AMN Reviews: Byron Metcalf & Mark Seelig – Persistent Visions (2019; Projekt Records)

Metcalf and Seelig continue their long-running collaboration on Persistent Visions, released March 15 on Projekt. As a whole, the album harkens to the type of tribal ambient music pioneered by Steve Roach 25-35 years ago in a series of now-classic releases. This is not terribly surprising, as Metcalf and Seelig both have worked with Roach at various points since then. But what separates this recording from others of the same ilk is how easily it brings one into its meditative soundscape.

Metcalfe provides exquisitely-timed hand-drum rhythms that are both hypnotic and not overly repetitive. On top of these, Seelig offers lilting bamboo flute melodies and a subtle synth layer. This simple combination is the basis for the album’s 71 minutes, which are broken up into six raga-like “visions.” These trance-inducing pieces are neither overly bright nor dark – instead, they evoke a sense of harmony with nature, others, and oneself. It is difficult to make it through more than a few minutes of Persistent Visions without feeling a rising sense of calm and serenity, even if one is not a practitioner of the meditative arts.

Big Ears Festival Reviewed

Source: The New York Times.

The Big Ears Festival started 10 years ago, disappeared, returned, reorganized as a nonprofit and has quietly grown year by year, filling theaters, clubs and galleries in downtown Knoxville. About 18,000 people attended this year’s festival from March 21-24. Rejecting musical genre classifications and spurning descriptions like “avant-garde” or “experimental,” Big Ears has never spelled out its aesthetic guidelines, and by now it doesn’t have to. It draws an audience that’s curious and ready to listen intently.

New From Tzadik

Source: Tzadik.

John Zorn : The Hermetic Organ Vol 6–For Edgar Allan Poe
In these two spectacular performances Zorn literally “pulls out all the stops” in paying tribute to one of his favorite writers, the legendary Edgar Allan Poe, whose fantastical creations continue to capture the imagination of those interested in the dark side. Calling upon the Angels in two extended improvisations inspired by the haunting and frightening imagery of one of the world’s masters of fantasy and the imagination, the music features some of the strangest sounds you have ever heard come out of the instrument. This is organ improvisation at its most outrageous and macabre. You have never heard such sounds!

Spike Orchestra : The Book Beri’ah Vol 3–Binah
Based in London, The Spike Orchestra is one of the most adventurous Big Bands working today, blending jazz, rock, klezmer, cartoon music and the avant garde into a cohesive and compelling whole. Their first Masada project Cerberus was a surprise hit and one of the most powerful and imaginative interpretations in the entire Book of Angels series. Here they top that spectacular CD with new interpretations from The Book Beri’ah. With influences ranging from Gil Evans, Frank Zappa, Zorn and the most experimental side of the Stan Kenton organization, Spike Orchestra creates an incredibly varied program of Masada music at its rocking best. Astonishing big band jazz leading us into the 21st century.



March 21, 2019
Kara-Lis Coverdale Solo, ISSUE Project Room
Kara-Lis Coverdale

March 21, 2019
LXV, ISSUE Project Room
David Wesley Sutton

March 18, 2019
YVETTE, (le) poisson rouge
Dale Eisinger Noah Kardos-Fein

March 18, 2019
This Is Not This Heat, (le) poisson rouge
Charles Bullen Frank Byng Charles Hayward Daniel O’Sullivan James Sedwards Alex Ward

Musique Machine Reviews

Source: Musique Machine.

Linda Catlin Smith – Wanderer

Arve Henriksen, Eivind Aarset & Jan Bang – The Heights of the Reeds

Maurice Louca – Elephantine

Etant Donnes – La Vue

The Caretaker – Everywhere at the End of Time: Stage 6

Vomir/Shumoizolyatsia – Split

Feuersalamander Auf Abattoir – Commentary on the Apocalypse

Der Blutharsch and the Infinite Church o – Wish I Weren’t Here