Janet Feder / Fred Frith — Ironic Universe
(Ad Hoc AD HOC 19/20, 2006, CD+DVD)
by K. Leimer, Published 2008-01-01
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.
Tomasz Stańko RIP – Tomasz Stańko, one of the greats of Eastern European jazz, has died at the age of 76. Stańko's career started in Krzysztof Komeda's quintet, where he contributed trumpet from 1963-1967, when he formed his own group. He worked extensively with Edward Vesala, Don Cherry, Zbigniew Seifert, Chico Freeman, Howard Johnson, Cecil Taylor, and many others. Many of his recordings have been released by ECM, an association that began in the mid-70s. » Read more
Soft Machine Set to Release New Music – It's been 50 years since The Soft Machine changed the face of music with their first album. Their blend of psychedelic rock and jazz was unique, and while the band went through many changes before disbanding in 1981 — by which time there were no original members remaining — they remained an innovative force with a style all their own. » Read more
7d Surfaces Happy Rhodes Back Catalog – We've covered singer Happy Rhodes before, both for her solo work and recently with The Security Project, but her 11 albums have been hard to track down. Until now. 7d features high-quality downloads of all her releases, and several of them are also available on CD. » Read more
Fred Chalenor RIP – We have news of another sad passing in the world of creative music. Bassist Fred Chalenor, whose creativity featured on albums by Tone Dogs, Caveman Shoestore, and many more, died on June 23, 2018 after a long battle with Alzheimer's. Tributes have poured in from the many musicians and fans whose lives he touched. » Read more