrionics a la Shelley Hirsch, a form that shows up on my doorstep every so often. I take it that there are listeners who are quite comfortable in this milieu but I've never been one of them. On the title work, Walshe mixes in a panoply of voices and taped sounds, some nature-derived, some commentary on same (that kind of reserved, clipped descriptions one heard in 50s "science" films--does that still resonate?), imitation of bird calls and elaborations thereof. There ensues a suite about the narrator's (presumably Walshe) teenage kissing experiences. The collage aspect for some reason reminded me of Zappa's "Lumpy Gravy", but not as funny or musically groovy. Why the need to do multiple characters or, as in the final track, sing rapid-fire samples from 60s-80s pop clutter? I suppose it's technically impressive but, to what end? Not my cuppa, not by a long shot.

Amnon Wolman - Sustains (Interval)

A 2005 recording of largely electronic music that encompasses much dronage but also, in spirit refers to the academic tradition of 60s tape music, Princeton, etc. There's a good bit of control going on, sometimes to good effect, other times feeling somewhat constrictive. "Hazardous Materials", featuring Rex Martin on tuba, is a fine work, the low horn forlorn amongst the dark, swelling electronics though even this wouldn't sound terribly out of place in a collegiate concert hall. I also enjoyed "Inclain", a quiet piece made up of steady slow pulsations, a variety of them that come and go with subtlety, always winding down; a lovely an sad decay. Other pieces are more routine, drones containing complexities but not, to these ears, truly compelling ones. A mixed bag but worth a listen.

Duprass - Galut (Diaspora (Interval)

Duprass is Liona Bedford and Ido Govrin and "Gulag (Diaspora)"is a fairly brief radio play. The printed and spoken text is in Hebrew so I loaned it to an orthodox Jewish friend in work for a rough description....he reports back that it was (to him) rather vague and disconnected, having to do with "decentralization". Sounded sort of Kafkaesque to me. In any case, the quietly, urgently spoken text is offset against subtle grainy electronics and sounds attractive enough to me. More than that, it's difficult to say!

Various - Nothing WorksAs Planned (Interval)

A double disc kind of label sampler from live performances. Good work from Govrin, Jonathan Chen (bubbly and blistering electronics) and Beth Denisch (a powerful, sweeping piece for string orchestra).


Friday, July 06, 2012

Arturas Bumšteinas - Three Sixteens (con-v)

Intriguingly disconcerting. As the first of three pieces begins ("Multifat" for violin, percussion and chamber orchestra) you're immediately plunged into early John Adams, circa "Shaker Loops", strikingly so. Very similar jaunty, sort of hocketing massed strings in an irregular but repetitive rhythm, underlain by long, deep chords. It's very attractive but, at the same time, kind of odd in its retro character. But then, about halfway through, there's what sounds like backward tape processing, probably the same sound source, mixed among the droning strings and roiling percussion. It's not the most earthshaking of maneuvers, but succeeds in subtly transforming the work into some much more interesting other. It later spreads itself languidly into a soft pool, the drums providing surface ripples; quite nice.

"Studie II" is performed by the Apartment House string quartet with Rhodri Davies on harp. It begins as a lavishly brooding work, dark and romantic (think Bryars, though the idea stems from an analysis of an early Stockhausen work), Davies presumably e-bowing for the most part. The sonorities are enchanting, there are unexpected (and welcome) sour harmonies interspersed as well as unusual pauses where a given line is allowed to linger.

I was a bit apprehensive about the last piece noting the presence of one "DASH!" which I take it is the nom de musique of one Maarten Ornstein [or an ensemble...hard to tell] , but exactly the sort of "nom" that causes serious hesitancy in me. In any case, he's pared here with Tadas Zukauskas on violin and Anton Lukoszevieze on cello and...the result is fairly spectacular. A throbbing, pulsating mix of electronics and aggressive string playing, both rhythmic and dronal that perhaps again harkens to early Adams but has lifted it bodily into 2010. There's a very catchy phased effect going on, derived from taped segments of breathing noise, that beats against the beautiful string lines; again, part of me here's a certain amount of anachronicity here but a larger part doesn't care because it simply sounds so good. Even it's gradual deflation seems appropriate after so much robustness.

Good work; want to hear more from Bumšteinas, who's all of 30 year old.


Machinefabriek - Stroomtoon (Nuun)

Machinefabriek is Rutger Zuydervelt playing various electronics, field recordings, etc. The first piece, "Eén", opens with an extended, rich downward moving drone, something like a variation on Tenney's "For Ann Rising", though existing in a slightly active space, with scattered beeps and resonance surrounding it. Similarly dense rising tones appear, creating a disorienting, fluctuating matrix, possessing more warmth than the Tenney (which, fascinating though it is, smacked a bit much of "science experiment" to me) and, with the accompanying irregular clicks and knocks, breathes like some complex, pulsating creature. There's a science-fiction-y feel to the piece, but a strong one. That track occupies about half the recording; the remaining four vary from heavy pulsations to gentler washes out of the Eno mold. But in all of them, Zuydervelt imbues the music with deep, thick layers of aural plasma, perhaps not a fundamental alteration but one that greatly enhances interest and pure pleasure.

There's also a Machinefabriek 7" (see below) which covers similar territory as the more ambient pieces in the disc, also very pleasing.


Thursday, July 05, 2012

João Castro Pinto - Panaural (Triple Bath)

Enhanced field recordings, sometimes drastically so, sourced largely from forests and featuring the kinds of sounds one expects, especially insects. A lot of electronics wends its way through and there's a refreshing kind of "rudeness" to some of it, a blatant aspect that can be a welcome tonic to the more typical, subtler approach. There was clearly a good deal of thought involved in constructing the three pieces here (totaling only about 1/2 hour) and the accompanying text goes to some lengths to point out the ideas behind the work. All well and good, yet why do I not hear the same magic as in, say, the most wondrous pieces of Ferrari? Still a vexing question for me: why some augmented field recordings work so well, why others languish. Pinto's works aren't bad, they're perfectly listenable, but don't leave the same lasting impression on me, don't have the same dreamlike impact. The 20-minute "Catachresis" comes closest, especially in the mix of PA announcements, birds and sine-like tones, almost up to a Pisaro level but elsewhere, loud church bells and birds sounds heavy-handed.

triple bath

Sklaven Tanz - Urban Ritual (Curly Sol Records)

Doing a Google image search on "Sklaven Tanz" (as I did in an attempt to find a cover shot) yields multiple photos of bound and/or physically abused (voluntarily, I take it) individuals, though a pure info search shows not much aside form this album. Strange. And a strange recording as well. The group is a duo, Yong Hoon Cho and Jeong Hoon Choe (to my western ears sounding like anglicizations of the same name), they recorded this in a "rainwater pumping station" and, indeed, there's much of the ritualistic about it. Heavy on the struck objects--metal on stone, metal on metal, etc.--with myriad other sound sources including accordion, strings, electronics and more, there's a healthy dollop of 60s Sun Ra as well as, unfortunately for my taste, a good bit of histrionic vocalizing out of quasi snuff movies of the "Hostel" variety. In fact, I found myself thinking that this could be a kind of soundtrack or response to that sort of film (which, btw, I don't have a particular problem with); one could easily imagine it taking place in that Czechoslovakian (?) abandoned factory. That somewhat stereotypical "ritual" aspect, the pounding beats and the anguished howls, predominates far more than I'm comfortable with. When it's replaced by, say, a steady, slightly throbbing organ-like tone, it's better but in that case, the shrill scrapes heard in the distance once again evoke the horror movie aura which, for me, always sounds tired and played out.

Curly Sol

Bruno Duplant with Lee Noyes/Anders Dahl/Christian Munthe/Massimo Magee - 9 times 5 (Ilse)

Another in a seemingly endless parade of long-range collaborations, this one containing five musicians realizing a graphic score by Bruno Duplant. The score is in three sections, the instructions for each of the performers to play it in the order, 123212321, "respecting the ideas of space, silence & never play loud." One of the first things I notice is that it's not nearly as quiet as I might have expected, especially have heard recent work from Duplant that was very, very much so. Here, the triangulation of Sweden Australia and France produces a calm but activity filled 45-minutes. The score is essentially differing kinds of squiggly or segmented lines and wavy rows of circles, so one gathers the interpretations are, in some sense, "looser" that one might hear in a more exacting and elaborate score like, to use the obvious example, "Treatise". Whatever, one is ultimately left with a musical document and, score and logistical issues aside, I find the results...ok, if not really absorbing. Hard to isolate the whys even if my temptation is to think that isolated contributions of this nature are actually very difficult to pull off. I'm a big fan of MIMEO/Rowe's "Sight" (if not the first to try a gambit along these lines, certainly one of the first of which I was aware) but in that case, there was a real conceptual glue involved on Rowe's part and a prior working relationship and understanding among the musicians. Here, with fine musicians, the music is quite listenable, spacious, varying but...I can't say i don't like, just that it sounds not so much different than a "routinely" (I don't mean that in a pejorative sense) improvised session amongst similarly inclined performers might. It's worth hearing as an example of the approach, however and I expect we'll be encountering much more along this line; I'll be curious to see where this fits in once the dust settles.


Wednesday, July 04, 2012

OK, despite having an abnormally altitudinous stack of discs begging for attention, I've decided to spend this 4th of July (possibly my most detested holiday) listening to and commenting on the twelve selections that Simon Reynell has uploaded, details masked, for the aural perusal of listeners and writers. Due to the extreme busy-ness of the last few weeks, I'd only gotten around to listening to the first four but I now see commentary popping up all over the place (which I've avoided reading for the most part), so I thought I'd take advantage of the time.

I take it most readers know what I'm referring to but, if not, Simon has loaded 12 pieces, each between 10 and 20 minutes long, without other information (referring to it as The Anonymous Zone, hoping at least in part to counter the inherent hierarchical categorizing that occurs when one knows in advance to whom one is listening. It's an old complaint and an essentially unavoidable issue but let's see how it goes. I think (we'll see) I'll refrain from making any guesses about identity, mostly because I'd likely look pretty silly. [a warning I obviously failed to heed] I'll be listening on my Macbook Pro speakers, btw, please bear that in mind.

#1) The piece begins with some fairly furious inside piano strumming augmented by a thinner rattling sound, something like dried peas in a plastic cup. Hard to say if the percussive sounds (later more metallic) are being produced by someone other than the pianist, though I suspect so. When the former returns to the keyboard, it's in a fairly tonal approach, with references to gamelan. I know I said I wouldn't guess, but it reminds me very much of Sophie Agnel, a similar basic Rzewskian romanticism that I find very compelling. It's expansive, thunderous, even heroic, the kind of thing that puts off many an eai fan, but not me. The storming portion, some 8 minutes in, roiling piano accompanied by shattering glass, is fantastic, something that could come off as grandiose but, for me, doesn't. There's the inevitable subsidence and part of me wishes the musicians had found another way to conclude--it's fine, just very expected, the maelstrom morphing into droplets, dreamy. A lovely work altogether, like it a lot.

#2) Foggy, ghostly sounds, very much have the impression of objects emerging from mist, thin, metallic grindings, echoey. No so unlike parts of the Fergus Kelly disc I wrote about yesterday. Sibilant sounds pear, whispers, still spooky. The whispering gains prominence, ceases as the rubbing expands, acquires more depth. It's been very much of a piece thus far, 10 minutes in, progressing slowly but steadily. I'm not sure I'm finding it substantial enough to really maintain interest; when the whispering voice returns, now speaking quietly, it's a little too pat, the surrounding sounds becoming a bit more "ambient" seeming when thus contrasted. Not bad, but it gets a bit fuzzy as it goes on; I'd prefer a harder edge, somehow. The choices made are often too comfortable.

#3) When I was in college, I used to tap the stone sill of the art studio window with my paintbrushes, realizing that by varying the point at which they made contact, the pitch of the tap would change, emitting an oddly liquid sound. That was my first impression here where a similar acoustic pitch shifting is taking place, though assuredly via different means. It almost sounds like a pennywhistle of some kind, filled with small, dry, circular objects being excited by the maneuvering of a slide. the casualness of the sound sequence, its naturalness, reminds me of Max Eastley's contraptions, or a little of wind-up toy period Taku Unami. Very spacious, very unaffected. that a trumpet, somehow muted? The music has become more intentional, something bowed. Still, it's managing to sound remarkably "unmanaged", that is, free in a very fine, natural sense. I'm beginning to think Birgit Ulher. The buzz. Multiple buzzes. I enjoyed this, can easily imagine sitting in close proximity, itchily luxuriating inside the hive.

#4) Complex layering of thin laminae of electronics, like sheets of mica. Having more trouble with this than the previous tracks. One of those works that sets up initial conditions that, for all their thorniness, don't quite hold my fascination, where the white noise doesn't reveal so much new information as it progresses. Later on in the 10-minute piece, it mutates into something more expansive, air entering a little bit, bangs in a larger acoustic space, more flutter, fewer needles. But it's just as this section is settling in that the track ends, so I'd have to suspend any judgement.

#5) Percussion, first scrabbling about quietly, soon introducing fairly deep gongs. Active; my first impression is a bit too active, but that can depend on how it's embedded, what it leads to, what reflects back on it. Ah, has it been a piano all along? Seems so. As this becomes apparent (to these ears, anyway), the music acquires greater breadth and depth, harsh string plucks against low tolling, attractive though not yet absorbing. Perhaps some e-bowing going on. I have the impression of a much longer piece (this said 10 minutes into its 15) and that things will develop intriguingly if given the space. As is, it's getting there, for me, implicit narratives emerging. Beginning to think of Magda Mayas. The clang/hum combination near the end is wonderful! Aggh...want to hear more!

#6) The exquisite low hum (apologies to Mantler/Rudd). Barely there, lovely. his is one where I'm afraid my laptop speakers may be falling woefully short, though perhaps it would be difficult to tell in any case. The hum sounds electronic as near as I can determine, but were I told it was Radu, I wouldn't blink. It floats beautifully, bobs just a bit. Subsidiary rumblings enter, more agitated, quavering and the volume level rises (10 minutes in out of 16), lending an enormous sense of drama, foreboding. Really beautiful. The ringing tones that, I imagine, have always been there, reveal more and more detail, swirling. Right up my alley. Loved it, whoever it is.

Halfway there--breaking for lunch!!

ah...roast chicken and risotto with peas and shiitake...ok, back to work!

#7) Fascinating opening, a quiet surge (strings? a chamber ensemble?) leading to church bells and children's laughter and play, in and out. The strings become more fully formed, vary form tonal to wavering chords, recalling Bryars to an extent. A witch to traffic sounds seems a bit random, perhaps intentionally disrupting the nostalgic mood established earlier--hmm, more problematic as the ensemble, with reeds and a drumset, intrude for some impolite interjections. It's a language that leaves me somewhat cold, though I'll wait to hear the whole...back around to near the start, though with some can-can music and tape manipulation...the collage nature that's come to the fore doesn't do a lot for me; there's a haphazardness and imposition of the creator of the piece that feels too "hands-on" and directive, without a cohesive, underlying idea.

#8) Very odd. Sloshy water forms a backdrop for two deep piano notes, soon expanded to chords and one expects a kind of pastoral, pleasant work but it quickly fragments. Harsher electronics pepper the landscape, a low horn, sharp twangs, gulls. As in the prior work, there's something of a collage effect though more fluid and subtly disturbing. The piano keeps calling you back into its embrace but other sounds push you away. Was thinking Lucio Capece at some points. There *does* appear to be some overarching form, though an amorphous and eely one, very dreamlike and difficult to grasp. Fascinating piece, I like it very much, love to know who's involved. ok, maybe could have done without the glimmer of "Caravan" toward the end, but still, even that, in this context, is pleasantly inexplicable. Who?

#9) Nice contrast at the outset between the intense electronics, piercing one's tympanum, and the fluttery sounds alongside, like someone shaking out a large book, though they reveal their own electronic character soon enough. This one left me a bit cold, perhaps the one I enjoyed least thus far. Something too routine about it, ultimately too flat and, as it were, "artificial" sounding, perhaps an odd criticism of an electronics work. But it didn't engage me very much at all

#10) :-) that water again....quite a bit more intense than that heard in #8, morphing into springy electronics and faux (?) birds. Broad swaths, the series of sounds appearing in layers, interweaving several at a time, rising and falling in different intervals; a solid strategy though perhaps somewhat played out by now? There's perhaps something of the "normal" in the overall structure, in the fluctuation of the dynamics, the apposition of sonic colors. Yet, given that, it's done quite ably. I'm thinking it's the kind of thing (often the case, more so in some instances than others) that I'd get far more out of experiencing it live, especially if I was in the midst of numerous speakers. There is a bit of a Xenakis type of feel here at points, very physical. There are nuggets buried in here I enjoy a lot; be curious to hear more along this trajectory.

#11) A solo piano work, I think, though I guess there's some modification going on, maybe e-bowing? The music is gentle, a little dreamy, small flickers of notes cast off from a light-tinged drone-cloud. It's quite pleasant if a bit static; not sure if the inherent pleasures or thoughts evoke entirely justify the stasis, though I can see, in the proper mood, drifting along here. That hum, however produced, has something of a numbing effect, some musical sodium pentathol. A difficult piece to judge \; if it turned out to be a portion of an hour long work, with other aspects, i wouldn't be surprised. As is, a nice enough slice, though fragile to the point of insubstantiality.

#12) Lastly, some intense reed and/or brass work embedded in situ (sounds like one or the other at various times, though more like brass int he second half). Again thinking of Lucio. A raw metal tube with valves, scoured with air and spittle. Dogs responding. Why is there, to me, something about an acoustic performance like this, just as noisy and abstract as any other, that has some inherent edge, something extra, that makes me far more apt to be absorbed that a "similar" work using electronics, which might have to strive a bit harder to gain my full appreciation? Dunno, but I find it's often the case. I could listen to this quite happily for a long time, again could also imagine myself sitting int he room, appreciating the interaction with that space and beyond, getting up and walking around, standing outside, listening to it being muffled by walls, etc. Love the breath intakes while circular breathing. You feel virtually inside the horn much of the time. Ambulance on the way at the end. :-) Great stuff, love it.

Thanks, Simon!

Monday, July 02, 2012

Pascal Battus/Alfredo Costa Monteiro- fêlure (Organized Music from Thessaloniki)

The first definition of fêlure I came across was "crack" but a subtler one is "a soulful tremor". Nice. The first of four tracks here indeed evokes something of the sort, Battus' "rotating surfaces" and Costa Monteiro's amplified paper summoning up a windswept, barren landscape wherein it's not difficult to ascribe the soft moans heard as issuing from some forlorn creature. The storm soon kicks up however, and we're into a dry, howling vortex. Dryness is an operative word here and in a good sense. Whatever the rotating surfaces employed, they sound smooth but unoiled, bearing a certain amount of grain, set up against the almost necessarily sere sounds of paper being manipulated in who-knows-what manner. It's a winning combination, managing to create a sound world that's sandy and arid but clear and bracing at the same time. It can get relentless in a way that pure noise fans will appreciate but the subtlety is never lost, the detail always precise. But it can also wander down a more contemplative trail, as in the final cut, abuzz and grinding, but in small circles and curlicues, spitting the occasional spark but in well-considered bursts. Very strong concluding piece, beautifully drawn, and a solid album overall.

organized music from thessaloniki

Fergus Kelly - A Congregation of Vapours (farpoint recordings)

A very enjoyable and surprising effort from Mr. Kelly, eight tracks, vaguely separated, that go places I didn't expect. It launches with some severely bumpy and staticky burbling, sure to wake up the casual listener and I strapped myself in for a raucous ride only to find, several minutes later, very much like a subsiding rainstorm, the sounds slowly drained out, leaving the odd spatter, revealing a highway which, in turn, subsides to a deep hum and tailing whine. Things become very quiet, very "night has fallen", with soft hoots and gentle crackles. This quiet mood lingers and it's quite beautiful, very mysterious and alluring, a faint rhythm, a hum, a distant turbine, very spacious and oddly tense. It gradually grows more active but often, and I mean this as a compliment, I find myself losing track as it blends into my own environment. When i become conscious of it again, it's like a small wonder.

There's more--helicopter-like flutters, Morse-codey blips, foghorns--quite a flurry there for a while before once again, drifting into an eerie quietude, those 'copter wings still heard, though farther away, nearer activity involving metal containers--one senses a narrative though it's too dark to see. Indecipherable voices just before a final struck metal. Why this mix of sounds (Kelly listed as using speaker feedback, no-input mixing board, D14 electronics, amplified metals, field recordings and processing) strike me as so cinematic, it's hard to say but it certainly does; I picture all sorts of intense, withdrawn activity taking place, just wihin the range of one's sight and hearing. It disappears like ghost.

Excellent recording, please do give a listen.