The Squid’s Ear Reviews

Source: The Squid’s Ear.

Illogical Harmonies (Chang / Majkowski) – Volume (Another Timbre)

Steve MacLean – Ordinary Objects And Other Distractions (Recommended Records)

Great Waitress – Flock (Creative Sources)

Christoph Erb / Frantz Loriot – Sceneries (Creative Sources)

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AMN Reviews: Ben Richter – Panthalassa: Dream Music of the Once and Future Ocean (2017; Infrequent Seams)

On this album coming out June 2nd, accordionist Ben Richter provides six pieces mostly based on accordion drones. Of course accordions drone – that’s what they do. But Richter’s approach involves a prepared instrument and use of microtones to evoke haunting soundscapes. He creates slowly undulating, overlapping walls of sound. While drones are all the rage these days, using the accordion in this fashion is novel and compelling.

The title piece, Panthalassa, is broken up over three tracks totaling about 45 minutes. Therein, Richter explores his instrument’s range of timbres and dynamics. While Part I of the suite focuses on the aforementioned unconventional drones, Part II  features almost subliminal threads of sharp, high-frequency textures, building in amplitude into an alien-sounding amalgam. Part III adds oscillating layers to a multi-voice mix, each voice carving out its own frequency range.

The fourth track, Farther Reaches, is an orchestral piece that operates as a slowly building movement. Both musical and thematic analogies to John Luther Adams‘ recent Become Ocean would not be out of place. Horns provide drones that are consistent with the album’s approach, while the accordion is layered in between and strings provide glissandi moments with sporadic crackling percussion.

The fifth track, Cryptobiosis (Uncanny Sines), is the odd man out, being an electronic piece rather than relying on the accordion. With a self-explanatory title (the sine waves are clearly present in the audio), this is perhaps the most minimal effort on the album. Richter finishes up with I am the Wind, using the accordion once again to simulate a windswept soundscape.  At just over five minutes, this is the album’s shortest offering by far.

This is not your grandparents’ accordion music. No polkas or folk elements. Instead, Richter continues a line of work originating with modern classicists, such as Milhaud, Antheil, Norgard, Berio, and Gubaidulina, utilizing the instrument in a broader sense. Along the way, he contributes an absorbing album to the contemporary drone oeuvre.

Nels Cline Interview

English: Nels Cline @ All tomorrow's parties f...

Source: Observer.

Since Nels Cline joined Wilco in 2004, the band’s reputation as a transcendent, sprawlingly mercurial live act was all but assured.

Following the band’s release of A Ghost is Born, Cline’s first record with the band that year was Kicking Television, a live set recorded in the band’s hometown Chicago that showcased just how muscular Wilco had become with Cline and rhythm guitarist Pat Sansone on deck. Cline’s particular playing style continues to captivate fans who cherish the variety of sounds he’s able to tap into on the five records that band’s released since.

Intrepid ears will tell you that Cline’s dexterous playing didn’t just come out of nowhere. The 61-year-old guitarist has been a mainstay of the West Coast jazz and “new music” communities since 1980, when a collaboration with the late Eric Von Essen led them to form Quartet Music and began what would become a 37-year career making some of the most adventurous, genre-bending recordings, not only in the jazz world, but in the experimental pop, country, punk and noise scenes, too.

Rudresh Mahanthappa Interview

Rudresh Mahanthappa

Source: NewMusicBox. This one is from last year, but still relevant.

It has become common practice to describe jazz as “America’s classical music,” but in some ways doing so misrepresents jazz’s role in this country’s culture and also creates a false hierarchy between this extraordinary American-born music and many other valuable musical idioms to which Americans have made invaluable contributions, including so-called “classical” music. Perhaps even worse it circumscribes jazz as a musical practice, limiting what it can be as well as the aspirations of people who create music that has been defined by that word. Last year, Boydell Press published a book with the provocative title The Other Classical Musics edited by Michael Church. The book looks at a total of 15 different musical traditions from around the world and, in the process, redefines the words “other” and “classical”; one of the 15 traditions featured is Western classical music since this music is in fact an “other” to people who grew up thinking of, say, Carnatic ragas as the building blocks of classical music. Another one of the traditions featured in the book is American jazz.

The Italian-born, Boulder, Colorado-raised composer/saxophonist Rudresh Mahanthappa creates music that is deeply informed by at least four of the traditions featured in Church’s book—the Carnatic music of his ancestors, the Hindustani music that most folks in America assume is the sum total of India’s contribution to classical music, Western classical music which got instilled in him while studying the Baroque recorder in elementary school, and jazz—his pedigree in which is backed up with two academic degrees. But the music he first fell in love with was Grover Washington’s and, he acknowledged when we visited him in his home in Montclair, New Jersey, his earliest attempts at original material were inspired by Kenny G.

Vital Weekly Reviews 1082

Source: Vital Weekly.

FREDERIC LE JUNTER – BATEAU FEU (CD by Label Vand’oeuvre/CCAM) *
DESIDERII MARGINIS – SONGS OVER RUINS (CD by Cyclic Law)
PETER BJÄRGÖ – ANIMUS RETINENTIA (CD by Cyclic Law)
ERIC LA CASA – PARIS QUOTIDIEN (CD by Swarming) *
STRYCHARSKI/ANDRIESSEN – GHOST (CD by Bolt Records) *
RAPHAEL ROGINSKI – PLAYS HENRY PURCELL (CD by Bolt Records)
QUENTIN TOLIMIERI – PREPARED PIANO (CD on Creative Sources)
SYLVAIN VAN INIITU & THOMAS COQUELET & QUENTIN CONRATE – MANERIES RAMONANDI FOURNELLOS (CD by Creative Sources) *
JAMES HAMILTON – XENOLITH (CD by The Keraunograph Organisation) *
NEARLY DEAD – WEATHERED MEAT (LP by Geriatric Records)
JESUS IS MY SON – SOLAH#2 (LP by Ini.itu)
FROGOROTH (LP compilation by Ini.itu)
STROTTER INST. – MISZELLEN (double LP by Hallow Ground)
LAMBS GAMBLE – FAREWELL BODY BAGS (LP on Discombobulate)
FLAMINGO CREATURES – FISCH VERSUCHT DAS SPRECHENLERNEN (cassette on Discombobulate)
EZIO PIERMANTEL – TRE MADRI LUDOPATICHE (cassette on Discombobulate)
TUBULAR BRASS – TUBULAR BELLS (7″ by Static Caravan) *
THE HOME CURRENT (7″ by Static Caravan) *
EAN – REMIXES #1 (7″ by Static Caravan) *
GUY HARRIES – FAULT LINE (CDR by Sombre Soniks) *
FAR RAINBOW – THE POWER OF DEGENERATED MATTER (CDR by The Slightly off Kilter Label) *
RUNE KJAER RASMUSSEN – TURNING SCARS INTO STARS (CDR, private) *
AMK – HOW ARE YOU? I’M OK (cassette by Dokuro)
DEISON – MUTAZIONI (cassette by Dokuro)
VIDEOBASIC – FRAKIBACTER (cassette by Dokuro)
JLIAT – THE SWAN DEVICE (? by Jliat)