Philip Samartzis / Michael Vorfeld – Scheckenrock

(Nonvisualobjects) In a joint artistic venture, the combination of singular approaches and attitudes towards the conception of compelling sounds is a potentially lethal weapon, especially when the human constituents tread entirely different paths to achieve the desired consequence. The products resulting from this sort of collaboration frequently resemble an excessively varicolored pot-pourri in which — more than recognizing a “composition” — the ears tend to isolate the single specifics giving them relevance, per se, as to distinguish who made certain choices or where a personality prevails on the other. In essence, what kills good intentions is, typically, the starkness of … Continue reading Philip Samartzis / Michael Vorfeld – Scheckenrock

Julien Skrobek – Double-Entendre

(Taumaturgia) Julien Skrobek’s work is not destined to generate chasms in the rock of EAI, yet the French experimenter keeps maintaining a reasonably steady release schedule, alternating records that leave practically no trace in the memory to comparatively intriguing episodes where a superior degree of commitment and, consequently, deeper layers of implication are noticeable. Double-Entendre belongs to a category situated in the middle of these extremes. Entirely conceived on guitars and electronics, the CD is almost exactly halved, one track clocking at twenty minutes, the second just 29 seconds longer. In each of the parts we’re subjected to similar recipes, … Continue reading Julien Skrobek – Double-Entendre

Uncle Woody Sullender – Live At Barkenhoff

(Künstlerhäuser Worpswede) Brooklyn-based Woody Sullender is a truly unique specimen of improviser, in that he chose a traditional American sonic tool – the banjo – to “play with and against the cultural baggage of the instrument” and, in simpler prose, discover new improvisational approaches. After receiving technical assistance from the renowned STEIM, Sullender developed a computer-assisted electroacoustic set in which parameters of synthesis and algorithms are controlled by sensors placed on the banjo’s body. Not a surprise, then, that among this picker’s illustrious collaborations are pioneers such as Maryanne Amacher and Pauline Oliveros. And yet, while concentrating on the music … Continue reading Uncle Woody Sullender – Live At Barkenhoff

Jürg and Marianne Rufer – Les Diaboliques: Jubilee Concert DVD

(Intakt) The trio of Irène Schweizer, Maggie Nicols and Joëlle Léandre – Les Diaboliques – represents a primary factor in the history of Intakt, since they were all present in the label’s very first record (Live At Taktlos) before going on to become one of the most lively expressions in the macrocosm of present-day improvisation. Their catalog, also published by the Swiss imprint, provides indispensable samples of theatrical and instrumental virtuosity. Those who haven’t had the lucky chance of watching these women on stage can now appreciate their attitude thanks to this DVD, which captures them in March 2006 at … Continue reading Jürg and Marianne Rufer – Les Diaboliques: Jubilee Concert DVD

“Blue” Gene Tyranny – The Somewhere Songs / The Invention Of Memory

(Mutable) A renowned partner in crime of Robert Ashley, Laurie Anderson, Iggy Pop, Carla Bley and then some, “Blue” Gene Tyranny is rarely highlighted as a composer. Perhaps this is due to the deceptively simple façade of a good portion of his music, which hides finesse and attention to detail behind a veil of apparent weightlessness, typically explicated by the use of relatively straightforward traits and, quite frequently, synthetic presets that sound terrible on a first listen, until we become conscious of their necessity in the economy of the piece. But here’s a completely different story. This CD, released in … Continue reading “Blue” Gene Tyranny – The Somewhere Songs / The Invention Of Memory

John Butcher – Resonant Spaces

(Confront) In the summer of 2006, Arika invited John Butcher – together with Japanese artist Akio Suzuki – to perform in the Resonant Spaces event, an itinerary across several remote regions of Scotland featuring locations which, according to the organizers, would put the artists in the condition of being “informed by the acoustic space they found themselves in”, as per Barry Esson’s explanation. The sites, ranging from stone formations in a meadowland to a phallus-shaped mausoleum, were all deemed valuable for interactive acoustic exploitation by the many-sided aptitude of Butcher, his intuitions about the propagation of the sound of saxophones … Continue reading John Butcher – Resonant Spaces

Charles Evans – The King Of All Instruments

(Hot Cup) A pupil of Bill Zaccagni, David Liebman and Antonio Hart, and currently well known as the companion of adventures of (unrelated) trumpeter Peter Evans and bassist Moppa Eliott in the “microtonal bebop” gang The Language Of, Charles Evans’ artistic mission is focused upon the achievement of near-perfection on the baritone saxophone, which the aforementioned Zaccagni used to call “the king of all instruments”, reputing the other members of the same instrumental family as children of a lesser god. Influenced by the work of Charles Ives, Evans decided to put this material on tape exclusively utilizing the deep-voiced puffing pachyderm … Continue reading Charles Evans – The King Of All Instruments