AMN Reviews: Raphael Vanoli – Bibrax [Shhpuma SHH031 CD]

Guitarist/bassist Raphael Vanoli’s Bibrax, a set of work for electric guitar, takes the basic practice of solo classical guitar and recasts it in the wide spectrum of colors attainable only through electronic devices.

Like many conservatory-trained musicians in recent years, Vanoli is as involved with rock-derived music as with jazz and music in the Western classical tradition. He studied jazz and classical guitar at the Conservatory of Amsterdam and went on to perform the music of Steve Reich, Frederic Rzewski, Makoto Nomura and others. But he also played in a number of rock-based ensembles including Knalpot, a duo with drummer Gerri Jäger. Bibrax is his first solo release.

For the recording, Vanoli used a stereo setup employing a modified Fender Stratocaster sent through an elaborate pedal chain and then outputted to a bass amp on one side, and one of six guitar amps on the other. Unsurprisingly, the sound on all tracks is full and often of a lush—though sometimes harsh–beauty. This is apparent from the opening track, 99, which wraps floating, chime-like harmonies in a sharply honed, metallic jangle. Similarly, Perrine is a wash of consonant chords carried along on an explicit pulse. It’s vaguely muted sound may be an effect of Vanoli’s bowing the strings with a peacock feather. Lenz is one of several pieces created with Vanoli’s signature technique of blowing across the fingerboard to set the strings in motion. The piece consists of shimmering chords brought on with a gradual attack and fading with a long decay. As with the other pieces on the recording, its beauty carries just enough of an edge to keep complacency away.

Daniel Barbiero

Crow with No Mouth Launches Radio Program and Podcast

Source: crow with no mouth.

Beginning Saturday, September 2, 11pm-midnight Pacific Time, the inaugural one hour crow with no mouth radio program will air on community-based KOWS, Sonoma County, California. The one-hour radio program will air on odd Saturdays on KOWS at 11pm Pacific Time. At present, KOWS does not archive shows. If you’re not able to catch the program when it airs, they will be archived on the Podomatic site.

Obviously the radio format has time constraints for the music selected and host commentary. For that reason, I will be producing additional programs of indeterminate length which will also be posted on the Podomatic site. These programs will allow a more extensive presentation of the music selected and likely a little more host commentary.

The crow with no mouth radio program presents experimental music rarely heard on the airwaves – music from around the globe, principally electro-acoustic composition and improvisation, noise, extreme computer works, location recordings, musique concrete and contemporary composition.

crow with no mouth radio (KOWS 92.5 FM)
1st / 3rd / 5th saturday
11pm-midnight (PST)
1am-2am (CST)
2am-3am (EST)

crow with no mouth radio (extended mix)
approximately once weekly
hosted by Podomatic

The Ambient Sound Art of Porya Hatami

Source: Bandcamp Daily.

Iranian electronic musician Porya Hatami has no interest in making you dance. Part of a robust and fertile Iranian underground electronic scene, his compositions occupy a blurry zone between ambient music and sound art. They combine field recordings with highly processed electronic sounds; tracks frequently cruise blithely past the 10-minute mark.

He’s been shockingly prolific; since 2012, he’s put out at least nine solo releases (including full-lengths and a few 3” CDs), two compilations of remixes of his work by others, and multiple collaborations with artists in other countries, including Arovane, from Germany, and Darren McClure, who lives and works in Japan.

It’s possible to hear echoes of everything from Tangerine Dream to Oval to Bernhard Günter in Hatami’s work. A piece may be built around delicate piano laid atop softly pastoral synths, or it may consist of layered crackle, with barely perceptible electronic pulses gradually rising in the background. When sounds from the real world enter Hatami’s creative universe, they’re manipulated almost beyond recognition.