Album Review

Butler, Ken – “Voices of Anxious Objects” – [Tzadik]

abacus   2/28/2012   A Library, CD

Ken Butler studied viola as a child but went on to study visual arts in France and Portland, though constantly maintaining an interest in music. He fused his interests in music and visual art becoming a renowned inventor of eccentric hybridized instruments using everyday objects like snow-shovels, bike wheels and golf clubs and turning them into instruments. What we have here is a perplexing but approachable array of melodies conjoining rock structures with eastern stylings in a jazz atmosphere dominated by international beats and spattered with all sorts of unheard sounds. Broken playhouse jabbering set within playfully waddling rhythms featuring invented and traditional instruments alike, with a handful of guests including Matt Darriau from Paradox Trio. As Butler describes, it speaks to the transformed identities of material objects as we move from a mechanical to an electrical era of information overload. What arises is a living corpse of juxtaposed and deconstructed items.

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