Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

A Few Reviews

Expand Messages
  • Davis Ford
    Here s some stuff I got recently that sounds interesting: Jacques Tremblay Alibi empreintes DIGITALes (contact info: http://www.cam.org/~dim/ 4580, avenue de
    Message 1 of 4 , Feb 3, 1999
    View Source
    • 0 Attachment
      Here's some stuff I got recently that sounds interesting:

      Jacques Tremblay
      Alibi
      empreintes DIGITALes
      (contact info: http://www.cam.org/~dim/ 4580, avenue de Lorimier, Montreal,
      Quebec H2H 2B5, Canada)

      This is an extremely complicated, and disjointed volume of concrete sound
      manipulation. As a general listen, it can come across quite harsh, with
      it's wide spectrum of noises, some of of them literally attacking you.
      Listening to Karlheinz Stockhausen often produces a similar tone, and
      Tremblay admits a Stockhausen influence. In a described context, this
      melting pot of sounds starts to make sense. Listening to the first track,
      'Heresie ou lles Bas-Reliefs Du Dogme', you are assaulted with various
      religious audio snippets varying from southern American televangelist
      preachers, and
      other quotes issued in French. One gets the sense, whenever samples of
      preachers are used, that the artist isn't necessarily promoting religion,
      but chastising it. This indeed turns out to be the case, as culled from the
      liner notes: "I found it unbelievable to see all the cruelties that man has
      committed in the name of God. I had found my subject." With Tremblay, it
      appears that subject is preeminent to the music. With each piece he has a
      strong message or concept in which to convey via recognized sounds. Sounds
      do transform, and shapeshift, but when they do, it appears that there is a
      purpose to that as well. Tremblay points out that when the Gregorian Chant
      dissolves into distortion, it symbolizes a transition from pure to impure.
      "Alibi" is like a difficult read, which must be pieced together and
      analyzed. This can be a fascinating adventure, or a tiresome chore,
      depending on who listens to it. Taken at face value, the pieces herein can
      be quite intrusive as a background, attesting to their demand for deeper
      exploration. This property alone seems to indicate that this collection
      should garner timeless recognition. Other themes Tremblay explores involve:
      eroticism, the unconscious, a tribute to jazz spontaneity, and Marcel
      Proust. 'Jeu D'ondes' is a piece constructed entirely from sounds taken off
      a sailboat. In this 'imaginary marina', ships have come together to
      celebrate a new vessel: 'the unsinkable FM network', which Tremblay
      expresses via various radio broadcasts throughout while the ships blow their
      horns. There are some fascinating and original ideas and concepts realized
      on this disc, although it requires a bit of explanation to guide you through
      Tremblay's world.

      Movere Workshop
      Western Hamlet EP
      Word and Object Records
      (contact info: PO Box 477700, Chicago, IL 60647)

      Movere Workshop is a group of Chicago musicians who seem to make the center
      focus of their music the idea of 'movement', which creates an end-product
      which is specifically crafted for such activities as driving,
      and..well...moving, in general. The music moves, and so do you. In short,
      this is well-crafted audio wallpaper. It works when the listener is static,
      also, but I can imagine how it would really shine in an automobile.
      Unfortunately, for me, I have a compact disc player in the car, and this is
      vinyl only... It would be very difficult not to draw an obvious Tortoise
      reference here, especially with the track 'Slow Lorries' (shifting subtle
      grooves, mixture of interesting percussion, and the melding of quiet guitar
      harmonies with various keyboard experiments). 'Opening Sea' finds various
      analog synth algorithms (sawtooth)climbing around each other, while a
      melodic echo makes the song a pleasant ride. The real winner is the final
      number, 'Remember Orange', with it's loping bass rhythm, and distant rhythm
      guitar, making the perfect pop song. Then the drums kick in, and it rides
      through a repetitive groove that builds elements on itself, bar by bar.


      Movere Workshop
      Jett Rink b/w Second Watchung 7"
      All City Records
      (contact info: 2414 Medill, Chicago, IL 60647)

      Two songs which follow the recent movement of musical ideas in the Chicago
      area over the last few years (Tortoise, specifically). 'Jett Rink' played
      at 33 lands the needle on a wavering constant synth harmonic accented by
      some light conga, and pulled to form by garnishes of melodic guitar
      plunking. 'Second Watchung' played at 45 is a delightful number that brings
      to mind the excellent work pioneered by Bundy K. Brown in Directions. A
      welcome, repetitive, guitar line is slowly built on with hi-hat, bass, then
      bass kick, second guitar, etc. You get the picture. By the time the whole
      sequence has been fully loaded, you're left with a Grateful Dead groove that
      you didn't ask for, but it snuck up on you, and you really dig it, see?

      Darren Copeland
      Rendu visible
      empreintes DIGITALes
      (contact info: http://www.cam.org/~dim/ 4580 avenue de Lorimier, Montreal,
      Quebec H2H 2B5, Canada)

      Copeland creates all of his music solely from tape consisting of
      environmental sounds. "Rendu visible" (rendered visible) centers around the
      mysterious fusion of sound and vision, and how different people may
      interpret sound, which then triggers visual elements (He begs an interesting
      question: "What if a listener is congenitally blind?") This music is very
      visual, indeed. On the piece, 'Rendered Visible', Copeland creates
      landscapes of drones, and surrealistic ambient highways that sound like the
      roads may stretch for continents. One car may pass as expected, while
      another car may approach, but it's timing is extended so that you may never
      appear to realize its passing, and it soaks back into the earth. Copeland
      morphs the sound of cars flitting by into the sound of waves crashing into
      the shore. Droning human cries of despair add to an already eerie
      landscape. At times, this album seems almost like a human version of some
      of Thomas Koner's ambient wastelands. Those deep, dark, ice-cold drones are
      there, but you get human contact with elements like doors closing, people
      speaking in the background, and animal sounds, etc. 'Night Camera' is a
      suite of three separate pieces, each in a different audio environment. Each
      piece acts as a sort of mechanical gadget that allows you to see in the dark
      (infrared?) what you otherwise would not be able to see. This is a wicked
      concept that works almost too well. The environments Copeland creates are
      downright creepy, and almost certain to contain predators, which can be
      heard scraping and scratching at the landscape (at least in 'my version'
      there are predators). As the wind whips through the trees with rain, I
      could almost feel my eyes tear up. Thunder is processed into what sounds
      like the metallic roar of a great metal deity. The environment is harsh
      enough to make you shut your eyes, but that only clears the visual slate for
      yet another fantastic voyage.

      Trans Am
      Future World
      Thrill Jockey Records
      (contact info: PO Box 47694, Chicago, IL 60647)

      Robots with guitars? Consider the 1970's - early 80's, when many bands
      seemed fascinated with and exploited the concept of future societies and
      outer-galactic motherships (P-Funk, Devo, Kraftwerk, ELO, Yes, etc.) The
      real oxymoron here lies in the fact that the rock-and-roll Trans Am pull
      off, which centers so much around things of the future, seems to recall more
      strongly a period of music that has since passed. This is not necessarily a
      bad thing, however, because there is nothing really out there that sounds
      like Trans Am, and with each album (especially this one), they manage to
      pull off a new morph of ion-positive, electro-bastardized rock-and-roll that
      kicks ass. Earlier albums seemed to really show a direct line between Trans
      Am's two prospective styles of music: the big power chord guitar
      riff-chargers Vs. the Casio-bred, keyboard, funk. "Future World" does the
      best job yet of thinning that line, and communicating both styles into what
      you might consider a new type of 'interstellar robot rock'. They've also
      introduced some new features to the mix like vocals (yes, vocals...although
      they're spun through effects and vocoders to achieve that 'futuristic'
      appeal), saxophone and trumpet. There are definitely some interesting and
      worthwhile moments on "Future World." With 'Cocaine Computer,' the title
      itself reeks of 70's nostalgia and discotheque fever, and it's even got a
      screaming guitar solo at the end. The last track, six-minute-long 'Sad and
      Young', is a sorrowful ballad, almost sending you to sleep, and at the same
      time, creating a warm buzzing glow around you with it's melancholic guitar
      line. I thought the last Trans Am album was the best one, but this one is
      the best, until they put out another one, I guess...

      Davis
    • tsasscer@xxxx.xxxxxxxxxxxx)
      Mr. Ford... Thanks for the interesting, and in particular, diverse reviews. I, for one, occasionaly enjoy hearing and hearing about the electric guitar, as
      Message 2 of 4 , Feb 4, 1999
      View Source
      • 0 Attachment
        Mr. Ford...

        Thanks for the interesting, and in particular, diverse reviews. I, for one,
        occasionaly enjoy hearing and hearing about the electric guitar, as well as
        whatever may be coming round the bend...

        Jah Guide.

        T. (Version)
      • rf
        ... are you referring to the letter in this month s wire chastising the inclusion of guitar bands in the wire s albums of the year (viva electronica!)?
        Message 3 of 4 , Feb 4, 1999
        View Source
        • 0 Attachment
          >Thanks for the interesting, and in particular, diverse reviews. I, for one,
          >occasionaly enjoy hearing and hearing about the electric guitar, as well as
          >whatever may be coming round the bend...
          >
          are you referring to the letter in this month's wire chastising
          the inclusion of 'guitar bands' in the wire's albums of the year
          (viva electronica!)?
          (apparently 'guitar bands' offer nothing new and are a musical
          cul-de-sac if you haven't received feb. yet)
          an obvious case of confusion between cause and effect
          with a dose of prejudice


          i like reviews too (far better than lists)

          did any of the scots (or others) go to the z:f s,h&w thing after all?
          can s,h&w cut it live?

          rf
        • Oliver Brice
          ... one, ... well as ... Here here, and in my humble opinion there has been as much extraordinary guitar music in the 90 s as anything else, IE Stefan
          Message 4 of 4 , Feb 4, 1999
          View Source
          • 0 Attachment
            >Thanks for the interesting, and in particular, diverse reviews. I, for
            one,
            >occasionaly enjoy hearing and hearing about the electric guitar, as
            well as
            >whatever may be coming round the bend...
            >
            Here here, and in my humble opinion there has been as much extraordinary
            guitar music in the 90's as anything else, IE Stefan Jaworzyn, Bruce
            Russell, Keiji Haino, Derek Bailey, Caspar Brotzmann etc...
          Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.