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???View From Within??? is the 1985 release by pianist Muhal Richard Abrams and includes six tracks that have a fair amount of variety and penache. The tracks have different and intriguing instrumental arrangements of Abram???s work, performed by an octet of highly experienced musicians. The music is improvisional and free, but has clear structure, and the musician intereactions are conversational in nature, sometimes restrained, so that the group and not the individual musicians take center stage.
The Muhal Richard Abrams Octet is Muhal Richard Abrams, Stanton Davis, John Percell, Marty Ehrlich, Rick Rosie, Warren Smith, Thurman Barker and Ray Mantilla.
This 3??? CD EP is Many Arm???s first release and includes four very hard-hitting songs that aren???t easily classifiable, but are thoroughly enjoyable from this very experienced team who show off their version of the Philadelphia experimental music scene. The songs each have very clear structure but have a definite focus on individual and collective improvisation. Personal picks are Track 2 ??? Easy Dozens, and Track 3 ??? Holy Ghost Choir Society.
Many Arms is Nick Millevoi ??? guitar, John DeBlase ??? bass, and Ricardo Lagomasino ??? drums. Each artist, busy in their own right, have formed a very intriguing and exciting team in Many Arms. Released by Majuma Music in 2009.
Raks Raks Raks is a new collection issued by Raks Discos of 17 choice songs from the Persian 1960′s, ranging from Psych to Soul. These songs, recorded during a time in pre-Revolution Iran when western/eastern music cultural exchanges were highly active. On a beautiful colored disk, this collection includes musical pearls from artists such as Moha Jamin, The Flowers, The Littles, and an early “Respect” cover release from Googoosh. Included is a very good insert that provides much historial context. What a terrific release. Play early – play often.
A reissue of their 1974 self-titled release, Paulo Bagun??a e a Tropa Maldita (which loosly translates to ???Paulo Confusion/Mess and the Damned or Wicked Soldiers), this album was seminal to the Musica Popular Brasileira scene that blended traditional and contemporary music styles ??? something not generally done at the time. The 10 songs cover quite a bit of ground, from being forceful and direct, to expansive and sumptuous. The sound recording isn???t spectacular, and the mixes are somewhat simplistic, but this doesn???t interfere with the conveying music-as-ritual. This is a wide-eyed view into what was happening in the Brazilian music scene and culture of the early ???70???s. Reviewer???s top tracks: 1, 2, 4, 6 (horns), 7, 8, 10.
Reviewed in haiku -
Textile Orchestra is Alexandre Bellenger, Arnaud Rivi??re, Dan Warburton and Aaron Moore (also of Volcano the Bear). Recorded in 2004 at Instants Chovir??s, Montreuil, France.
David Chiesa (double bass), who started as a rock bassist and migrated to improvised music issues forth a deep seated introspection on the reduction of his instrument to its most primitive sounds mixing large swaths of silence (or, almost silence) with frenetic bursts. There are two experimental solo performances on this release (from 2005). Chiesa deeply explores as much of his instrument as any single human can explore and understand in depth anything so personal as just him and the wood and cat-gut he wraps his arms around. This disk leaves this listener feeling on one hand satisfied, and on the other, questioning their own breathing.
Father and Son Ernesto (viola) and Guilherme Rodrigues (cello) team up with Mathieu Werchowski (violin) have created an intriguing experimental deconstructionist effort where the extremes of sounds with their instruments slap you in the face. Strings and instruments are bowed, hit, plucked, thwacked, and perhaps flung in the air. Sometimes painful ??? sometimes prophetic about where we go when we die. The conversations between the instruments is disturbing but demand a full listen. Compelling!!
MMOB is a mixed group of folks from the Seattle area, and includes members of Sun City Girl (and Earth, Burning Witch and Diminished Men), and this music was released on Conspiracy Records label. Like their other disk, their music is filled with psychodelic hymns and ritualistic dances that move from spacious guitars to death chants, having narcotic effects on the listener. Yet, the music has many opposites where prog rock guitar riffs are followed by complex drumming, Eastern influenced strings, and chanting evoking, if one were prepared for it, psychotic transe events.
Instrumentation has amazing variety from guitars and drums, to Mellotron, gamelan, saz and tanpura (a terrific drone instrument).
Trks 1-3 can be played as one track.
A re-mastering and repackaging of two previously released LP???s (2001 & 2003), this CD is a collection of 5 quite different pieces. All are mixed-moving-surrounding sounds and natural and manipulated noise – some can be considered as drone though they aren???t at all. No name for Rozenhall’s style. Very intense. As the CD liner notes say, “Play loud!”
Trk 1: “A Plumage…” – Early 60???s satellite type mixed sounds going round and round the Earth, then they come at you. Grabs your ears with claws. Short piece but seems longer and moves through many uncomfortable spaces. Trk 2: “Eyeland Part 1″ – Beginning of track has air movement sounds from what I can only imagine being inside the bellows of a large pipe organ – and descends into places you don???t like to look at from there. Trk 3: “Eyeland Part 2″ – Total directed road-trip of ear-candy/pain. 26s of silence at end of track. Trk 4: “Grig-ailment” – Totally electronic and is like a lost child wandering in fear. Trk 5: “Sinister Laburnum” – long tones experimenting with micro-tonal collisions and distortions. Works well.
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