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    Keeril Makan – Target

    Keeril Makan - Target

    Although you’ve probably never heard of Keeril Makan, and his CD Target may not be available at Target, that shouldn’t stop you from seeking it out, buying a copy and letting it float straight into your head like a vivid sonic onslaught straight outta the Large Hadron Collider. Spanning a decade, from 1998 through 2007, these four fairly wide-ranging avant-garde classical works somehow form a cohesive whole. Kicking off the proceedings is, of course, track 1, which is actually called “2.” Since when did 2 become 1? And is 2 the numeral the same as two the word? I thought Grease was the word. What about three? Is it the same as seven? Does 2+2=5? The world may never know.

    But, Keeril Makan’s “2” certainly knows how to play with your head–using nothing but violin and percussion! Its non-climactic, insistent, one-note rhythm stops and starts, proceeds faster, then slower–sometimes simple, sometimes complex–rushes past, then stops on a ping pong ball, only to get all contemplative, ending in just the kind of Xenakis-like Brillo Pad scrapefest that I’m more than happy to enter at any moment. “Zones d’Accord” puts an alternate tuning on a cello then sends it on its way, flowing like jello over a sandpaper-coated ribbon–sometimes quiet and meditative, sometimes suddenly exploding into a cup of raucous cole slaw composed of raw open string saw with a heap of harmonics flitting through the air.

    Composed of text concerning the imperial wars of aggression the United States government has been waging in the Middle East for a decade, the title track offers up a serious workout for a mezzo soprano and a chamber ensemble as it veers from regular songform to crazed micro-tonal crescendos to a rock-like insistence that only a mother, father, sister, brother, aunt, uncle, cousin and family friend could love. Although “Resonance Alley” was Inspired by James Tenney’s piece for solo tam tam, “Having Never Written a Note For Percussion,” it’s definitely not a rip-off. Scored for three cymbals and a gong, it spends nearly a half hour bringing the album to a close with a flow motion aural mist comprised of rhythmic tapping, pinging and rub-a-dub washing that will take you on an effortless journey far beyond the local laundromat. Brandishing four slabs of sonic excellence, Target really is right on target, and easily ranks as one of the best avant-garde classical albums of 2011, or any other year. This is really strong stuff.

    Label: Starkland Catalog Number: ST-217 Format: CD Packaging: Jewel case Tracks: 8 Total Time: 69:10 Country: United States Released: 2011 More: Amazon, The Glass, Official, Other Minds, Starkland

    Text ©2011 Arcane Candy

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