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    Matthew Burtner – Portals of Distortion

    Matthew Burtner - Portals of Distortion

    The childhood-experienced “sound of wind rushing over the tundra” and “the sound of storms over the ocean” have deeply influenced the six works of this atmospheric CD from Alaskan-born composer Matthew Burtner. The title track is a long, thick sleeping bag full of nine layered saxophone blasts and drones, which are fairly similar to James Tenney’s “Saxony,” that should keep everyone–including your too-tall younger brother–warm until tomorrow’s camping sunrise. It’s at once invigorating yet oddly soothing. The computer-generated tape work of “Fern” is a dark, brooding excursion into “ambient” granular synthesis that seems to glide by–and through–you with an almost aerodynamic ease. “Split Voices” sort of seems to be a combination of the first two efforts, while “Mists” is comprised of “eight polyphonic lines of filtered noise” from a computer noise controller fronted by incessant, clacking layers from a “stone trio.”

    “Incantation S4” is another lengthy foray into granular synthesis, a work for amplified tenor sax and computer-generated tape that sustains further ashen floatation deep into the next misty night you’re forced to drive through on some long journey home. “Glass Phase” closes out the CD with a computer polyrhythmicon and electronics that pierce out some really high-pitched tones–vaguely like the beginning of Iannis Xeankis’ “La Legende d’Eer”–with percussive glass samples that are, again, kind of reminiscent of Xenakis’ “Concret-PH.” Indeed, Matthew was a student at Xenakis’ UPIC school in Paris, so that all adds up. Overall, Portals comes very recommended for fans of atmospheric tape work sprinkled with a little sax improv.

    Label: Innova Catalog Number: 526 Format: CD Packaging: Jewel case Tracks: 6 Total Time: 69:13 Country: United States Released: 1999 More: CCRMA, Discogs, Last FM, MySpace, Okay Samurai, University of Virginia, Wikipedia, YouTube

    Text ©2009 Arcane Candy

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