2013: The year in retrospective. Part XI
2013: a sort of diary.
Text and summary by D’Incise Feraille
I didn’t feel to make a classical “best of/top xx” of 2013, probably because while thinking about it, and looking into my music files and records, I got to realise the important things, the one I would pick up and want to share, my little gems discoveries, all the music that made my year, would cover a wide time frame (not saying about all the 2012 release I caught up late). I’ll then try here a drift into a year of listening and exploration.
Let’s start however with a fresh 2013 release, the Michael Pisaro with Greg Stuart “Closed categories in cartesian worlds“, this is a strong work, the sort you can maybe hate but not ignore, (yes it’s mainly high pitched frequencies, but it turn out to be beautifull and fascinating), you can feel how the music is drive by the iniatial concept, the “trace a line and follow it” style, this something I often miss in (too common) experimental music. Another Michael Pisaro album I enjoyed is “Tombstones” (2012), again with the same rigor to an idea – here deconstructing pop songs – an incredbly coherent music is made.
Sticking in the Wandelweiser family, one of my (re)discovery was the Jürg Frey “Landschaft mit wörtern” (2009), a two hours piece for harmonicas (I guess) and voice. Stefan Thut, with Johnny Chang published an ecxellent version of “Two string and boxes“, it’s this kind of record where I wait sometime monthes befor finding the right moment for it, then the magic happens, all mixes, the recording, the surrounding. I’m also very glad I had the chance to ear Stephan perfoming a solo version of the piece, three time in three different places. Still in this area there’s two works by Taku Sugimoto, “String quartet and guitar” (2010) and “Music for cymbal” (2005), that I would recommend, and Jakob Ullmann “Fremde zeit – addendum” (2012) and “Disappearing musics for six players (more or less)” (1989-91).
“Chronos kristalla” is a 1990 piece by La Monte Young, for the Kronos string quartet, I only found a live recording of a rough quality on soulseek, but even so the music made me a great effect, and I found it so related to the concerns of the “around-Wandelweiser-inspired-scene”. Maybe it’s this ghosty quality of recording, with a large amount of room sounds that accentuate this effect but the result is here, it sounded so actual. By the way I’ve been quite into La monte Young, listening a lot the “Well tuned piano“(1964-1981) and “The four dreams of china“(1991). Not far from that I, shamefully, finally approached Pauline oliveros’s music, specially with “The roots of the moment“(1988).
On the “late discovery or rediscovery” drawer I have aslo, James Tenney, the “Postal pieces” (1970-71), or how to make great music from the sortest scores, a great inspiration for clear conceptual music. The “Oldschool” by Zeitkratzer is very good as well. And the orchestral works of Giacinto Scelsi, I can’t name any specially, it’s more generaly, a great work of timbres and textures. I just say don’t miss it like I did (my excuse is that I dind’t like the small ensemble pieces I heard befor).
Allesandro Bossetti “Renard” is, as most of Allesandro’s work, a ufo flying around poetry and contemporary music. Rhodrie Davis “Wound responses” is his brother in weirdeness (weird means very good in my mouth), you have never heard a harp sounding like some african electrified instrument. I have a little weakness for Charlemagne Palestine & Z’ev “Rubhitbangklanghear rubhitbangklangear“, ahh bells… I enjoy a lot the David Maranha & Z’ev “Obsidiana” (2012) album too, some good heavy-psyché-something-organs…,and in the field I could drift to the Greg Malcolm “swiming in it” LP reissue, with his multiple guitares and sort of dirty folks tunes.
Alright let’s get to some 2013’s at least, Stephen Cornford & Samuel Rodgers “Boring Embroidery” is a very very fine craft of experiments, electronics and piano resonnances (you should also definitly check Stephen installation works). Now two relesae you can get as free donwload, and it doesn’t mean they worst less, at the contrary, both invloving Jean-Luc Guionnet “Qlinam” is a church organ solo, and it’s just nothing like you would expect and the second “Non Solo Form Proof” with Marc Baron pushes saxophones and electronics in strange territories. (I recommend to read Jean-Luc’s texts as well, they go deep in reflexions on experimental music and philosophy – ask him if you want more, the websit is not really updated).
Dealing with fieldrecording, or the idea of fieldrecording, another Stephen Cornford excellent release “Music for Earbuds” (the title speaks), a curious mix of frogs and synths by Yannick Dauby “wā jiè méng xūn” made echo to Lee Patterson “egg fry #2“(2012) (I’d say, bluffing) and David Dunn “Chaos & the emergent mind of the pond” (a reference in the genre) or the curious, surreal, Marcus Obst “Day in Dwarfs Capital” (2010).
Francisco Meirino’s “Untitled Phenomenas In Concrete“(2012) is as excellent as most of what he does, I’m running to follow his rythm, andh is concert with Dave Phillips this spring during the Rue du Nord festival was damn good, that’s for ultra sharp electroacoustic! With “Sferics“(1981) by Alvin Lucier, these ionosphere amayzing recordings… Talking about Alvin Lucier’s book “Music 109” is just the most perfect doorway to experimental music, a must read.
Though the’re friends I’ll mention the solo of Cyril Bondi “The foil”,where the floortom takes another dimension, and Rodolphe Loubatière & Pierce Warnecke “Non Lieu“, snare drum vs electronics on the road to abstraction.
To end, some very pleasant electronic music, Giuseppe Ielasi “15 more tapes” (2012), glitchy loops and more made of tapes malfunctions, various albums (~2006-2008) Mahmoud Refat and Mathias Delplanque “Chutes“, and some bands with piano, the hype electro-but-yet-acoustic Dawn of midi “dysnomia“, Plaistow “Citadelle” (ah the track “the end of the world” is just some doom jazz, yeah), The Necks “Open” (still The Necks, but with more air..).
PS for the frenchies, some good books, François J. Bonnet “Les mots et les sons. Un archipel sonore“, Yan Jun “Génération dakou” and David Dunn “Extractions des espaces sauvages“.
[D’Incise; photo courtesy of Ponto Alternativo]