AMN Reviews: Patrick Brennan & Abdul Moimême – Terraphonia [Creative Sources CS579CD]

The pairing of alto saxophonist patrick brennan and guitarist Abdul Moimême on terraphonia is an especially piquant one whose symbiosis is, paradoxically, an organic outgrowth of a constant polarity of sound.

The album was recorded in April in Lisbon, the home base for Moimême, a Portuguese native who also has lived in Ireland and the United States. Although his main instrument, as here, is electric guitar, Moimême also studied tenor saxophone under brennan, a New York-based musician. A composer as well as an improviser, brennan has since the 1970s pursued an original musical vision that includes solo saxophone performances as well as composing polyrhythmic works based on short, overlapping melodic cells for a large, modularly-organized ensemble.

There is a basic structure that ties together the seven tracks on terraphonia, a structure that consists in a timbral juxtaposition and contrast growing out of a more or less ongoing difference in voices. On the one side, abstract electronic sound from Moimême’s prepared guitars; on the other, the voice-like inflections of brennan’s wind-channeling alto saxophone and cornet. Moimême’s creative use of a broad spectrum of sounds based on qualities other than pitch frames each piece, while the emotional center of gravity lies in the forceful immediacy of brennan’s playing. The latter includes a generous but judicious use of extended technique, dynamic variation and broken phrasing that parallel the multifaceted qualities of the human voice—its confident assertion and hesitation, its full-throated stridency and confidential whisper. The opposition of timbres that emerges from the relationship between brennan and Moimême makes possible a distinctive kind of confluence: In place of the conventional motive engine of harmonic tension and release, the two set up an intricate, contrapuntal web of convergence and divergence in phrasing and dynamics. Through their sensitivity to each other’s contributions, brennan and Moimême are able to transform the particulars of contrast and difference into a higher-level, expressive synthesis.

Daniel Barbiero

Maurice Louca Interviewed About Elephantine 

Source: MadaMasr.

There’s something strange and remarkable about Maurice Louca’s latest album, Elephantine. Released earlier this year on Sub Rosa in Europe and Northern Spy in the United States, it’s an emotionally rich and textured album that sounds nothing like what he’s put out before. It’s refreshing, smooth and full of ideas. It’s challenging, but also pleasant to listen to.

The album comes as the result of a fascinating approach. Oversaturated by the electronic machines he used on the critically-acclaimed albums Benhayyi Al-Baghbaghan (Salute the Parrot) and Lekhfa (Invisibility), Louca threw it all away and started over, following his intuition as he came up with a whole new sound.

The Best New Ambient on Bandcamp: June 2019 

Source: Bandcamp Daily.

A quick browse through the Bandcamp ambient tag will reveal any number of ambient works from composers unified in their artistry through atmosphere, but with wildly differing approaches to how they achieve their goals. From the intimate and warm to the unsettling and tense, ambient is a diverse and endlessly thought-provoking genre. Every month, Ari Delaney will walk through the best recent releases you can find right here on Bandcamp.

In this edition, we’re highlighting albums released from May 15 through June 15, including dark ambient recorded on a Norwegian island and an album inspired by the sounds of synthwave.