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Zlatko Kaucic (w/ Evan Parker, Agusti Fernandez, Rafal Mazur, Lotte Anger, Artun Majewski, Phil Minton, Johannes Bauer): Diversity [5 CD BOX SET] (Not Two)

Slovenian percussionist Zlatko Kaucic reinforces the title of his "Diversity" box set over 5 CDs in a variety of solo, duo, trio and quartet setting, including some of the UK & Europe's finest improvisers--Evan Parker, Agusti Fernandez, Lotte Anker, Artur Majewski, Rafal Mazur, Phil Minton, and Johannes Bauer--an excellent example of his wide-ranging work as an improviser. ... Click to View


Roscoe Mitchell Orchestra: Littlefield Concert Hall Mills College (Wide Hive)

Roscoe Mitchell 25 Piece Orchestra Returns with an outstanding follow-up to it's 2017 release "Discussions", recorded in concert at the Littlefield Auditorium in Mills College, reworking earlier works that take advantages of Mitchell's systems designed to articulate and capitalize on the tensions between composition and improvisation; an impressive achievement. ... Click to View


Chicago Odense Ensemble: (El Paraiso Records)

In 2008 the Danish group Causa Sui of guitarist Jonas Munk and drummer Jakob Skott ventured to Chicago, meeting and setting up the studio session for this excellent electric jazz session in a 70's Miles mode, with cornetist Rob Mazurek, Tortoise members Jeff Parker and Dan Bitney. ... Click to View


Luc Ferrari: Music Promenade / Unheimlich Schon [VINYL] (Recollection GRM)

Two works from French composer Luc Ferrari: "Music Promenade" (1964-69) an electroacoustic work for four stand-alone tape recorders presenting a series of colliding realistic sounds and sonic images; and "Unheimlich Schon" (1971), a quiet work of Musique concrete with spoken work--"How does a young woman breathe when thinking about something else?" ... Click to View


Regis Lariviere Renouard: Contree [VINYL] (Recollection GRM)

Acousmatic compositions--works of sound having no relationship to concrete elements--from French composer Regis Renouard Lariviere, using bold sounds structures in three major works from 2002, 2010 & 2013, each exploring sonic environments affected by tone, timbre, time and pitch in fascinating and gripping ways; profoundly interesting and otherworldy. ... Click to View


Maja Ratkje S.K.: Sult (Rune Grammofon)

Starting with a pipe organ, adding metal tubes, PVC tubes, a wind machine, guitar strings, a bass string, a resin thread, metal and glass percussion and a bow, Maja SK Ratjke developed the instrument for a live performance in Jo Stromgren's ballet "Sult" ("Hunger"), taking the instrument to the studio for this extraordinarily interesting album of keys and song. ... Click to View


Surplus 1980 Collectiv Ensembl With G.W. Sok : Forget All This (Music a la Coque)

Surplus 1980 Collectiv Ensembl takes the current members of drummer Moe! Staiano's Surplus 1980 and associated musicians including Kyle Bruckmann, John Shiurba, Vicky Grossi, Paul Costuros, &c, with Dutch vocalist G.w. Sok from The Ex, in an album of avant post-punk rock works, sophisticated but determined and pointed music, an unusual hybrid of impressive styles. ... Click to View


Toyozumi / Countryman / Montes: Blue Incarnation (Improvisations for Kulintang) (ChapChap Records)

Also known as "Improvisations for Kulintang", this live album of energetic and informed free jazz occurred between legendary Japanese percussionist Sabu Toyozumi and Philippine-based saxophonist Rick Countryman in Dec 2018, with featured guest Tusa Montes performing on prepared Kulintang percussion, a set of horizontally laid gongs that add tympanic melody. ... Click to View


Magnus Granberg / Skogen: Nun, es wird nicht weit mehr gehn (Another Timbre)

Composer Magnus Granberg took influences from Schubert's song cycle "Die Winterreise", extracting tonal material, which he merged with rhythmic influences from medieval English folk music and a song by Dowland, merging them into a temporal framework for this large and subtle composition, executed by a setpet including Angharad Davies, Erik Carlsson, Henrik Olsson, d'incise, &c. ... Click to View


Angharad Davies / Rie Nakajima / Alice Purton: Dethick (Another Timbre)

Three free improvising women--Angharad Davies, Rie Nakajima, and Alice Purton--met in the church in the tiny hamlet of Dethick, near Matlock, Derbyshire, over the course of two days developing the ten pieces of this album using an impressive set of stringed and percussive instruments, objects, and mysterious sources to create these fascinating sonic evocations. ... Click to View


Klaus Lang / Golden Fur : Beissel (Another Timbre)

A collaboration between Austrian composer/organist Klaus Lang and the Golden Fur ensemble ofSamuel Dunscombe on clarinet, Judith Hamann on cello & James Rushford on viola & harmonium, reworking a hymn from 18th century composer Johann Conrad Beissel, using an algorithmic system to reinterpret the piece through orchestration, dynamic movement, harmonic density & harmonicity. ... Click to View


Julius Eastman / Apartment House: Femenine (Another Timbre)

A live recording of Julius Eastman's 1974 work "Femenine" performed by Apartment House led by cellist Anton Lukoszevieze with Simon Limbrick on vibraphone, Kerry Yong on piano, Mark Knoop on keyboard, Mira Benjamin on violin, and Gavin Morrison and Emma Williams on flute, an ecstatic and intricate work using a repeating figure contrasted with both asynchronous and complementing backgrounds. ... Click to View


Joshua Abrams And Natural Information Society: Mandatory Reality [2 CDs] (Eremite)

Two large hypnotic works and 2 shorter pieces from Chicago's Natural Information Society led by Joshua Abrams on gimbri in an eight-piece acoustic band with Lisa Alvarado on harmonium & gongs, Mikel Avery on tam-tam & gongs, Ben Boye on autoharp & piano, Hamid Drake on tabla & tar, Ben Lamar Gay on cornet, Nick Mazzarella on saxophone, and Jason Stein on bass clarinet. ... Click to View


Various Artists: An Anthology of Greek Experimental Electronic Music 1966-2016 [2 CDs] (Sub Rosa)

An anthology of contemporary Greek experimental composers focused primarily on works since the 1980s, attempting to map the breadth of approaches while delineating different understandings of what "Greek" or "experimental" may stand for, by means of zeroing in on the numerous, often overlapping, realities and micro-scenes that are associated with the former. ... Click to View


Various Artists: An Anthology of Greek Experimental Electronic Music 1966-2016 [2 LPs] (Sub Rosa)

An anthology of contemporary Greek experimental composers focused primarily on works since the 1980s, attempting to map the breadth of approaches while delineating different understandings of what "Greek" or "experimental" may stand for, by means of zeroing in on the numerous, often overlapping, realities and micro-scenes that are associated with the former. ... Click to View


Masing / Lin / Tallone / Rodrigues / Zek: Buratino (Creative Sources)

A quintet of strings, hurdy gurdy, and amplified objects from Elo Masing on violin, Ernesto Rodrigues on viola, Hui-Chun Lin on cello, Caroline Cecilia Tallone on hurdy gurdy, objects, and Ame Zek on 12 string guitar, objects, recording in the studio for this 5 part improvisation, the hurdy-gurdy adding sustained mystery to a balance of subdued and assertive interaction. ... Click to View


Wolfgang Schwabe / Hui-Chun Lin: 180818 (Creative Sources)

A unique pairing of strings from Berlin improviser Wolfgang Schwabe performing on the Guqin, or Qin, a plucked seven-string Chinese musical instrument of the zither family, and Hui-Chun Lin on cello and voice, finding common ground in instant compositions of exotic string figures plucked and bowed, with Hui-Chun Lin sometimes bringing emotional release in voice. ... Click to View


Dave Douglas: Showing Up / The Power of the Vote [7" VINYL] (Greenleaf Music)

2019 Record Store Day release, a 7" from trumpeter Dave Douglas in two different configurations: the lead track from his album "Engage" featuring guitarist Jeff Parker and cellist Tomeka Reid along with Anna Webber, Nick Dunston & Kate Gentile; and a B-Side from 2018's "Uplift" featuring Joe Lovano and Bill Laswell alongside Mary Halvorson, Julian Lage, and Ian Chang. ... Click to View


Acid Mothers Temple & The Melting Paraiso U.F.O.: Invisible Eyes And Phantom Cathedral [VINYL] (Bam Balam Records)

One of the most significant Japanese psych bands, Acid Mothers Temple & The Melting Paraiso U.F.O.'s official RSD release has a distinct Gong/Can feel about it, with the 2019 lineup of Kawabata Makoto: guitar, synthesizer, speed guru; Higashi Hiroshi: synthesizer, noodle god; Jyonson Tsu: vocal, guitar, bouzouki; Satoshima Nani: drums, another dimension; Wolf: bass, space & time. ... Click to View


Various Artists: 20 Jahre Inventionen VI (Edition Rz)

New Pricing April 2019: Recordings from the Berlin Inventionen Festivals for New Music 2005 and 2006 featuring compositions by Edgar Barroso ("ODD"); Mario Verandi ("Comme un jeu des images"); Paul Wilson ("Trhough the Rain"); Ricardo Climent ("Wallwoodpeckers"); Vladimir Djambazov ("The Secret Life of a Snare Drum"); and Ludger Brummer ("Glasharle"). ... Click to View


Paul Dunmall Sun Ship Quartet (Skidmore / Kjaer / Solberg / Wastell): John Coltrane 50Th Memorial Concert At Cafe Oto [2 CDs] (Confront)

A stellar line-up commemorateing the 50th anniversary of John Coltrane's passing, showcasing Paul Dunmall's blistering Coltrane-influenced quartet together with special guest, lifelong Coltrane devotee saxophonist Alan Skidmore, and also marking the premiere performance of the newly formed international trio of Julie Kjaer (DK), Mark Wastell (GB) and Stale Liavik Solberg (NOR). ... Click to View


Anthony Pateras : Collected Works Vol. II (2005-2018) (Immediata)

The second volume in composer and audio explorer Anthony Pateras' "Collected Works" series, a sturdy 5 CD box set assembling 26 collaborations and solo works that bridge experimental and contemporary compositional work investigating electro-acoustic orchestration, temporal hallucination and sound phenomena, a remarkably diverse and fascinating collection. ... Click to View


Biota: Fragment For Balance (Recommended Records)

From Mnemonist Orchestra to Biota, with 18 albums in total, the Colorado collective Biota presents its 11th album on ReR, taking 4 years to complete this genre-defying album of gorgeous abstraction through free improvisation and composition, absorbing styles and reflecting them in a filtered ray of melody & song using unusual instrumentation and arrangment; absolutely recommended ... Click to View


Jakob Ullmann : Femde Zeit Addendum 5 (Edition Rz)

Jakob Ullman's 5th solo work for piano is atypical for a piano performance, using electronic playback and requiring three assistants sustaining a soundscape to realize a concept of "gravity" that Ullman applies as laws in a conceptual soundscape modified by a series of abstract images, resulting in unexpected sonic environments, tones, timbres and momentum. ... Click to View


Turgut Ercetin (Ensemble Mosaik, Ensemble Apparat, Ensemble Adapter, Sonar Quartett): Panopticon Specularities (Edition Rz)

Istanbul composer Turgut Ercetin (Daad artists-in-Berlin 2016 award winner) completed his doctorate studies at Stanford University, developing works engaged with issues of sound as sonic entities dealing with time and space, here in a string quartet performed by Arditti Quartet, and a work for voice and live electronics performed by Neue Vocalsolisten Stuttgar. ... Click to View


David Behrman: On the Other Ocean [VINYL] (Lovely Music)

In 1977 David Behrman programmed a Kim 1 microcomputer developed at Mills College to analyze the music performed by the duo of bassoonist Arthur Stidfole, flutist Maggi Payne; and then the solo work of cellist David Gibson; for each work, the Kim 1 following Behrman's instructions, becoming a virtual musician responding to and interacting with the playing of each setting. ... Click to View


Robert Ashley: Private Parts [VINYL] (Lovely Music)

A reissue of Robert Ashley's 1978 release "Private Parts", presenting an unvarnished exposition of the inner workings of a man's mind through narrative, read by Ashley over the piano & synth of "Blue" Gene Tyranny and tabla player Kris, as Ashley describes two lives in an abstract narrative of keen observation and inside jokes; baffling and spellbinding. ... Click to View


Jacob Wick: Feel [VINYL] (Thin Wrist)

The first vinyl solo release from Chicago/NY/Mexico City avant trumpeter Jacob Wick, whose work includes exploring the physical form of the trumpet itself as he uses extended techniques and circular breathing while he deconstructs the instrument during performance, creating unusual textures and timbres, here in two side-long profoudnly contemplative improvisations. ... Click to View


Phew / Oren Ambarchi / Jim O'Rourke: Patience Soup [VINYL] (Black Truffle)

Performing at Japan's Playhouse in the Kitakyushu Performing Arts Center in 2015, legendary Japanese underground vocalist Phew joins Oren Ambarchi on guitar and Jim O'Rourke on piano & synth for the two part "Patience Soup", Phew's extreme vocal technique and electronics a powerful foil to the rich sonic environments of frequent collaborators Ambarchi & O'Rourke. ... Click to View


Edith Steyer: Hoox And Add-ons (Creative Sources)

A reflection of the previous year's solo work from Berlin-based saxophonist and clarinetist Edith Steyer, a member of GEDOK, the Berliner Senat and Composers Orchestra Berlin, here using preparations and extended techniques to open new possibilities in improvisations, as she explored ethnomusicology, using repetitive figures influenced by tribal music. ... Click to View


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  Jurg Frey 
  120 Pieces of Sound  
  (elsewhere) 


  
   review by Nick Metzger
  2019-02-07
Jurg Frey: 120 Pieces of Sound (elsewhere)

120 Pieces of Sound marks Swiss composer Jürg Frey's first release for Yuko Zama's impressive elsewhere records. The album includes two Frey pieces, "60 Pieces of Sound" and "l'âme est sans retenue II". The latter track is what initially attracted me to the album, as I really enjoyed the first part which was released by erstwhile records in 2017 as a six hour, five disc collection (there's a third part as well, and though I haven't yet obtained a copy yet, I intend to do so). However, after hearing "60 Pieces of Sound" I'm as much enamored with it as with the second track. Both pieces are excellent examples of Frey's work, and they nicely complement and contrast each other. Frey recorded "60 Pieces of Sound" with Boston ensemble Ordinary Affects using traditional instrumentation, while "l'âme est sans retenue II" is based on field recordings taken around Berlin with undercurrents of Frey's barely discernable bass clarinet. The common ground of the two recordings is the artist's use of protracted silences to differentiate and accent the movements, thus creating a sort of aural non-zero sum game.

On "60 Pieces of Sound" Frey and cellist Laura Cetilia play the pitches of the melody over which the rest of the Ordinary Affects ensemble is free to play a pitch of their choosing. This combined with the silences presents an aggregate that is both harmonious and dissonant, depending on the undetermined pitches selected. The long pauses give the resulting chords room to breathe and decay, creating space and softening the edges (especially when the chord comes off as particularly dissonant). The melody itself, while buried and slowly developing, gives the piece a sense of forward motion and advancement, and I'm not sure that it would work as well without it. Of the piece "l'âme est sans retenue II", I am reminded of sleep during travel. Drifting off and then coming to, the sounds familiar and consistent but slightly different after each pause. These disparate (I use this term extremely loosely here) sounds are tied together with a light undercurrent of bass clarinet which is almost transparent unless you know what you're listening for. In contrast to the first part of "l'âme est sans retenue" the pauses here feel fairly uniform in length, and the sounds presented on the field recordings feel a bit more homogeneous, making for a more meditative (if that's possible) listen.

All in all the record is a very satisfying listen, combining a (relatively) melodic ensemble piece with Frey's more experimental (again, relatively) approach to composition on the second half. Kudos to Yuko Zama for getting the second part of "l'âme est sans retenue II" in the hands of the listeners and for her curatorial talents in general, as her label has released some exceptional music thus far. A most welcome release from a label we'll all be watching closely in the coming years.



Jurg Frey: 120 Pieces of Sound
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