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    Cornelius Dufallo – Dream Streets

    January 27th, 2010

    Remember Cornelius from Planet of the Apes? Well, this is definitely not him. While that Cornelius, a chimpanzee who lives in the year 3978, is an archaeologist concerned with digging up the remnants of a technologically advanced human civilization, this Cornelius is a musician who merely wants to fiddle. His latest album, named Dream Streets, offers your eardrums a meditation on New York City streets at night that is full to the brim with a variety-packed program for solo violin. Ranging from soaring, melodic notes to repetitive Terry Riley-like riffs; from sparse solos to simple string plucks; from gentle sawing to all-out country-inspired hoe-downs; from slow string scrapes to deep space wailing; from skittering improv to minimally held notes and complex runs, it’s all reverb-drenched and spread across the stereo field like a rock band. Occasionally, squirrelly electronics and deep atmospheric field recordings–cawing birds, rain, traffic ambience–find their way into the mix, and it all melds together in a most pleasing manner. Chalk up another cultural high point for the humans! In 2000 years, when the apes dig up a dusty old CD player and play Dream Streets, their simian minds are gonna be blown.

    Label: Innova Catalog Number: 735 Format: CD Packaging: Jewel case Tracks: 10 Total Time: 56:27 Country: United States Released: 2009 More: Amazon, Discogs

    Text ©2010 Arcane Candy

    Barry Schrader – Monkey King

    January 23rd, 2010

    “In the ancient Chinese land of Ao-lai, on the Mountain of Flowers and Fruit was a magic rock. This rock gave birth to an egg which hatched into a stone monkey. So begins one of the great classic Chinese works of literature, Journey to the West, written around 1550 by Wu Cheng-en.” With Monkey King, electronic music composer and a Cal Arts teacher since 1971, Barry Schrader, aurally tells the story of this intelligent animal’s birth and long journey to become a buddha. The CD’s five long tracks pulse out a veritable smorgasbord of musical challenges. Midnight drones provide a bed for all kinds of other sounds to bounce off of. Pinging shaker rhythms, cascading synth ruffles and stabs, drilling or echoey shimmers, rhythmic machine guns and static, reverb hits, gong storms, tolling bells and plenty of other drama suddenly gives way at various times to a stately stasis or a light flitting of uplifting effervescence. Then it all builds to swirling climax, occasionally interrupted by subtle touches of melody, or, alternately, hammering shimmers. Just when you start to hope the journey will never end, a sharp aluminum slash kills it all dead. If you’re a lover of minimal synth excursions, this disc will breathe new life into your listening day–whether you’re a man or a monkey.

    Label: Innova Catalog Number: 703 Format: CD Packaging: Jewel case Tracks: 5 Total Time: 56:19 Country: United States Released: 2008 More: Last.FM, MySpace, Official, Synthtopia, Tokafi, Wikipedia

    Text ©2010 Arcane Candy

    Val-Inc – On‏

    January 13th, 2010

    No, Val-Inc is not a company. It’s a person whose real name is Val Jeanty. Originally from Haiti, but residing in New York City since the late-1990s, Val composes a style of music she calls “Afro Electronica,” which pretty much sums it up perfectly. The seven tracks on this CD all form one long, flowing piece with no breaks. Restrained, quiet drum and percussion beats, synth storm swirl drones and low end turntable grooves lay the foundation for the shaking didgeridoo and sax squeaks to do their thing. And the spoken poetry, singing and vocal loops add a dash of reality to this subdued dream, in which Val somehow manages to build a wide, candle-lit atmosphere with surprisingly few ingredients. Clocking in at just 30 minutes, this album is definitely short but sweet, and the artwork / graphic design is top-notch. It’s on!

    Label: Innova Catalog Number: 698 Format: CD Packaging: Digipak Tracks: 7 Total Time: 29:12 Country: United States Released: 2007 More: Downtown Music, Jazz Mix, Last.FM, MySpace, Official, YouTube

    Text ©2010 Arcane Candy

    William Albright – Music for Saxophones

    January 12th, 2010

    Punk band Fear once “sang” that New York’s all right if you like saxophones. The same could be said of this CD, which an all-sax outfit called the Prism Quartet completely crams full like a sardine can with a four-layer burrito of complex compositions that resemble the most prickly improv. The 15 tracks hungrily chomp their way through a variety pack of approaches. In “Fantasy Etudes,” intricate runs filled with squeaks and squawks alternate between moods that run the gamut from jelled-up-hair-spiky to placid as a pond. The University of Michigan Symphony Band joins in on “Heater” for a rousing piece of big-band-inspired swing that dissolves into a field of obstuse dissonance in which the Pink Panther goes awry.

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    Roger Kleier – The Night Has Many Hours

    January 11th, 2010

    Roger Kleier (born 1958) is a “composer, guitarist, improviser and producer who began playing electric guitar at age 13 after discovering Captain Beefheart and Jimi Hendrix. He studied composition at North Texas State University and the University of Southern California, and has developed a unique style that draws equally from improvisation, contemporary classical music, and the American guitar traditions of blues, jazz, and rock. Much of his compositional work involves the development of a broader vocabulary for the electric guitar through the use of extended techniques and creating new works with digital technology.”

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