Sunday, January 20, 2008

Some things largely from 2007 that were being held under quarantine at Erstwhile World Domination Headquarters until I belatedly took delivery last week...

Angharad Davies/Tisha Mukarji - Endspace (Another Timbre) Richard wrote a fine review at Bags and while I might be quite so taken with it, it's a thoughtful, attractive disc. Love to hear these two perform live as I get the feeling the music would work significantly better in "real space". Very good recording, though. another timbre

Jeffrey Allport/Angharad Davies/Chandar Narayan - Hawker's Delight (simple geometry) Brief (25 min.) live set, largely long sounds, relaxed and, again, thoughtful. Enjoyable if not earthshaking. I continue to like the sounds Narayan manages to generate from his autoharp.

Alfredo Costa-Monteiro - Epicycle (Etude) I did some on-site notes for this, so I'm biased, but I think this is a fantastic release. A single processed voice track, though I daresay there are only a couple of moments where you might guess the source. Immersive, often aroar, excellent work from a favorite musician of mine. I did some advance notes for this which can be found at the Etude site. etude

Kahn/Korber/Moslang/Muller/Weber/Yamauchi - Signal to Noise, vol. 4 (For 4 Ears) OK, though as is too often the case, pretty much what you'd expect. Nice dronage though Yamauchi's saxophone began to wear on me by disc's end. For4Ears

Kahn/Moslang/Muller/Aube - Signal to Noise, vol. 5 (For 4 Ears) Some good, goofy fun, I suppose, but don't I recall this showing up on some year's best lists? I don't see it. One thing I've been thinking about for a while now is how much purportedly "free music" isn't even close anymore. In a set like this, the implied constrictions on the performers strike me as huge. Not that that's necessarily a qualitative judgment, but ...I do generally find myself desiring more openness than I hear in work like this.

Jason Roebke/Brian Labycz - Duo (peira) Bass and electronics/koto, a bit too scrabbly and diffuse for my tastes, though enthusiastically performed. Fans of Barry Guy's small ensemble efforts should enjoy this.

The Contest of Pleasures - Tempestuous (another timbre) solid recording from the Butcher/Charles/Dorner trio, really pretty nice, though maybe a bit constrained. Some of the more exciting, high harmonies remind me, funnily enough, of similar areas reached by the Art Ensemble, specifically on things like the title track from Fanfare for the Warriors.

Rhodri Davies/Matt Davis/Samantha Rebello/Bechir Saade - Hum (another timbre) And another good one. Generally soft and careful but with enough grain to maintain interest. My first hearing of Rebello (flute) and Saade (bass clarinet); both do nice work. Track 4 ("Four") especially enjoyable.

Frank Denyer - Music for Shakuhachi (another timbre) Performed by Yoshikazu Iwamoto with Paul Hiley and Denyer on percussion. I've always wanted to like Denyer's music more than I end up doing so, but this one is fairly nice. How much is due to Denyer, how much to Iwamoto is impossible to say and doesn't really matter. I get the sense there's a lot going on here compositionally that I'm probably missing and imagine that especially the long, last piece, "Unnamed", will benefit form many more listens.

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