AMN Reviews: Visions & Phurpa – Monad (2018; Cyclic Law)

The term monad refers to a singularity or a single being. The album Monad brings together two artists well-known in dark ambient spaces. Visions is Frederic Arbour (label head of Cyclic Law) and Phurpa is a loose-knit monastic group led by Russian Alexey Tegin. The former contributes dense, layered organic drones and sparse object percussion, while the latter offers throat singing and chants. But not infrequently, the two combine into seamless atmospheric structures as the title might suggest.

Consisting of four tracks in the eight to twelve minute range, Monad is an exploration of the sacred yet ominous, and the ancient but powerful. Representative is the title track, which begins with a windswept soundscape. A couple of minutes in, mournful chanting begins and slowly ramps up in intensity. Throat singing is added, but the vocals never overpower the underlying synth-formed strata. In the last minute, a subtle crescendo is reached, are the voices finally reach the foreground. And with a final, plaintive call, the track ends.

There is something unabashedly medieval or even antediluvian about this album, despite modern technology being used to create that feel. The vocal elements are compelling in particular, especially given their unusual approach. This is a good one for those who enjoy their ambiance cinematic and brooding.

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Upcoming Washington DC Area Shows

Bill Cole (right) performing with Warren Smith...

Sunday, May 15, Benefit for Sonic Circuits DC Festival, w/uru, with composer/pianist Daniel Sarid, and Myelin Nation, an improvising ensemble featuring saxophonist Sarah Hughes. @RHIZOME 6950 Maple Ave WDC. Just 1 block from the Takoma Metro Station.

Friday, June 1st, Ancestral Duo, with reedist/percussionist Jamal Moore, and bassist Luke Stewart. @RHIZOME 6950 Maple Ave WDC. Just 1 block from the Takoma Metro Station.

Tuesday, June 5th, Black Myths, with drummer Trae Crudup, and bassist Luke Stewart. @RHIZOME 6950 Maple Ave WDC. Just 1 block from the Takoma Metro Station.

Sunday, June 10th. Transparent Production’s in collaboration with the DC Jazz Festival, presents a trio of performances; double-reedist and composer Bill Cole presenting his Untempered Quartet (@4PM) and Untempered Ensemble (@7PM). Cole plays many rarely heard Asian-based double reed instruments, as well as the Didgeridoo. The Untempered Ensemble features Ras Moshe on reeds and flute, and Warren Smith on drums, among others. Then later, @9:30PM, the David Murray & Kahil El’Zabar Duo, featuring Murray on reeds/flute and El’Zabar on drums, percussion, khalimba, and voice. All Sunday, June 10th @RHIZOME 6950 Maple Ave WDC. Just 1 block from the Takoma Metro Station.

Coming to Detroit

English: Mars Williams performing live at Doub...

Source: Trinosophes.

Tuesday, May 15: Mars Williams (US) with Tollef Østvang (Norway)

Mars Williams is a wide-ranging musician, composer and educator who commutes easily between free jazz, funk, hip-hop and rock, Mars has played and recorded with The Psychedelic Furs, Billy Idol, Massacre, Fred Frith, Bill Laswell, Ministry, Power Station, Die Warzau, The Waitresses, Kiki Dee, Pete Cosey, Billy Squier, DJ Logic, Wayne Kramer, John Scoffield, Charlie Hunter, Kurt Elling, Swollen Monkeys, Mike Clark, Jerry Garcia, Naked Raygun, Friendly Fires, The Untouchables, Blow Monkeys and virtually every leading figure of Chicago’s and New York City’s “downtown” scene.

Tollef Østvang is a Norwegian drummer/improviser currently living in Trondheim. He´s mostly dedicated to free jazz and other forms of improvised music. Except from playing with his main projects, he have also performed with notable improvisers such as Joe McPhee, Ab Baars, Ig Hennemann, Tobias Delius, Wolter Wierbos, Eric Boeren, Michael Moore, Wilbert de Joode, Dave Rempis, Lasse Marhaug, Josh Berman, Keefe Jackson and Jaap Blonk.

Wednesday, May 16: William Hooker with Mark Kirschenmann, Marcus Elliot/Derek Worthington Duo

Drummer and composer.William Hooker has performed as a leader of many ensembles of improvised and new music. “Recognized as an iconoclast, and one of the most innovative musicians and drummers of his generation, William knows no genre bounds and ceaselessly searches for new forms of music, always with the intent to inspire. He’s accompanied musicians including Billy Bang, Thurston Moore, David Murray, David S. Ware, William Parker, Melvin Gibbs, Donald Miller, DJ Olive, Elliott Sharp, Malachi Thompson, Zeena Parkins, Lee Ranaldo, DJ Spooky, Rob Brown, Roy Campbell, Mark Hennen, Steven Bernstein, Roy Nathanson, Jason Hwang, Dave Soldier, Sabir Mateen, Glenn Spearman, Joseph Celli, Ellen Christi, Liudas Mockūnas, and many others. He has also composed original scores for a number of silent films.

Mark Kirschenmann, PhD, whose pioneering live electric trumpet performances are internationally acclaimed, is a composer, performer and scholar of creative improvisation. He is also the creative force behind the band E3Q (blockmrecords.org), an eclectic jazz-influenced trio with his wife, cellist Katri Ervamaa and percussionist Michael Gould. Most recently, he released the solo album entitled This Electric Trumpet (sonikmannrecords.com), recorded with the Nashville-based electronica duo Sub-ID (BFF, 1320records.com), and appeared with pianist Thollem McDonas, bassist Henry Grimes, flutist Nicole Mitchell, cornetist Rob Mazurek’s Sao Paulo Underground, saxophonists Oliver Lake and Arthur Blythe, and pianist Iiro Rantala of Trio Töykeät.

COMING SOON

5/18: Mike Donovan

5/20: E New Olduvai Ensemble (Elliott Levin/Tom Rollison)

5/31: Eugene Chadbourne

6/5: Wayne Horvitz and Sara Schoenbeck

Downtown Music Gallery Newsletter

Tim Berne

Source: Downtown Music Gallery.

Two Jewels from Henry Threadgill! Tim Berne & Matt Mitchell! Robert Dick & Ulrike Lentz! David Rothenberg / Nicola L. Hein / Hans Tammen! Four 1 from AM: Ensemble SuperMusique! Bernard Falaise Solo Guitar! Joane Hetu’s Joker Chorale! Nous Percons les Quielles! Welf Dorr Unit: Dave Ross / Dmitry Ishenko / Joe Hertenstein! Evil Genius Return! Restroy Two!

Metal Chaos Ensemble! Five New CD’s from Neos! Three LP’s from Harris Eisenstadt! LP’s from Francis Bebey! Jean Dubuffet! Joe Meek! Basil Kirchin! Son House! Visions & Phurpa! Five Day Week Straw People! And lost more!

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Upcoming Sets at Downtown Music Gallery – FREE, every Sunday at 6pm

THE DMG 28TH ANNIVERSARY SERIES OF SONIC CELEBRATIONS Continue with:

Sunday, May 13th:
6pm: JACKDAW: SEAN ALI / ERIKA DICKER / JOE MOFFETT – Contrabass / Violin / trumpet
7pm: WILLIAM PARKER AQUASONIC ENSEMBLE – ‘Lake of Light’ CD Release Celebration! Featuring: JEFF SCHLANGER/ANNE HUMANFELD/LEONID GALAGANOV/WILLIAM PARKER – Aquasonics

Sunday, May 20th: No In-Store – Bruce attending FIMAV Festival!

Sunday, May 27th: No In-store during Vision Festival!

Sunday, June 3rd:
6pm: DAVID AARON / ROB RITCHIE / DAVE GOULD – Soprano Sax / Electric Guitar / Drums
7pm: SAM NEWSOME – Solo Soprano Sax

Sunday, June 10th:
6pm: CARLO COSTA / CHRISTIAN MEAAS SVEDSEN / SAM KULIK – Percussion / Bass / Trombone
7pm: JONATHAN MORITZ / SEAN ALI / CARLO COSTA – Sax / Bass/ Drums

Rare, Monday June 11th:
6:30 – CARTOON JUSTICE With G. CALVIN WESTON/MIKA PONTECORVO/KERSTI ABRAMS/ADRIANE PONTECORVO/MARK PINO/ELIJAH PONTECORVO – Drums/Guitar/Alto Sax/Cello/El. Bass/Waterphone!

Sunday, June 17th:
6pm: PRACTITIONER: BEN GOLDBERG and MICHAEL COLEMAN – CD Release Set
7pm: NICOLA HEIN TRIO