Sunday, May 18, 2014

One for Ghost - s/t (Skyapnea)

One for Ghost is a cassette release from Giovanni Civitenga (electronics) and Doreen Ooi (viola, objects).

The press release cites John Cale, Tony Conrad, La Monte Young and early minimalism generally as influences and some of those are clear enough, but the pair fashion a reasonable unique sound world themselves, nodding to Eastern traditions near the beginning of the half-hour piece (I hear smidgens of Hassell and perhaps some of the more meditative aspects of the Canterbury scene), with a welcome thread of dirtier, glitchy electronics, before shifting to a fine percussive section, various quasi-rhythmic, hollow sounds tapping away, remotely. Some strong, melancholy viola, overdubbed into a small, mourning ensemble before shifting once again, There are many such shifts, tumbling from place to place while retaining something of a consistent character. Frithian guitar-ish areas (though no guitar is credited), parts that recall Hector Zazou, swirls of bubbling electronics, simplemelodic fragments that surface, repeat for a while, sink's a stew of sorts, some ingredients more palatable than others, but everything digestible. Maybe the references are too overt (there are also portions that remind me of Scott Johnson and, midway through Side B, a patch that's very much out of Reich circa 'Different Trains') and I'd be curious to hear future work where these skins are sloughed off, but Civitenga and Ooi evince a personal voice beneath all that and a very attractive one. Recommended for the more minimalist/Fennesz-y branches of readers.


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