Album Review

Mass Producers – “Performances for Large… ” – [Dark Beloved Cloud]

Max Level   1/8/2006   A Library, CD

Composer/bandleader Caroline Kraabel (ex-Honkies) and her 20-member troupe play nothing but alto, tenor, and baritone saxes. In concert, the audience sits in the middle, in the dark, and the musicians stand in a circle around them wearing what looks like miner’s lamps on their heads. Sort of like five spooky saxophone quartets joining the Residents. Two compositions on this CD, 43 minutes and 24 minutes in length. Long, but stick with it. Periods of quiet noodling alternate with periods of controlled roar. Unbelievable overtones are created when so many similar instruments play in unison. Track 2 contains a loop repeated for 10 minutes, and some may find that annoying. It does go on and on a bit, but I found it mesmerizing. Kraabel wanted to build that into the piece for some reason, so I think it’s cool.

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