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    Ellen Band – 90% Post Consumer Sound

    October 27th, 2009

    Ellen Band - 90% Post Consumer Sound

    Everyone’s heard of the Edgar Broughton Band, the Magic Band, the Michael Yonkers Band, the Band of Gypsies and just “The Band,” but what about this here Ellen Band? Is it a person or a group? And if it is a group, is it a big band or a power trio? Hmmm, let me see…there’s no “The” in front of Ellen, so it must be a person. Yeah, that’s it! I’ve figured it out! Ellen Band is really Ellen Woman!

    A Toronto native, Ellen Woman, I mean Rubber Band, I mean Ellen Band attended York University in the 1970s, where a thriving new music scene–not to mention teachers like Pauline Oliveros and David Rosenboom–inspired her to become a sound artist. In subsequent years, she attended the University of California, San Diego and Tufts University in Boston; and is now a visiting artist teaching sound art and electronic music at The School of the Museum of Fine Arts and the Massachusetts College of Art, both in Boston.

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    Phill Niblock – YPGPN

    October 25th, 2009

    Phill Niblock - YPGPN

    Phill Niblock is a composer of minimal music and films who has been working since the late 1960s, releasing records and CDs of his music and holding public performances at his downtown New York City loft. When the big “M” word comes up, names like La Monte Young, Terry Riley, Tony Conrad, Steve Reich and Phillip Glass automatically cross most folks’ minds. Although Phill’s works are just as vital and groundbreaking, his name somehow fell through the cracks of music history, which left it to hover over the outer boundaries of experimental sound. But, once encountered by any wayward soul, the majestic, primal power of his music immediately envelopes and overwhelms.

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    Eliane Radigue – Trilogie de la Mort

    October 20th, 2009

    Eliane Radigue - Trilogie de la Mort

    Born in 1932, Eliane Radigue is a French electronic music composer who started out as a student of musique concrete pioneer Pierre Schaeffer in the 1950s, and assisted fellow concreter Pierre Henry in the following decade. In the ’70s, she started working with the ARP-2500 synthesizer in a minimal vein, inspiring friends to encourage her to study Tibetan Buddhism, which she became devoted to in 1975. Eliane spent eight years–from 1985 to 1993–on her masterpiece, the three-hour Trilogie de la Mort, which was released as a 3-CD set in 1998 by New York experimental label XI Records.

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    Richard Lainhart – Ten Thousand Shades of Blue

    October 19th, 2009

    Richard Lainhart - Ten Thousand Shades of Blue

    Richard Lainhart is a composer, author and filmmaker who studied composition and electronic music with Joel Chadabe back in the 1970s at the State University of New York at Albany. He has worked and performed with some of the big guns of 20th century music, including John Cage, David Tudor, Steve Reich, Phill Niblock, David Behrman and many others. Ten Thousand Shades of Blue is a double CD collection of Richard’s music released in 2001 by New York-based experimental music label XI. Disc one and the first track of disc two feature three prime minimal works recorded on magnetic tape between 1975 and 1980. “Bronze Cloud Disk” from 1975, “Two Mirrors Face One Another” from 1976 and “Cities of Light” from 1980 feature vast, mesmerizing drones composed of eight layers of bowed and pitch-shifted tam-tam, Japanese temple bells, and human voice, respectively. The overall sound in these pieces is that of raw, seemingly static, yet subtly-shifting clouds.

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    Larry Polansky – Four Voice Canons

    October 18th, 2009

    Larry Polansky - Four Voice Canons

    Larry Polansky is a composer, performer, theorist and professor who has been working since the ’70s at places like Mills College and Dartmouth. He’s also a founder of Frog Peak Music (A Composer’s Collective). “All the pieces on this disc are mensuration canons of four or more voices. In these canons, each successively entering voice moves proportionally faster than the previous one, causing each canon’s density and rhythmic complexity to increase from beginning to end.” The works, which span nearly a quarter of a century, from 1978 to 2002, are sounded by a wide variety of instruments.

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    John Luther Adams – The Light That Fills the World

    October 17th, 2009

    John Luther Adams - The Light That Fills the World

    Morton Feldman-influenced fence post-minimal composer and Cal Arts graduate John Luther Adams has been at it since the mid 1970s, writing nearly two dozen pieces prior to the three found on his Cold Blue CD from 2002, The Light That Fills the World. “The Farthest Place” opens the disk with a pleasantly percolating 11-minute long wisp of sound comprised of piano, electric piano, vibes, marimba, violin and doublebass over a comfy bed of bass clarinet. The title track ebbs for a couple of minutes longer and comes complete with a generous portion of low-end electronic hums. The third and final track, “The Immeasurable Space of Tones,” stretches out to nearly a half hour, and really expands upon and drives home the sonic properties contained in the first two. The influence of the landscape of Adams’ Alaska home–from the subterranean rumbling of its volcanic magma to the highest crags of its soaring peaks—transfers into a most lovely, blasting mist of flowing, human sound.

    Label: Cold Blue Catalog Number: CB0010 Format: CD Packaging: Jewel case Tracks: 3 Total Time: 50:57 Country: United States Released: 2002 More: Discogs, Forced Exposure, Last FM, Official, Wikipedia

    Text ©2009 Arcane Candy

    Linda Perhacs at the REDCAT 2009

    October 9th, 2009

    Los Angeles, California
    October 7, 2009

    Linda Perhacs is a singer and songwriter who released one lone album of fragile, beautiful acid folk in 1970, then disappeared for the next four decades into the wonderful world of dentistry. I first heard said record, Parallelograms, in 1999 on a bootleg reissue CD. I recall the gorgeous singing and great depth of poetry and emotion on display brought tears to my eyes, and the occasional patches of otherworldly electronic effects set my head aloft into a mysterious, airy, lavender bog. I never guessed that this music would be played live a decade later, but, indeed, it did during Linda’s first-ever public performance!

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    John Luther Adams + Rick Cox + Michael Jon Fink + Jim Fox – Adams / Cox / Fink / Fox

    October 6th, 2009

    Adams / Cox / Fink / Fox

    Four slices of chamber music from composers John Luther Adams, Rick Cox, Michael Jon Fink and Jim Fox gets compiled on this CD, punctuated by two short, quiet clarinet interludes by Marty Walker. Adams’ “Dark Wind” lives up to its title with gorgeous acoustic instrument atmospherics that flow and darkly brood with the best of ’em–very minimal, pleasurable and impressive. In Fink’s “Thread of Summer,” a forlorn melody is bandied about between Marty and the rest of the ensemble. Cox’s “When April May” “floats a lyric line over a repeating harmonics structure,” while Fox’s “Between the Wheels” boasts a “series of quiet bass clarinet statements, accompanied by violin harmonics, heard against a cycling tapestry of string tremolos.” All in all, this CD gives the impression of being one long, flowing work of a single composer, rather than four, and stands as a fine presentation of austere understatement. Featuring Amy Knoles on vibraphone and marimba, Bryan Pezzone on piano, Maria Newman and Peter Kent on violins, Valerie Dimond on viola, Greg Gottlieb on cello and Dan Smith on cello.

    Label: Cold Blue Catalog Number: CB0009 Format: CD Packaging: Jewel case Tracks: 6 Total Time: 41:00 Country: United States Released: 2002 More: Discogs, Forced Exposure, Last FM, Official

    Text ©2009 Arcane Candy

    Various Artists – Cold Blue

    October 4th, 2009

    Various Artists - Cold Blue

    This is a 2002 CD reissue of an old vinyl comp from 1984, back in the days of the original incarnation of the Cold Blue label. Thirteen tracks, including one bonus, of brooding experimental wonder from 13 (mostly) West Coast composers. The complete rundown: Chas Smith’s “Beatrix” forms a gentle backdrop full of multi-tracked banjo and one lone, loud, distorted power chord struck on a pedal steel guitar that gradually wafts away into a misty powder of pristine ambience. Ingram Marshall’s “Gradual Siciliano (For Gus)” finds a gentle mandolin and piano gradually dissolving into a nice electronic haze. A totally different piano–along with a large drum and a bullroarer–fill a dark, primal void with a repetitive, echoing knock; a dissonant note cluster and strange, circular mechanical sound in Peter Garland’s “Three Strange Angels.”

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    Chas Smith – Aluminum Overcast

    October 3rd, 2009

    Chas Smith - Aluminum Overcast

    A hazy, floating atmosphere permeates this music wrought by Los Angeles-based, Harry Partch-inspired composer Chas Smith and his arsenal of self-built metal instruments*, including the Adkins, Bass Tweed, Copper Box, Guitarzilla, Junior Blue, DADO, Majestic and Mantis; plus a little flute, cello, choir and wind ensemble thrown in here and there.

    Yay, verily! Get this into thy head: vigorously bowed single notes with ultra-long sustain, heavily reverberated knocks, and deep, echoing, metallic ambience. All aboard! All of the above abounds. Indeed, Aluminum Overcast is the perfect title for this ever-glimmerin’ Mammoth Cave o’ vastness. Fans of Harry Bertoia and the Baschet Brothers would do well to investigate this little platter of perpetual pleasure. Way recommended.

    *“Resonators that sprout rods, which are bowed and struck; large, clangorous sculptures of titanium; metal strings strung across multiple resonators; and vibraphone-like arrays of metal plates.” Also featuring Oja Fin on voice, Anon on flute and cello, the Reseda Women’s Choir on voices and the Reseda Wind Ensemble on flutes.

    Label: Cold Blue Catalog Number: CB0007 Format: CD Packaging: Jewel case Tracks: 6 Total Time: 49:46 Country: United States Released: 2001 More: Artist Direct, Forced Exposure, Last FM

    Text ©2009 Arcane Candy