Leo Küpper — Electro-Acoustic
(Pogus Productions 21009, 1997, CD)
by Mike Ezzo, Published 1999-01-01You have to admit, with a title as academic sounding as this, one would not be unjustified in expecting a musical experience on the equivalent stimulation level of a botany lecture. That "new music" mindset that associates gain with pain. Whether or not Leo Kupper is a major subscriber to that theory is still up in the air; this baffling CD actually presents material to both support and refute the idea. Refutation clearly comes in the form of the first three compositions, dominated by the santur - a kind of hammer dulcimer used in North Indian music. Before we go further however, it must be noted that Kupper has sequenced the work into three sets of material. Well, this trio of santur pieces towers over everything that follows. The tonal and textural qualities of the instrument are such that abuse is near impossible. Smooth, soothing, and easy to imbibe, these aural massages revel in a mood liberated utterly from the restraint of "systems" and other such constraining devices. So far so good I say; we trundle on. Group two is scored for prepared guitar, accompanied by fluttering electronic effects and voices. Nice, but clearly a turn away from what was an even more promising direction. And unfortunately thereafter we drop further. Two marathoners clocking in at a combined forty-five minutes finish things off. A droning, spacious backdrop, and intermittent electro effects, provide bedding for what I can only describe as bits of vocal exercises, on the first. The second deals mainly with experiments in spoken voice overlay and juxtaposition. Not my cup of tea. But what frustrates is that the best material comprises merely thirteen minutes of the overall length. The guitar works add an additional twelve. But as for the rest, well let's just say it contributes the negative element to quite an unholy mixture.
Related artist(s): Leo Küpper
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