Saturday, January 26, 2013
Andrew Chalk's Forty-Nine Views In Rhapsodies' Wave Serene (Faraway Press) presents, using limited instrumentation(Polivoks synth, piano and organ), a microscopic world teeming with life and a wealth of inviting sonic detail. The aural equivalent of snapshots taken with a debased analogue camera, these 49 tracks remind the listener of the crumbling landscapes from Andrei Tarkovsky's masterpiece Stalker, haunted by memories that spawn a labyrinth of longings that drift and dissolve, and then start again with the next track. With titles like Halo Dispersed, Sleeping Stillness, Land Of Nod, and Seaward Flow, Mr. Chalk makes his intention to present a liminal museum of miniatures, chipped with age, but imbued with poetry's patina, abundantly and compellingly clear. This is art that offers us an opportunity for epiphany. We should be thankful.
Monday, January 21, 2013
"It's a wonderful world; it's a beautiful thing"-David Thomas
How true! The new cd from Pere Ubu comes to us imbued with much of Ubu's Modern Dance/Dub Housing skittering sounds and David Thomas' dada vocals...and while I sorely miss Allen Ravenstine's noise synth genius, Robert Wheeler's EML stylings are compelling, fleshing out the sound like the body electric. Drums drive the sound with melodic snippet from various synths poking through the swampy soup, scratching the consciousness like a errant mosquito. On a few tracks, Thomas' vocal are mumbled shards, much like the dancing broken funhouse glass that makes the climax of Orson Welles' classic film The Lady From Shanghai, from which Ubu borrow the title, such a nightmarish hallucinatory experience...and like this release, a beautiful thing.