Thursday, May 26, 2011
As a fan of banana cable culture, BugBrand, along with Buchla and Serge, perpetuate, with no small amount of invention and sonic verve, arguably the best of all modular patching options. This video makes a strong argument for Tom Bugs' place in the banana cable pantheon of greats!
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
Sunday, May 15, 2011
Though not containing synths of any kind, 1968's Autosalvage is quite a satisfying listen. Containing rasping angular guitar work, pounding drums and percussion, airy harmonies, and touches of experimental eastern-tinged psych, Autosalvage, discovered by Frank Zappa, released this one great album and disappeared leaving behind arguably one of the great albums of the late sixties. Skilled musicians all, Autosalvage create layered songs that twistedly negotiate their way though sonic changes breath-takingly like a medieval chamber group intent on bringing us the evocative expressive power of the blues along with the complexity of progressive timbral exploration. Great stuff.
Thursday, May 12, 2011
Francis Bacon / A Terrible Beauty presents the reader with a number of compelling essays that explore the inner workings of arguably Great Britain's greatest artist as viewed through the lens of the remains of his London studio now reassembled in Dublin. This autopsy fingers through photos, destroyed canvases, and mountains of "refuse" that became the idea fixe of Bacon's work and provides clues to the working practices of this enigmatic man. It is especially interesting in its investigation of Bacon's use of photography as catalyst and reference in the process of birthing a painted image; so distressed are these photos generally that one can easily see their relationship to these potent paintings, horribly beautiful, smeared with the painterly atrophied viscera the product of a knowing hand and a gambler's love of the game of chance.
Saturday, May 7, 2011
Sunday, May 1, 2011
For any lover of that Buchla sound, this cd is an essential listen. While this is overall a compelling listen, I am particularly taken by A Sky of Cloudless Sulphur, a piece that explores the percussive sounds that can only be produced by the Buchla. The Opening section begins with chattering mallet strike sounds; around 8:17 the sky explodes with a tumultuous sonic cloud-burst that like the bursts of sound that Stravinsky used to tense displeasure in his 1913 Rite of Spring seems to smack the listener across the room. After this dense build-up, a period of simple quiet ensues, then...Dance, a percussive propulsive section that exploits that Buchla sound beautifully. Two minutes into Dance comes an abrupt silence and then a simple sonic motif finally populated by garbled tones that again fade to silence that slowly evolves into metallic percussive tones, and sonic alien worm-holes that build to waves of layered cacophonous sounds. Percussive sound of a different nature inhabits the final four minutes...then flashes of melodic content begins to dart erratically, negotiating percussive jabs. What has slowly evolved out of a aleatoric sulphuric chattering haze is simply genesis, a beginning.