KFJC 89.7FM
Album Review

Monosov Swirnoff “Seven Recorded Works” [Eclipse Records]

cujo   2/20/2006   12-inch, A Library

This CA duet of Ilya Monosov and Preston Swirnoff play 2 black sides of untitled almost-drones. Monosov lays down a creepy background on harmonica and/or hurdy gurdy. The hurdy gurdy I can expect to serve a greater drony purpose, but the harmonica? It takes a slightly twisted mouth to take all the joy out of that harp. On top of this, Swirnoff plays melodica, organ, and/or piano, picking out notes or compatible drones or tone clusters as their imaginations see fit. He is not above heading to the inside his piano to find the needed notes. Sometimes they switch roles, like on Side B track A when the melodica drones and Monosov plunks on both his instruments. But then again, sometimes they’re indistinguishable, especially between the melodica and harmonica. Sometimes three or four instruments are going at once; this was probably and hopefully achieved without overdubbing. Side B tends to be a bit more happening, what with the instrumental ambiguities on track A, the (relative) wealth of individual notes played on track B, and the industrial drone (with organ) on track C. Is there a narrative underlying it all? Unclear. Probably not.

-Cujo, KFJC, February 2006

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