AMN Reviews: Alvaro Domene – The Compass (2018; Iluso Records)

Alvaro Domene is a Spanish guitarist who has been living in New York City for the past several years. His recent collaborators include Briggan Krauss, Joe McPhee, Jim Black, Ches Smith, Mike Pride, and Fred Lonberg-Holm to name a few. The Compass is his first solo release.

Using a 7-string electric guitar and recorded without overdubs, Domene makes use of distortion, electronics, feedback, and delay to create a surprisingly full and dense sound with multiple voices. He alternates between contorted soundscapes, heavy riffing, drones, and more introspective motifs. Domene takes his cue from metal and provides a nod toward the guitar heroics of that genre with arpeggiated chords and aggressive (though not gratuitous) soloing. But he also uses extended techniques, elements of free improv, and a taste of angular jangling. The title track does a decent job of summing this up – it begins with a distorted, shifting wall of noise that evolves and morphs with help of power chords and tremolo. Ultimately, these elements support a brief theme played on the high strings before the piece ends around the four-minute mark.

Comparisons? More like Dirk Serries than Robert Fripp, but with a touch or two of Sunn O))). Highly recommended, especially for electric guitar fans.

 

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AMN Reviews: Jack O’ The Clock – Repetitions of the Old City – II (2018; Bandcamp)

Northern California’s Jack O’ The Clock is back once more for the follow-on release to 2016’s Repetitions of the Old City – I. Not unlike that effort (as well as much of the group’s previous works), this album combines lyrically-driven melancholy folk with tightly-orchestrated prog rock and touches of a handful of other styles.

The breadth of their approach is illustrated by the instrumentation, with Damon Waitkus on lead vocals, guitars, hammer dulcimers, and various other stringed instruments, as well as keyboards, flute, and percussion. Emily Packard plays violin and viola while Kate McLoughlin is on bassoon and vocals. The rhythm section consists of Jason Hoopes on bass and Jordan Glenn on drums and percussion (both of the Fred Frith Trio). This, the core of the band for the last several years, is joined by Thea Kelley helping out on vocals and Ivor Holloway with tenor saxophone and clarinet. Other collaborators on one track or another play pipe organ, trumpet, piano, and samples.

Thematically, Repetitions of the Old City – II is similar to that of its predecessor and 2013’s All My Friends. Waitkus’s poetic lyrics evoke what could only be described as weird Americana – explorations of disturbing sides of our national psyche. After a decade of albums, it has become abundantly clear that these stories are a key part of Jack O’ The Clock’s music and responsible for at least half of the aforementioned feel. They go beyond the literal but remain grounded in and describe a working-class earthiness…in decline. Nonetheless, three of the eleven tracks are instrumental, another area where the group shines.

But the compositional and instrumental aspects are ultimately inseparable from these texts, as each strengthens and reinforces the other.  As just one example, the nearly-fourteen-minute Miracle Car Wash, 1978 begins with a bluesy dulcimer / bassoon / clarinet theme that evolves into the backing rhythm for vocals (“I saw a picture and I thought of you / and the gloomy Christ on your bedroom door / a clown sits in a giant swing / in the shadows high above the forest floor / The same tempera blare / the same tenebrous eyes that dogged your little friends around the room”).  After several verses in line with the above comes a long contrapuntal interlude featuring electric and acoustic guitar, bass, drums, bassoon, clarinet, and violin.  It demonstrates the ease at which the group can handle complex lines both aggressive and delicate. This leads to a more straightforward rhythm with accentuations from the reed and stringed instruments, punctuated by car horns.  Around the ten-minute mark a pseudo-orchestral break leads to the final verse (“I was alive when that blizzard hit / I don’t remember but I’ve seen the super-8s / People asphyxiating in their cars / and there was martial law in parts of some Northeastern states / And there’s Miracle Car Wash, and you and your friends / are making high-speed angels in the road”).

Another outstanding release from Waitkus and company.

NYC Calendar July 2018 

Source: extended techniques.

SUNDAY, July 1
1PM Pandit Pran Nath 21st Anniversary Memorial Tribute
Three Midday Concerts of Raga Vrindabani Sarang at the Mela Dream House
La Monte Young, voice
Marian Zazeela, voice
Jung Hee Choi, voice
Naren Budhkar, tabla
The Tamburas of Pandit Pran Nath from the Just Dreams CD
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-just-alap-raga-ensemble-tickets-47407391785
VENUE: Dream House
ADMISSION: $37-$47

SUNDAY, July 1
6pm Ben Goldberg/Gerald Cleaver
Ben Goldberg (clarinet), Gerald Cleaver (drums)
VENUE: Downtown Music Gallery
ADMISSION: Free

SUNDAY, July 1
7pm Modern Piano (+) Festival: Taka Kigawa plays the Boulez Second Sonata
VENUE: Spectrum
ADMISSION: $15

THURSDAY, July 5
Anthony Coleman and Brian Chase duo
Anthony Coleman (piano), Brian Chase (drums)
https://www.facebook.com/events/581085578957247/
VENUE: Areté Venue and Gallery
ADMISSION: $15

THURSDAY, July 5
7 pm Spectacle: Joe Morris, Augusti Fernandez, Mark Feldman, Lester St. Louis
Joe Morris (guitar), Augusti Fernandez (piano), Mark Feldman (violin), Lester St. Louis (bass)
VENUE: Spectrum
ADMISSION: $15

SUNDAY, July 7
1pm Pandit Pran Nath 21st Anniversary Memorial Tribute
Three Midday Concerts of Raga Vrindabani Sarang in the MELA Dream House
La Monte Young, voice
Marian Zazeela, voice
Jung Hee Choi, voice
Naren Budhkar, tabla
The Tamburas of Pandit Pran Nath from the Just Dreams CD
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-just-alap-raga-ensemble-tickets-47407391785
VENUE: Dream House
ADMISSION: $37-$47

THURSDAY, July 10
8 pm Trombone Insurgency: Joe Mcphee, Dick Griffin, Steve Swell
Joe McPhee – Trombone
Dick Griffin – Trombone
Steve Swell – Trombone
VENUE: Zürcher Gallery
ADMISSION: $15

THURSDAY, July 10
9pm Dave Allen, Jon Irabagon, Drew Gress, Mark Ferber
Dave Allen, guitar/compositions; Jon Irabagon, saxophone; Drew Gress, bass; Mark Ferber, drums
VENUE: Korzo
ADMISSION:$15

WEDNESDAY, July 11
7pm Thomas Heberer (tpt), Vincent Chancey (french horn), Patrick Holmes (clarinet), Aaron Novik (bass and contrabass clarinet)
https://www.facebook.com/events/177647152860912
VENUE: H0L0
ADMISSION: $10

THURSDAY, July 12
7:30pm Available Light
choreography by Lucinda Childs
John Adams’s Light Over Water for synthesizer and recorded brass
http://www.lincolncenter.org/show/available-light
VENUE: Rose Theater (Lincoln Center)
ADMISSION: $35 – $115

SATURDAY, July 14
8:30 pm Cleric performs John Zorn’s Book Beri’ah
Matt Hollenberg (guitar) Daniel Ephraim Kennedy (bass) Larry Kwartowitz (drums) Nick Shellenberger (keys, vocals)
VENUE: The Stone
ADMISSION: $15

SATURDAY, July 14
7:30PM Kronos Quartet / Trio Da Kali
Kronos Quartet and traditional Malian ensemble Trio Da Kali
https://www.bricartsmedia.org/events-performances/bric-celebrate-brooklyn-festival/kronos-quartet-trio-da-kali
VENUE: Prospect Park Bandshell
ADMISSION: Free

SUNDAY, July 15
1pm Pandit Pran Nath 21st Anniversary Memorial Tribute
Three Midday Concerts of Raga Vrindabani Sarang in the MELA Dream House
La Monte Young, voice
Marian Zazeela, voice
Jung Hee Choi, voice
Naren Budhkar, tabla
The Tamburas of Pandit Pran Nath from the Just Dreams CD
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-just-alap-raga-ensemble-tickets-47407391785
VENUE: Dream House
ADMISSION: $37-$47

TUESDAY, July 17 and WEDNESDAY, July 18
7:30pm Bernstein MASS
A Theater Piece for Singers, Players and Dancers
New York production premiere
http://www.lincolncenter.org/mostly-mozart-festival/show/bernstein-mass
VENUE: David Geffen Hall (Lincoln Center)
ADMISSION: $45-135

WEDNESDAY, July 18
8pm Moonhee Hwang, Piano
Mozart Piano Sonata in C Major, K. 330
Ravel Pavane pour une infante défunte
Ravel Jeux d’eau
Shostakovich Selections from 24 Preludes, Op. 34
Cowell “The Tides of Manaunanun” from Three Irish Legends
Villa-Lobos Selections from Ciclo Brasileiro
https://www.carnegiehall.org/calendar/2018/07/18/moonhee-hwang-0800pm
VENUE: Weill Recital Hall (Carnegie Hall)
ADMISSION: $50

FRIDAY, July 20
8pm Sonic Arts Union: David Behrman, Alvin Lucier, Gordon Mumma, Robert Ashley (In Memoriam)
Alvin Lucier: Double Helix (2018) – Oren Ambarchi, Stephen O’Malley, Bernhard Rietbrock, Jan Thoben
Gordon Mumma: From the Rendition Series (2006) – Joseph Kubera & Gordon Mumma
Robert Ashley: Love is a Good Example (1993) – Gelsey Bell, Aliza Simons Dave Ruder
Alvin Lucier: Tilted Arc (2018) – Trevor Saint
David Behrman: Long Throw (2007/2018) – David Behrman, John King, Joseph Kubera, Cleek Schrey
https://issueprojectroom.org/event/sonic-arts-union-david-behrman-alvin-lucier-gordon-mumma-robert-ashley-memoriam
VENUE: ISSUE Project Room
ADMISSION: $15-$25

SATURDAY, July 21
6pm Sonic Arts Union: David Behrman, Alvin Lucier, Gordon Mumma, Robert Ashley (In Memoriam)
A History of Sonic Arts Union presented by Gordon Mumma
Gordon Mumma: Large Size Mograph 1962 (1962) – Joseph Kubrera
Paula Matthusen with Philip White
Alvin Lucier: Chambers (1968)
Alvin Lucier: Vespers (1969)
James Fei: Sine of Merit III (2017)
David Behrman: Runthrough (1967-68) – David Behrman, crys cole, Cleek Schrey
Oren Ambarchi & crys cole: Call Myself (2017) & Francis Debacle (Uno) (2017)
Robert Ashley: In Memoriam: Esteban Gomez (1963)
https://issueprojectroom.org/event/sonic-arts-union-david-behrman-alvin-lucier-gordon-mumma-robert-ashley-memoriam-special-guests
VENUE: ISSUE Project Room
ADMISSION: $15-$25

TUESDAY, July 24
8:30pm Trio
Ikue Mori (electronics), Sylvie Courvoisier (piano), Annie Gosfield (sampling keyboard)
VENUE: The Stone
ADMISSION: $15

TUESDAY, July 24
9pm “The Cool Philosophy of Ben Goldberg” w/ Kirk Knuffke, cornet; Ben Goldberg, clarinet/compositions; Tony Scherr, bass; Kenny Wollesen, drums
10:30pm Michael Formanek, bass/compositions; Tim Berne, alto saxophone; Andrew Bishop, tenor saxophone/clarinets; Sylvie Courvoisier, piano; Dan Weiss, drums
VENUE: Korzo
ADMISSION: $15

SUNDAY, July 29
8pm Matthew Shipp Trio
Matthew Shipp, piano; Michael Bisio, bass; Newman Taylor Baker, drums
https://www.facebook.com/events/388203401693951
VENUE: MOMA
ADMISSION: Free

Coming to Detroit

Source: Trinosophes.

Friday, July 6: Oluyemi Thomas Quartet (with Kenn Thomas. Ben Willis, David Hurley)
Bass clarinetist and Cecil Taylor alumni Oluyemi Thomas returns to his hometown of Detroit and the Trino stage with his new Detroit quartet. Ever since he first appeared at Bohemian National Home with his brother Kenn on piano, Oluyemi has been electrifying local audiences in various incarnations: solo and in duos, trios and quartets and with his group Positive Knowledge. He’s also worked with some of the greatest bassist in history, including Henry Grimes, Alan Silva and William Parker (in a pervious quartet at Trinosophes). This latest quartet pairs the Thomas brothers with some excellent younger players who are no stranger to the Trino stage: bassist Ben Willis and percussionist David Hurley.
Doors at 8 pm; $10-20 suggested donation

Saturday, July 14: Launch party for Two Rooms Records with Quartet Now!, Viands, Thollem, Clem Fortuna
Join us for the debut of Detroit’s newest vanguard record label, Two Rooms Records, at 8 pm on Friday, July 14 at Trinosophes (1464 Gratiot Avenue, Detroit).
Two Rooms Records is a collaboration between Joel Peterson (Trinosophes,Bohemian National Home) and Sam Hooker (Michigan Underground Group a.k.a. MUG, Peoples Records). This new label specializes in contemporary and historic recordings from a genre-free but largely Detroit-centric perspective. Fittingly, each LP features cover art by noted Detroit visual artists.

COMING SOON

7/20: Keir Nueringer and Luke Stewart

7/21: Crown of Eternity (Mike Tamburo)

7/26: Matt Endahl’s Doomsday Philharmonic