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
Jazz Composer Mark Lomax, II Releases Epic 12CD Set – In addition to being a fine jazz drummer, Dr. Mark Lomax, II is a composer in residence at Ohio State University, where he has been very busy on the compositional front. The year 2019 is the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first ship bringing African slaves to North America, and in commemoration of this, Lomax has produced 400: An Afrikan Epic, a 12 volume set of CDs featuring a variety of different musical ensembles. » Read more
Chicago-Based Surabhi Ensemble Tours the World in January – Surabhi Ensemble was formed more than a decade ago in Chicago with the aim of bringing together musicians from varying traditions to make music. Saraswathi Ranganathan, who plays veena, assembled a cast that includes Arabic oud, Spanish guitar, and percussion from Africa and India. This month, the group will be sharing their sounds with concert-goers in Southeast Asia, Europe, and Africa. » Read more
Seaprog Festival Seeks Donations – Seaprog is a small festival in Seattle that highlights creative music from many genres with artists from around the world. It's also a US non-profit organization. They're seeking donations to help keep the ball rolling. Starting in 2013, the organization has been growing, and has featured such artists as Free Salamander Exhibit, Jack o' the Clock, Nik Turner, Cabezas de Cera, Miriodor, Thinking Plague, and many more. » Read more
The Seventeenth Dream of Dr Sardonicus Festival Tickets Now Available – Fruits de Mer Records and their merry crew of psychedelic explorers are getting set to present the next The Seventeenth Dream of Dr. Sardonicus Festival. The dates are set for August 2-4, 2019 at The Cellar Bar in Cardigan, Wales. They've also announced that the legendary Groundhogs will top the bill. » Read more