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Renzoku (Kondo / Kaiser / Goodman / Oswald):
Jump (Metalanguage)

Revealing 40 years of collaborations between late trumpeter Toshinori Kondo and West Coast guitarist Henry Kaiser, in configurations of duos between Kondo & Kaiser--most notably a beautiful and extended 2016 improvisation--then earlier duos from 1978, a 1980 trio with pianist Greg Goodman, a 1979 trio with saxophonist John Oswald, ending with a wonderfully idiosyncratic 2020 duo. ... Click to View


Sture Ericson / Pat Thomas / Raymond Strid:
Bagman LIve at Cafe Oto (577 Records)

The first trio collaboration between London pianist and innovator Pat Thomas and Swedish improvisers, Sture Ericson on saxophones, and Raymond Strid on drums, performing live at Cafe OTO in London in 2019 for four improvised soundscapes about the fictional character "Bagman", using extended and prodigious technique with both disruptive and melodic intentions. ... Click to View


Superimpose: Matthias Muller / Christian Marien (w/ John Butcher / Sofia Jernberg / Nate Wooley) :
With [3 CDs] (Inexhaustible Editions)

A three disc box set of impressive collective improvisations recorded in the studio by the Superimpose duo of Matthias Muller on trombone and Christian Marien on drums& percussion, joined on the first disc by John Butcher on tenor and soprano saxophones, then with improvising vocalist Sofia Jernberg for the 2nd disc, and on disc 3 with trumpeter Nate Wooley. ... Click to View


Quatuor Bozzini:
Michael Oesterle: Quatuors (Collection QB)

German-born Canadian composer living in Deux-Montagnes, Quebec Michael Oesterle has a long relationship with the Quatuor Bozzini beginning with their first commission 25 years ago, here in four works including a tribute to English mathematician Alan Turing, the large-scale "String Quartet No. 4", and a piece inspired by Quebec poet Nicole Brossard book Mecanique jongleuse. ... Click to View


Merzbow / Arcane Device:
Merzbow & Arcane Device (Important Records)

Two innovative sonic luminaries--Japan's Masami Akita, aka Merzbow, and New York City's David Lee Myers, aka Arcane Device--remix each other's work, bringing Myer's unique approach to feedback and ethereal electronics to harness Akita's agressive sounds, and in reverse, Akita's sense of disruptive sonics explode Myer's more contemplative feedback music. ... Click to View


OORT:
Meridian (Tour de Bras)

Each track of the Meridian, or Eastern desert land's traditional noon-time middle of the day, represents various stages, chronologically understood, of the day of an ανθρωπός (human), represented through deep double bass, drums, objects and electronics from Turin, Italy improvisers Michele Anelli and Nicholas Remondino. ... Click to View


Anna Kaluza / Jan Roder:
Am Frankfurter Tor (Relative Pitch)

Collaborating since 2004, Berlin alto saxophonist Anna Kaluza and double bassist Jan Roda--a member of Kaluza's Quartet with trombonist Christof Thewes and drummer Kay Lübke--in a studio album of duo improvisations, documenting their live performances in the same configuration since 2020, through ten succinct dialogs of informed affinity. ... Click to View


Linnea Talp:
Arch Of Motion (thanatosis produktion)

Performed with Stockholm musicians including pianist Alexander Zethson, wind player Martin Küchen and trombonist Mats Äleklint, organist Linnéa Talp explores the areas of sound that emulate breathing, push/pull or back & forth motion, in eight beautifully paced recordings led by the organ's rich and microtonal vibrations & timbre and imbued my the contributor's subtle additions. ... Click to View


Tolimieri / Rodrigues / Rodrigues / Stepanov:
Inner Lines (Creative Sources)

Six "Segments" A to F of powerful restraint and extended technique, recorded at Ausland in Berlin, Germany from the free improvising quartet of Quentin Tolimieri on piano, Ernesto Rodrigues on viola, Guilherme Rodrigues on cello and Fyodor Stepanov on double bass, the close associations between the Rodrigues' and Tolimieri & Stepanov evident through their shared aesthetic. ... Click to View


Louis-Michel Marion / Francoise Toullec:
Apocalyptic Garden (Creative Sources)

A strangely agitated garden sculpted from melody, dissonance and instrumental abberation through profound technique and unusual approaches to their instrument, by French double basist Louis-Michel Marion and pianist Françoise Toullec, bringing a sense of wonder and turbulent environment through a shared passion balancing ominous space with astute activity. ... Click to View


Erica Dicker / Dennis Sullivan:
Blood Luxury [CASSETTE w/ DOWNOAD] (Tubapede)

Delicate abrasions and corruption of their instruments from the NY duo of Erica Dicker (Till by Turning) on violin and Dennis Sullivan (Radical 2), 9 works of improvised soundscape and avant-raw chamber music through prepared strings, tapes, looped feedback, resonant metals, modified snares and liberally bowed surfaces, richly constrained and luxuriously blood-curdling. ... Click to View


Sam Rivers Trio:
Archive Series. Volume 6 - Caldera (NoBusiness)

Continuing NoBusiness' archive series of late reed & wind player Sam Rivers, this wild and sophisticated concert from 2002 was recorded at the Freeport-McMoRan Theatre in New Orlean's Contemporary Arts Center, by the long-standing Sam Rivers Trio with Doug Matthews on upright & electric bass and bass clarinet, and Anthony Cole on tenor sax & piano. ... Click to View


John Russell / John Butcher / Dominic Lash:
But everything now left before it arrived (Meenna)

A live performance at the 2010 GIO Fest III in Glasgow, UK, from three of the UK's leading free improvisers--late guitarist John Russell, John Butcher on saxophones and Dominic Lash on double bass--a superb concert in five improvisations of incredible technical skill through both energetic and restrained passages, a brilliant example reminding us of the loss of the great guitarist. ... Click to View


Alessandro Bosetti :
Plane / Talea 31-34 [VINYL 2 LPs] (Holidays Records)

An amazing album of vocal interactions from composer Alessandro Bosetti using his archive of samples developed from dozens of recording sessions with vocalists, used in polyphonic constructions of utterances to create textures, counterpoint and juxtapositions offset by spartan use of harpsichord, Ondes Martenot, Cristal Baschet, grand piano, analog synth and Hammond organ. ... Click to View


Novi_sad:
ΚΕΡΑΥΝΟΣ (Raster Music)

Using environmental sounds & field recordings from 5 continents--Oceania: Tarkine Rainforest; Asia: Okinawa; Europe: Ancient Olympia And Iceland; Africa: Uganda, Botswana & Namibia; America: Amazon Rainforest & Niagara Falls--sound artist Thanasis Kaproulias takes listeners on an incredible journey through sound from reflective to cathartic, from ominous danger to awe-inspired beauty. ... Click to View


Jean-Yves Bosseur :
Musiques Vertes [VINYL] (Holidays Records)

French composer Jean-Yves Bosseur, a student of Henri Pousseur and Karlheinz Stockhausen, in an amazingly detailed 1980 work of 11 sonic expeditions, using an instrument developed by Jean-Pierre Armengaud and performed with a collective of local musicians and children, incorporating field recordings from French ornithologist Jean Claude Roché; startlingly original! ... Click to View


Derviche (Borchard / Favriou):
Murs Absurdes (Ayler)

The 2nd Derviche album on Ayler Records from the French electric bass and drum improvising duo of Eric Brochard and Fabrice Favriou, in five sequences of assertive and masterful instrumental improvising rock, ecstatically heavy material of thick detail and ominous overtone, intended to be played as a continuous suite and clearly intended for maximum amplitude! ... Click to View


International Nothing, The:
Just None of Those Things (Ftarri)

Using harmonic intersections and extraneous sonic emanations from two clarinets, the duo of Kai Fagaschinski and Michael Thieke (also of The Magic I.D.) continue their long-standing International Nothing project of composed works through patient interactions of powerfully focused technique, here in their fifth album presenting a 42-minute work of delicate, dark beauty. ... Click to View


Amanda Irarrazabal / Miriam Den Boer Salmon:
Fauces (577 Records)

Using double bass, violin and objects to affect their instruments, Amsterdam violinist Miriam Den Boer Salmón and Chilean double bassist Amanda Irarrazabal present ten succinct sonic landscapes through fully free improvisation, their interactions building and scraping, intersecting and interacting in fascinating and frightening ways. ... Click to View


Wunschmusik (Wunsch / Steyer / Cavenati):
Muss Atonal Eigentlich Witzig Sein? (Creative Sources)

German vocalist Birgit Wunsch leads this improvising trio with Edith Steyer on clarinet & saxophone and Alberto Cavenati on guitar, using abstract and atonal melodies in a chamber improvised setting for freely improvised voice, text and sound, crossing a sense of pop music with non-idiomatic improvisation of great technical and creative intent. ... Click to View


Keiji Haino / Jim O'Rourke / Oren Ambarchi:
Each side has a depth of 5 seconds A polka dot pattern in horizontal array A flickering that moves vertically [VINYL] (Black Truffle)

Focused on powerful sonic environments, the 10th release from the trio of Keiji Haino, Jim O'Rourke and Oren Ambarchi find all three using electronics to create huge canvases over which Ambarchi performs on pedal steel, O'Rourke on synth and Haino on Suona, a Chinese double-reed, capturing this exceptional 4-part improvisation live at SuperDeluxe, in Tokyo, 2017. ... Click to View


Alvin Curran:
Fiori Chiari, Fiori Oscuri [VINYL] (Black Truffle)

Translating to "Light Flowers, Dark Flowers", Alvin Curran's 1978 release on his cooperative Ananda label receives its first remaster and reissue, bringing to life this joyfully surreal album of synthetic and acoustic instruments, field recordings and voice, unveiling itself like a cinematic work of dovetailed stories both reflective and energetically active. ... Click to View


David Behrman w/ Jon Gibson / Werner Durand :
ViewFinder / Hide & Seek [VINYL] (Black Truffle)

Three realizations of composer David Behrman's "Unforseen Events" work using computer algorithms to respond to pitch cues from an instrumentalist, first in Berlin in 1989 with Curran and Werner Durand on soprano sax, then in NY in 1999 with Jon Gibson on soprano sax; plus "ViewFinder" with Werner Durand using a motion-triggered camera to alter electronic & wind instrumental sound. ... Click to View


Ensemble Nist-Nah:
Elders (Black Truffle)

The debut of Ensemble Nist-Nah, a nine-piece collective group of French percussionists led by Nantes-based Australian drummer and percussionist Will Guthrie, incorporating a diverse set of influences including Gamelan performance, contemporary composition, noise and jazz into rich and ecstatic performances, an exciting album of informed approaches to modern and traditional percussion. ... Click to View


Ensemble Nist-Nah:
Elders [VINYL] (Black Truffle)

The debut of Ensemble Nist-Nah, a nine-piece collective group of French percussionists led by Nantes-based Australian drummer and percussionist Will Guthrie, incorporating a diverse set of influences including Gamelan performance, contemporary composition, noise and jazz into rich and ecstatic performances, an exciting album of informed approaches to modern and traditional percussion. ... Click to View


Heroes Are Gang Leaders:
LeAutoRoiOgraphy (577 Records)

Led by tenor saxophonist James Brandon Lewis and poet Thomas Sayers Ellis, this 12-piece ensemble of pointed and ecstatic free jazz and spoken word are heard at the 2019 Sons D'Hiver Festival in Paris, 2019, their sound influenced by chamber elements and sharpened through insightful and demanding observations and the influence of Amiri Baraka (LeRoi Jones). ... Click to View


Steve Lacy / Andrea Centazzo:
Clangs [VINYL] (Ictus)

Reissuing the first release on the Ictus Records label run by percussionist Andrea Centazzo, this 1976 album was the culmination of two weeks of touring through Italy with saxophonist Steve Lacy, presented as a set of improvised free duets investigating timbral relationships, the fragmentation of melody, and abrasive, provocative noise. ... Click to View


Ben Miller :
In the Moment (Two Rooms)

Destroy All Monsters and Sensorium Saxophone Orchestra guitarist Ben Miller in an album of experimental solo guitar works, augmenting his guitar with effects, synthesizer, bass, tapes and radio to create seven fascinating works that reflect on his rock background through solid rhythmic and melodic hooks, but also captivates through unusual and suprising sonic elements. ... Click to View


Ben Miller:
In the Moment [VINYL] (Two Rooms)

Destroy All Monsters and Sensorium Saxophone Orchestra guitarist Ben Miller in an album of experimental solo guitar works, augmenting his guitar with effects, synthesizer, bass, tapes and radio to create seven fascinating works that reflect on his rock background through solid rhythmic and melodic hooks, but also captivates through unusual and suprising sonic elements. ... Click to View


Peter Ablinger / Biliana Voutchkova :
An Den Mond (Inexhaustible Editions)

An den Mond--magic spells for a healthier life--was developed between Austrian composer Peter Ablinger and violinist Bilian Voutchkova during the pandemic, consisting of 16 sequences of chants written by Ablinger and performed entrancingly by Voutchkova on voice and violin; plus Albinger's richly harmonic work "Augmented Study" for seven violins. ... Click to View



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  Christof Kurzmann / Burkhard Stangl 
  neuschnee  
  (Erstwhile) 


  
   review by Kurt Gottschalk
  2009-07-14
Christof Kurzmann / Burkhard Stangl: neuschnee (Erstwhile)

When Burkhard Stangl and Christof Kurzmann's duet showed up on Erstwhile in 2000, it was a breath of well, fresh air wasn't needed, the air was far from stale but it was a surprising breath of familiar air. It was only the eighth release on the label, and a disc by Loren Connors was already in the catalogue, but even still the sound of acoustic guitar was as unexpected as the pairing of guitar and electronics was unusual.

Much water has gone under the electroacoustic bridge since then, but the Kurzmann / Stangl duo known as "schnee" still manage to surprise, even while producing music so thoroughly satisfying that shock value is certainly not on its agenda. Their second release, schnee_live, recorded at Erstwhile's 2004 Amplify festival, is a 33-minute version of Prince's "Sometimes It Snows in April," slowly opening into the pop ballad as audience members (including guitarist Margareth Kammerer) sing along.

Pop ballads have become a fascinating part of Kurzmann's work, with Schnee and elsewhere. His duo Kommando Raumschiff Zitrone with clarinetist Kai Fagaschinski did a striking meditation on Roberta Flack's "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face" on the album of the same name, and Fagaschinski and Michael Thieke (his partner in the clarinet duo The International Nothing), along with Kurzmann and Kammerer christened Erstwhile's Erstpop series as The Magic ID. Schnee now returns with neuschnee (ErstPop002), delivering a gracefully unbalanced CD that again uses popular as part of its staging ground.

The duo's instrumentation has expanded. Kurzmann perhaps influenced by the company he's been keeping is also heard on clarinet, and Stangl plays piano and vibraphone in addition to guitar, but the Schnee sensibility is still very present. Delicate, musical sounds are submerged in obtrusive, electronic tones. Hi and low fidelities co-exist peacefully, or at least willfully. Sounds are always swaying between working and not working together. There's a strange mix of struggle and ease in the way Kurzmann and Stangl play together.

The pop portion of the program is reserved for the end, and suffice to say the treatment is new, even clever, bordering on being (but not quite needing to be) a punch line. It's another testament to the duo's creativity that they've created an ending which could be spoiled by talking about it.



Christof Kurzmann / Burkhard Stangl: neuschnee
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