Album Review

IMA X Atto Plain [coll] – [Edgetone Records]

Thurston Hunger   6/11/2015   A Library, CD

Pretty cool game of musical chairs, where you get three
different matrix multipliers of the projects Atto Plain and
IMA (pronounced II-ma). IMA consists of percussionista
extraordinaire Nava Dunkelman and electrocutter Jeanie-Aprile
Tang while Atto Plain which is Tang and guitarist Michael
Mersereau. Any time an album begins with a morse code chorus
I’m in, and then Nava strikes the snare like a firing line
and Michael bounces a chord on his guitar. But 2+ minutes in
silence and drone passage to plinky percussion for some kind
of altar ascension for a music box melee and a hushed whisper.
Wow, great start by all three. “Eline” just the ladies hover
in breath and a warbly keyboard with wooden water drops. Spa
day at the improv? A little marching melody of sad toys
ensues and they climb over the north pole looking for a lost
teddy bear. “Thin Film” again IMA, suspense and scrape from
Nava, who speaks to us like the woman in the dunes. J-A
warping her words and waves of sound subtly. Lastly, “Letters”
sent from Atto Plain starts in a guitar tunnel, then with
an insistent ticking beat (and yet more whispered words so
maybe this is a sample of Nava by J-A?) the song moves to
a deep aquatic robot heartbeat and the sound of steam being
let off. Really excellent and while maybe four disjointed
pieces, a pretty consistent album. Whispers can be louder
than roars…would welcome translation of the morse and
whispers, but whatever they are saying, I hear and obey.
-Thurston Hunger

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