AARON LUMLEY/THE KNOT – ‘Arachnidiscs Split Tape Series 9/10’ C40 $7(CAD)
Side 9: Avant improv bassist Arron Lumley has been making waves lately with his harrowing long-player Wilderness. We posit this improvised session goes one further, both visceral and teeming with expression in the traditions of Dave Holland and François Rabbath. Recorded by Matthew Dunn in Toronto who, in Lumley’s words, “brought the fuzz and grime to the fore.” And we have to agree. In the middle ages, people were burned at the stake for playing music like this—he’s clearly possessed by some kind of demon. Side 10: the debut release for The Knot, the duo of cellists Tilman Lewis and Nick Storring. With allegiance to both form and freedom, they embark on sonic explorations that draw on various folk traditions and experimental musics. The pair love to bend the instrument’s lyricism, drawing not so much on extended techniques as on an array of audacious contra-techniques: preparations/ apparati (practice mutes, hair-clips, clamps, wine corks, mallets, egg beaters, plectrums etc.). They still, however, permit the cello’s natural beauty to have its place. Their large palette of sonorities is channeled and combined into single unified textures, and everything from improvised heterophony, to stark contrast.
BABEL – ‘GLOCKENGEISTER’ CDr $8(CAD)
Sixteen beautiful, serene though often unsettling pieces for electronically manipulated glockenspiel, bells, mixing bowls,drums, wood block and ornamental gongs. Resonant tones weave and drift through ambient harmonies and transcendental reverb drones accentuated with dramatic percussion expressions. Something like if Feldman adapted a Japanese Kabuki score for Balinese gamelan in a medieval European cathedral.
BABEL – ‘ALPHABETA’ CDr $8(CAD)
A conceptual work where the pieces are composed from notes corresponding to the letters in their titles. Ranging from white noise freak-outs to measured, melodic themes, the 17-part suite covers the history of modern compostion from the 20th century minimalists such as Cage or Reich through Miles Davis’ jazz-fusion to maximalist post-rockers like Godspeed! and Tortoise.