AMN Reviews: Inside/Outside – Territory and Rooms [bandcamp]

Electronics artist Don Campau and percussionist Russell Leach have released several albums as the duo Inside/Outside. For their two most recent releases they have constructed suites featuring the two of them alone (Territories), and a collaboration with seven kindred experimentalists (Rooms).

a0033418682_10For Rooms, Campau and Leach recorded individual tracks for each collaborator, who would then overdub a part. From the first track, a country & western inflected improvisation for Baltimore pedal steel player Susan Alcorn, through to the last, a haunting setting for vocalist Robin O’Brien, the finished pieces succeed in reflecting the individual voices of Campau and Leach’s collaborators, thus capturing the particular sounds of very different artists. Highlights include violinist Mike Khoury’s raga-like contribution; oboist Kyle Bruckmann’s extended techniques overlaid with analogue electronics; Bryan Day’s sparse plucked strings and objects; and Al Margolis’s collage of manipulated found sounds.

a2134722938_10The double release Territory is a kind of follow-up to Rooms. Begun when Campau and Leach were completing Rooms, the first seven tracks were recorded for No Pigeonholes EXP, Campau’s essential radio show of experimental music. A second group of tracks was then recorded as a suite in seven parts. Here one gets Inside/Outside by itself, crafting its own unique sound. And that sound is richly atmospheric, consisting in the fecund crossing of pre-modern, sometimes exotic rhythms with modern instruments and production, all in the service of reverberant, often shimmering textures.

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