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[coll] The New Music [RCA]

In 1967 the Rome Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Bruno Maderna, recorded four atonal, serial, and/or aleatory works. Ignore the Fresh-Air-esque middlebrow notes on the back of the record sleeve and just drop the fukkin’ needle.

The four pieces:

Kontra-Punkte (Stockhausen, 1952) – It sounds like music being built from the ground up. Tones are clustered into molecules of sound called a ‘group.’ Tone, length, timbre are set against each other to give a feeling of conflict and restlessness. (Name drop! ‘I’m friends with the nephew of Frederic Rzewski, who plays piano on this recording.)

Threnody for the Victims of Hiroshima (Pendercki, 1960) – Originally called 8? 37″, this piece starts off like those annoying THX promos they play before a movie. But then you are softened up with a light pummeling by blocks of string sound. This gives way to a dreadful silence that gradually fills in with ashes and embers of sounds scraped from string instruments. One last whack with a sound block sends you on your way to side B.

Available Forms I (Brown, 1961) – This piece is partially composed by the conductor because he can pick from events on the score in any order. I think this piece is about a big amoeba that keeps eating instruments it can’t digest. Or maybe that’s a book I read to my kids.

Rimes pour differentes sources sonores (Pousseur, 1959) – This is my favorite one. Here we finally get some electronic sounds from our electronic pioneers. Natural sounds are fixed up with electronically processed sounds by a mutual friend and wind up taking a white noise shower together on their first date. The second section, more of a coda really, has two sextets with brass and woodwinds scraping up against each other until they both disappear.

–Hunter Gatherer

  • Reviewed by Hunter Gatherer on August 23, 2005 at 8:46 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,A Library
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  • Close, The/Rosebuds [coll] – [Goodnight]

    Raleigh, NC core duo Ivan Howard (vocals, guitar) and
    Kelly Crisp (keyboards, vocals) front THE ROSEBUDS
    (fast & furious on ???We???ve Had Enough???), a act
    currently on US tour with TEENAGE FANCLUB. It is
    Howard???s touch-of-helium voice & Crisp???s frenetic use of
    keyboard coloration that punch their all-original songs
    through to Funland; fellow progenitors THE CLOSE (as
    in proximity) began in Auburn AL ten years ago, since
    relocating to Atlanta and recording several releases for
    . Equally hard hitting but more tactile &
    austere, front man Brooks Meeks embraces anthems,
    analog keyboards (as played by Theresa Marie Fedor),
    and lyrical sincerity. Two fine Southeast indie rock tracks
    exclusive to new label run by Nathan Jones & Keith
    Vogelsong (THE BLUE HOUR).
    MITCH August 2005

  • Reviewed by mitch on August 16, 2005 at 12:49 am
  • Filed as 7-inch,A Library
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  • Airport Girl “Salinger Wrote” [Where it's at is where you Are Records] (45rpm)

    From Nottingham, England Airport Girl has released a few records since their 2001 debut. This single is from 2004 and sports a jangly pop-rock song on the A-side with male vocals and an almost dubby instrumental track on side B. The pop song reminds me a little of the Cannanes–but it also has rock and fuzz elements to it. Very catchy!

  • Reviewed by lombard on August 10, 2005 at 2:55 pm
  • Filed as 7-inch,A Library
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  • Baby Dee “Love’s Small Song” [Durtro Records] (CD)

    While listening to this I was reminded of Antony, so it’s not surprising that Baby Dee shares a label with Antony & the Johnsons. The feeling is dramatic, like this is the soundtrack to an opera or musical, with themes of love and nature (including bird samples from Baby Dee’s mom’s Cleveland backyard). Baby Dee is a drag performer from NY and on this release (recorded in 2001) utilizes voice, piano, accordian and harp. CD2 is a lengthy track of bird sounds. Limited to 1000 copies, enjoy the beauty and drama of this self-described “circus freak and happy whore.” (added 8-9-2005)

    -Cynthia Lombard

  • Reviewed by lombard on August 9, 2005 at 2:06 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • Dead Texan, The- “S/T” – [Kranky] (CD)

    This is the first solo project of Adam Wiltzie of Stars of the Lid, Aix Em Klemm and Windsor for the Derby. Wiltzie calls the music here mini symphonies and the sound IS symphonic, atmospheric, almost classical with piano, strings, guitar and bits and pieces of voice (although subtle). Pop this into a computer to see music videos by Wiltzie and Christina Vantzos. Very pleasant material. (added 8-2-2005)

    -Cynthia Lombard

  • Reviewed by lombard on August 2, 2005 at 2:13 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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