Exposé Online banner

Janet Feder / Fred Frith — Ironic Universe
(Ad Hoc AD HOC 19/20, 2006, CD+DVD)

by K. Leimer, Published 2008-01-01

Ironic Universe Cover art

The word “sonorous” seems meant for this recording. In addition to the inherently warm and pliant voicings of the acoustic guitar and the further extension of those voicings by any number of physical and electronic treatments, the music of Ironic Universe incorporates the once highly experimental inflections of treated guitar with the more radiant graces of traditional and non-traditional scales and tunings in nearly perfect balance. For those for whom there always seemed to be some question about treated instruments and whether the resulting sounds were in and of themselves enough to carry interest and attention into the once extra-musical terrain, the profound integration of those two distant poles that play out between the solo and duo pieces here will convert any skeptic. Fluid and shimmering states find resonance with the treated sounds, developing a form of contrast superseding the usual slow/fast, soft/loud, high/low combinations. In Feder’s solo pieces the rhythmic and melodic gestures follow one another in seamless and evolutionary order, extended by the treated instances. The duos take this discretion and combine the elements to display flawless and intertwined music. The contrast of apart / together provides an excellent structural metaphor for the way in which the music itself is built. Throughout the guitars literally glisten and reflect sound and in around a fluid music of reflective and detailed – beautiful without simply being pretty.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 35, 2006 releases

Related artist(s): Janet Feder, Fred Frith

Latest news

2017-09-06
Holger Czukay RIP – Holger Czukay, a musical experimentalist without boundaries who has been involved with expanding the sound palette of rock music since the late 60s, has died at the age of 79. After studying with Karlheinz Stockhausen in the early 60s, he became fascinated with the possibilities of rock music, and was a co-founder of the pioneering group Can. He leaves behind an impressive body of work both as musician and producer. » Read more

2017-08-22
John Abercrombie RIP – Another of the greats of jazz guitar has left us. John Abercrombie plied his way through a beautiful series of albums on the ECM label as well as bringing his talent to bear on albums by many of jazz's greatest artists. From his early work in the group Dreams to Gateway and outstanding work with Billy Cobham, Jack DeJohnette, Kenny Wheeler, and many more to his own trios and quartets, he brought a unique instrumental voice to the world. » Read more

2017-07-27
Yestival Dates Beef up the Beat – Word reaches us that Dylan Howe (son of guitarist Steve Howe) will be joining Yes on their "Yestival" tour, drumming alongside longtime band member Alan White. » Read more

2017-05-19
First ProgStock Festival Set for October – October 2017 will see the inaugural edition of a festival called ProgStock in Rahway, New Jersey at the Union County Performing Arts Center. With a definite slant towards neo-progressive music, the event is sure to please many fans with the inclusion of such artists as Echolyn, Glass Hammer, and Aisles. The festival will take place October 13-15. » Read more

2017-05-05
Clive Brooks RIP – Word reaches us today of another sad passing in the music world. Drummer Clive Brooks, best known as a member of such Canterbury bands as Egg, Uriel / Arzachel, and Groundhogs, has died at the age of 67. Details are sketchy at this point. The news was reported on Nick Mason's Facebook page — Brooks was Mason's drum tech. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Fonya - Earth Shaper – Fonya continues to be the solo vehicle for multi-instrumentalist Chris Fournier. His latest release is one that builds well on previous efforts, and is simultaneously familiar and accessible, not in...  (1996) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues