Sunday, 30 September, 2007

Martin Tétreault - Des Pas et Des Mois (1990)

"Des Pas et Des Mois was Montreal turntablist Martin Tétreault’s first record, and still remains his most enjoyable project. This CD contains two suites, “Des Pas” (“Footsteps”) and “Des Mois” (“Months”). The first one is written and performed with guitarist René Lussier. It follows a young couple learning to dance the tango and the cha-cha-cha from records in order to participate in local competitions. The material used for these fifteen short movements mostly come from such dance instructional and self-improvement records, all in french. Tétreault applies his techniques of cut-up records and mixed storylines from different sources. Lussier brings in a handful of melodies that could have been found on his Le Trésor de la Langue or Le Corps de l’Ouvrage. Between the suites are two short pieces illustrating two of Tétreault’s key techniques: the three-in-one (three slices from different records pasted together) and the skid.

Then comes “Des Mois,” written with drummer Michel F Côté, and also featuring Lussier and clarinetist Robert Marcel Lepage. This suite relies less heavily on humor: Côté’s complex textural arrangements bring another dimension to the music, but Tétreault’s incredibly cheesy record collection delivers a few more surprises (especially on Juin). The first suite is similar in style (with the addition of Lussier’s touch) to Tétreault’s cassette Snipettes, while the second one drifts closer to the first Bruire (Michel F. Côté’s project) album Le barman a Tort de Sourire. In any case, Des Pas et Des Mois remains one of Ambiances Magnétiques’ strangest, funniest and finest moments".
François Couture, All Music Guide

Martin Tétreault: turntables, records, rhythm montage, wave feedback with magnetophone, friction on the "pick-up plateau", guitar solo on pick-up, cassettes, voice.
René Lussier: guitar, electric bass, percussions, voice.
Jean Derome: flute, alto sax.
Michel Coté: maracas, electronic and acoustic percussion, synth, cd, cassettes, short waves
Robert Lepage: clarinet, alto sax

link @224

Bravo Clippings #15

American Meat Institute, 1949

Friday, 28 September, 2007

The Hafler Trio - Fuck (1992)

"Fuck is the second part of a projected trilogy that begins with Masturbatorium, and for which the third part has not been released as of early 2001. While Masturbatorium used sounds generated by performance artist Annie Sprinkle in a sonic investigation of female sexuality, Fuck concentrates on male sexual energies, using sounds leading to the brink of male orgasm from Andrew McKenzie, in addition to various atmospheric frequencies and field recordings. As with the trilogy's first part, the liner notes go into some detail about the sonic origins and the overall purpose of the piece, its specific practical intents, and its relationship to investigations into sexual energy.

Unusually, McKenzie directs that the recording be played at maximum volume, and that the CD player be in strict accordance with left and right channel connections. With the correct playback configuration, the ominous low drone opening shakes the room, and when the various fast rhythmic layers are added in, the piece takes on an overwhelming aura seldom found in other Hafler Trio releases. A looped bass vocal alternates between the two channels in the second track, exercising the separation McKenzie mentions. Given the sexual intent of the piece, one might suppose that it would start slowly and build, but in fact the opposite is the case. The beginning is the loudest, densest, and fastest, with an overall tranquility and lightening as the piece progresses. Its unity of purpose makes it one of the better Hafler Trio releases, although the cover art and subject matter make it for mature listeners only".
Caleb Deupree, All Music Guide

"The first piece can be seen as an abrasive experience in deep-breathing oppressive terror-technonoise, somehow reminiscent of both Gerechtigkeits Liga and Porter Ricks; the second piece finds the "trio" in more familiar ground, reducing the scope of sonic assault to create a slow, bass-based progression from multilayered noise to total darkness". The Juju Unintelligible Reviews

Performed by A.M. McKenzie & Zbigniew Karkowski

link@320 +++Removed By Request; See Comments+++

Wednesday, 26 September, 2007

Javanese Court Gamelan (1971)

"This recording was made on January 10, 1971, in the great reception hall, or pendopo, of the Pura Paku Alaman in Jogyakarta, by kind permission of H.H. Paku Alam VIII. The occasion was a radio broadcast in honor of his birthday, celebrated every 35 days according to the Javanese calendar. The gamelan was arranged in two halves, melody instruments, bonangs, and gongs to the left, and soft-playing instruments, drum, and singers to the right. The players sat with their backs toward one of the 3 open sides of the pavillion, facing inward across a spacious tile floor toward the entrance to the inner rooms of the palace. Occasional muffled soundsfrom the busy streets outside the compound and the twittering of flights of sparrows that make their nests in the rafters of the pendopo are a part of the normal sound ambiance". Robert E. Brown, CD liner notes

"A stunning counterpoint to the violence and agitation of the better-known world of Balinese gamelan. Deep, almost meditative, slow-paced and astoningishly beautiful. If, as someone once said, Balinese gamelan is the sonic equivalent of sexual frenzy, then this Javanese gamelan recording could stand as an example of post-orgasmic beatitude". The Quick'n'Ignorant Dallas Review

link @320

Bravo Clippings #14

"Two proverbs from Alentejo:

- Rain in November, Christmas in December

- Easter in March, Pogues in April"

Concert ticket, front and back (The Pogues, Lisbon, 1989)

The Kinks - The Kinks are the Village Green Preservation Society (1968)

"The problem facing The Kinks when they released The Village Green Preservation Society in late November 1968 wasn't merely the competition-- Jimi Hendrix's Electric Ladyland, Led Zeppelin's debut, and the Rolling Stones' Beggars Banquet offered plenty-- but that this subtle, funny, surreal, and at times almost tender record could have been recorded on another planet. During the summer of 1968, stateside fans were hooked on a high-intensity diet that had them jonesing for aggressive, overstated fare like "Street Fighting Man" and "You Shook Me" and "Communication Breakdown". The disconnect between The Kinks and the rock world's rapidly narrowing palette could hardly have been more pronounced. Compare the Stones' bombastic, urban "Sympathy for the Devil" with understated work like "Village Green", bouncing along like a horse and buggy as Ray Davies paints the landscape: "Out in the country, far from all the soot and noise of the city..."

(...) Intricately sketched and brimming with unusual arrangements, The Village Green Preservation Society was the first clear look at an iconoclastic, imaginative and sometimes brilliant artist as he came into his own. Audiences used to sizing up work on a scale created for rock gods and counter-culture icons were forced to consider this album as a piece of conceptual art. The Lennon-McCartney/Jagger-Richards duos towered over and shaped the sensibilities of a vast army; Davies explored a deeply personal world that confounded fans even as it provoked their curiosity.

(...) The peculiar sensibility that first raised its head on 1965's Kinkdom with the hit singles "Dedicated Follower and Fashion" and "A Well Respected Man" looks different in light ofThe Village Green Preservation Society. Before the latter album was released, those songs seemed like parody or blue-collar humor; in retrospect, Davies was showing a quirky, iconoclastic hand that would soon be more relevant to his music than the hard-rocking "You Really Got Me". It's also interesting to consider Village Green as a carefully sculpted product of Ray Davies' singular artistic vision. The album is commonly regarded as having the feel of solo work, and if this is a matter of opinion, the songs are singular enough as to probably make collaboration difficult. More than that, at a time when rock instrumentalists were beginning to stretch out, The Kinks' playing here always serves the songs, and Davies' vocals in particular."

J.H. Tompkins, Pitchfork

link @320

Bravo Clippings #13

Ed Rihacek, "Gone Primitive"

Duke Ellington - Such Sweet Thunder (1957)

"Such Sweet Thunder was, like Black, Brown and Beige and the later Far East Suite and other works of the late-1950s and on, a long-form study broken into identifiable miniatures that could stand alone as tunes. But this one was far more unlikely than Ellington and co-composer Billy Strayhorn's other suites, with its focus on characters developed by William Shakespeare. Pieces were scripted for both centuries-old characters and Ellington band members; for example, Paul Gonsalves's tenor sax and Johnny Hodges's alto parry as a musical Romeo and Juliet on "Star-Crossed Lovers". Surely this description of the CD makes it sound stiff, even pretentious, but the music gives the lie to such an assumption.

Ellington was a master of sectional polyphony, making sure his band's sections swung individually and then in tandem with the other sections, creating a powerful, sometimes swirling swing. But he had Strayhorn, who was also a master of creating moods and ambient textures. And that's where this session becomes fascinating, in the moments when the group creates something other than rhythmic propulsion, standard harmony or even focused melody. Rounding out the original LP issue--which accounts for only half of this CD's length--are a host of alternate takes, three of them wholly or partially unreleased until this set".
Andrew Bartlett

1. Such Sweet Thunder
2. Sonnet for Caesar
3. Sonnet to Hank Cinq
4. Lady Mac
5. Sonnet in Search of a Moor
6. Telecasters
7. Up and Down, Up and Down
8. Sonnet for Sister Kate
9. Star Crossed Lovers
10. Madness in Great Ones
11. Half the Fun
12. Circle of Fourths
13. Star Crossed Lovers (alternate take)
14. Circle of Fourths (alternate take)
15. Suburban Beauty
16. A-Flat Minor
17. Café au Lait
18. Half the Fun (alternate take)
19. Suburban Beauty (alternate take)
20. A-Flat Minor (out-take)
21. Café au Lait (aka Star Crossed Lovers; out-take)
22. Pretty Girl

link @192 (here again)

Tuesday, 25 September, 2007

Georges Delerue - Film Music 1958-1965

Jules et Jim (François Truffaut, 1962)
1. Musiques, Dialogues et Ambiance
voices of Jeanne Moreau, Henri Serre, Oscar Werner
2. Le Tourbillon
lyrics, guitar and music by Cyrus Bassiak
sung by Jeanne Moreau
3. Musiques, Dialogues et Ambiance

Une Aussi Longue Absence, Herni Colpi (1961)
4. Générique
5. Trois Petites Notes de Musique
lyrics by Henri Colpi
sung by Cora Vaucaire

Le Mépris, Jean-Luc Godard (1963)
6. Musiques, Dialogues et Ambiance
voices of Brigitte Bardot, J-L Godard, Michel Piccoli

Hiroshima Mon Amour, Alain Resnais (1958)
7. Musiques, Dialogues et Ambiance
voices of Emmanuelle Riva, Eiji Okada

Viva Maria, Louis Malle (1965)
8. Musiques, Dialogues et Ambiance
9. On a Chanté la Douceur
sung by B. Bardot and J. Moreau
10. Ah! Les Petites Femmes
sung by B. Bardot and J. Moreau
11. Musiques, Dialogues et Ambiance

link @192

Monday, 24 September, 2007

Phill Niblock - Touch Works, for Hurdy Gurdy and Voice (2000)

Niblock achieves his effects through multitracking of live and processed tracks and sampling, all based on original performances on acoustic instruments. He creates an aural illusion of continuity, like the perpetual gush of a waterfall, for instance. In reality, his ingenious layering methods mean that all kinds of infinitesimal but crucial structural and sonic shifts are taking place on a cumulative basis.

The album opens with 'Hurdy Hurry', a stunning hurdy gurdy piece constructed from samples of Jim O'Rourke's playing, recorded in New York at Robert Poss' studio (Band of Susans). This medieval stringed instrument played by cranking a resined wheel seems tailor made for droning, and O'Rourke has been known to drone on himself a bit in ages past. This makes his own early droneworks 'Remove The Need' and 'Disengage' seem like mere practice, but that practice has certainly paid off handsomely. At a cursory listen 'Hurdy Hurry' might seem like fifteen of continuous drone, but Niblock weaves together held tones with exact mathematical relationships to each other, and there is a constant slow evolution and almost imperceptibly gradual increase in mass as the piece unfurls.

It continues with two different versions of what could be Niblock's masterwork, a vocal piece 'AYU'. The letters A, Y and U are hummed by baritone Thomas Buckner and arranged into a continually shifting corridor of sampled sound twenty four voices thick. The second version adds a live throat singing performance from Buckner, pitch shifted one and two octaves down and multiplied fifteen times over. Imagine massed temples of Buddhist monks humming universal nirvana alphabet keys condensed by a sampler into the digital cyberlanes. Niblock is described as 'the forgotten minimalist' in the extensive and illuminating sleevenotes, which include an interview discussing his sound reproduction techniques. After hearing this, it's all the others that'll be more likely to slip from memory. - Graeme Rowland

link @320

Bravo Clippings#12

Shepard Fairey, Obey Giant, 2007

Sunday, 23 September, 2007

Otomo Yoshihide - Sound Factory (1997)

"Perhaps the most extreme release by the giant of Japan improv so far. A non-stop noise attack on aural comfort, consisting of two long pieces for turntables, mixer and hard-disk recorder. Amazing cut-up symphonies of parts and particles of hundreds of impossible to recognize sound sources: from cartoon music to car alarms to straight ear-splitting noise. Yet, despite all its violence, there is a soothing quality to this recording, as if the purpose of this noise aggression is to take us to the levels of pristine contemplation characteristic of Otomo's later releases."

Recorded in April 1997 in Tokyo.
Part 3 of the Memory Disorder series.

link @256

Saturday, 22 September, 2007

Les Double Six - Les Double Six (1962)

1. Tickle Toe (Le racket et les balles) [Lester Young]
2. Early Autumn (Finalement l'automne est arrivé) [R. Burns & W. Herman]
3. Sweets (Les quatre de l'opéra) [Bill Russo]
4. Naima (Naima) [John Coltrane]
5. Westwood Walk (Histoire de baryton) [Gerry Mulligan]
6. A Night in Tunisia (Le tapis volant) [F. Paparelli & D. Gillespie]
7. A Ballad (Une ballade) [Gerry Mulligan]
8. Scrapple from the Apple (A batons rompus) [Charlie Parker]
9. Boplicity (La légende du troubador) [Cleo Henry]
10. Moanin' (La complainte du bagnard) [Bobby Timmons]
11. Fascinating Rhythm (Le pas qui plaira) [Gershwin]
12. Walkin' (Un tour au bois) [Richard Carpenter] previously unreleased track

link @320

Friday, 21 September, 2007

Les Double Six - Meet Quincy Jones (1960)

"Sometimes considered to be the French incarnation of groups like the Hi-Lo's or Lambert, Hendricks & Ross, Les Double Six took a much jazzier approach to vocalese arrangements and performance than any similar band. They had a successful but short career, partly because of Perrin's health problems, leaving us with no more than four recordings. Using their voices like instruments, they were exceptional improvisors and one of the most innovative vocal ensembles of the era. In this record, Mimi Perrin leads the sextet through brilliant interpretations of Quincy Jones compositions for the Basie Band or his own orchestra, adding her humorous lyrics to the band's rich harmonies and quick phrasing".

1. For Lena and Lennie (En flânant dans Paris)
2. Rat Race (La course au rat)
3. Stockholm Sweetnin' (Un coin merveilleux)
4. Boo's Bloos (Au temps des Indiens)
5. Doodlin' (Tout en dodelinant)
6. Meet Benny Bailey (Au bout du fil)
7. Evening in Paris (Il y a fort longtemps)
8. Count'em (T'as foutu l'camp)


Wednesday, 19 September, 2007

Maya Homburger & Barry Guy - Ceremony (1999)

"Probably something that could never have been imagined during the 1960s heyday of the Third Stream, this masterful CD doesn't try to meld classical music and jazz, as much as celebrate the congruence of both traditions. Maya Homburger, who plays an Italian violin built by dalla Costa in 1740, is a specialist in the interpretation of Baroque music and the first track here was written by Bohemian composer Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber (1644-1704). The other compositions and the bass half of this duo are the products of the mind of Barry Guy -- born more than 300 years after Biber -- and best known for his membership in the Evan Parker Trio and leadership of the London Jazz Composers Orchestra.

Fruits of this partnership can be heard on most clearly on Guy's "Immeasurable Sky," which leaves ample space for improvisation. As concerned with the beauty of small dissonances as any of the more formal works here, the track allows both players ample space for innovation. Nowhere do you get the idea that it's merely the classically trained violinist who is playing the lyric melody, while the jazz bassist slaps out strident rhythmic decorations. Guy, who performed for years with the Academy of Ancient Music, is cognizant of the particular demands of pre-modern music, while Homburger is a Baroque specialist not a purist. Ceremony's fascination resides in the fact that Guy's string treatments seem perfectly aligned with those of Biber, who, after all, was one of the first composers to use scordatura, the unusual tuning of strings.

Biber-influenced scordatura plays a large part in Guy's meditative "Ceremony," which features Homburger live in the studio improvising against seven pre-taped tracks of herself playing four other specially-tuned violins. Casual listening to these sweet string clusters may make it appear to be merely another period chamber piece. Actually, with the various sections layered so the soloist can use as much or as little of them as she wishes, it has all the elements of a contemporary creation. Similarly, Guy's solo track, "Still," fits perfectly in with the pensive mood of the rest of the disc. Yet, at the same time, with its brisk pizzicato attack and sonorous resonance it also wouldn't be out of place on a freewheeling improv disc featuring the likes of Parker.

Neither Third Stream nor a crossover mix of different styles, Ceremony is instead a fine example of how structures can be opened up to expose music's emotional core. As someone who prides himself on writing for individual personalities, Guy has shown once again that style is just a word and memorable sounds can appear in any medium". Ken Waxman

Maya Homburger: baroque violin
Barry Guy: double-bass

link @256

Tuesday, 18 September, 2007

Bravo Clippings #11

Julian Germain, "Superheroes Eleven"

Steve Lacy - Live at Unity Temple (1998)

"One would think that listening to a soprano sax in a solo context might end up being monotonous, but in the hands of a master, you could rest assured that there would be variety in the tunes and in the nuance, inflection, and ambience within each tune. Also, this type of performance allowed you to ruminate on each note and its placement; in other words, you could really hear what was going on. Many times during a band concert, there are various reasons that you cannot hear exactly what the soloist is playing, making you strain to take in all that should be aurally obvious.

But this concert turned into an opportunity for meditation, something sorely missed in this high-decibel world. It was meditation on some glorious music and, as it turned out, words. Beginning with “Evidence,” Lacy segued into “Ask Me Now,” playing with a slightly Nino-Rota-like phrasing. After a few unidentified compositions, he began to recite a poem on the nature of the music, leading to what I believe was a Rota tune from Fellini’s La Dolce Vita. After a brief intermission, Lacy went over to the piano, raised the lid, and began to experiment with overtones from the strings as he blew the horn straight into the piano. Far from being discordant nonsense, his music achieved some remarkable harmonics. He finished the set with some more original music and then mingled with the crowd as they filed out. The concert demonstrated that you can indeed experience fully such creative music at Unity Temple". Rashaan Clark Morris, Jazz Institute of Chicago Reviews

1. Monk Medley
- Shuffle Boil
- Thelonious

- Evidence
- Pannonica
- Misterioso
- Skippy

2. The Crust
3. Art
4. Revenue
5. Absence
6. Deadline

"You have to sound sad first of all, then maybe later you can sound good". Steve Lacy

link @256

Rhythm and Noise - Chasm's Accord (1996)

"Underground since the late sixties, Rhythm & Noise has periodically surfaced throughout the remainder of the century to unveil its primordial sonic incisionary surgery using the elements of silicon and steel, vinyl and vibration." Asphodel Press Release

back again link @320

Say thanks to Bruxo, who made this contribution.

Monday, 17 September, 2007

General Strike - Danger in Paradise (1984)

"The atmosphere which General Strike conjure together suits an old fashioned, cold war-ish scenario of technology. Their 'Interplanetary Music' is the space pop of George Pal and 'The Day The Earth Stood Still', of computers built like Blackpool Tower in order to struggle through simple trigonometry, of 'The Jetsons' and I.G.Y. They go no further than Expo 67, the world's last gasp of optimism. And although there are dark and disquieting moods set in this mosaic which their listeners have pieced together, it is made with a humour which is true to the spirit of adventure which those references apply.

The sanitation merchants who make up most of the world's record-makers today would forbid our ears from hearing these strangely electric keyboards, earthworked textures, bizarre chatterings of percussion, and voices that seem like puzzled robots. Cataloguing the sound in that way makes it all seem a bit of a joke, but it isn't: laughter is encouraged, but it's serious music, made with a great deal more serious spirit than the great and disheartening mountain of music which today implores you to hear and not listen". Richard Cook

David Toop: guitar, prepared guitar, bass, percussion, flute, alto flute, glockenspiel, voice, tapes, noises, rhythm tracks
Steve Beresford: bass, piano, farfisa organ, prophet 5, trumpet, flugelhorn, euphonium, percussion, glockenspiel, voice, toy piano, melodica, noises, rhythm tracks, drumkit
David Cunningham: tape treatments, production
Lol Coxhill: tenor saxophone (Guided Missiles) and soprano saxophone (Interplanetary Music)
Dawn Roberts: voice (My Other Body)
Maartje ten Hoorn: violin (Interplanetary Music)

Originally released on cassette by Touch in 1984 with the exception of "Parts of my Body", released on a single by Canal Records in 1979. CD reissue in 1996.

link @320 [Re-Up]

Courtesy of Double Avenue Tentacles

Sunday, 16 September, 2007

Bravo Clippings #10

Robert Crumb, Cubist Bebop Comics, 1972