CD Reviews

Partial – LL

May 7, 2014

CD Another Timbre My parents are antique dealers, and antique dealers with a penchant for buying up hordes of complete rubbish in the hope that amongst it may lie an item or two worth vastly more than everything else added together. As successful as this approach has been for them, it has also meant that […]

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CD Reviews

Martin Iddon – Pneuma

April 13, 2014

CD Another Timbre Its been a while since I last wrote about a release on Simon Reynell’s Another Timbre label. No reason for this beyond the extreme tiredness and lack of time that has dogged my writing here over recent months. Since I last surveyed something on AT though the label has taken a bit […]

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CD Reviews

Michael Thieke / Olivier Toulemonde, Lucio Capece / Jamie Drouin – The Berlin Series No. 1

July 27, 2013

CD Another Timbre The first in a series of releases from Another Timbre designed to feature some of the very many improvising musicians active in berlin right now is a split release, featuring two long tracks by two duos. The first of these is a forty-three minute collaboration named Inframince between the clarinet of Michael […]

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CD Reviews

Lee Patterson, Vanessa Rossetto – Temperament as Waveform

June 9, 2013

CD Another Timbre Caveats first, this is an album by two friends of mine released on a label owned by another friend who I occasionally do design work for. Try as I might to the contrary, objectivity will I guess naturally be more difficult to achieve. Read on with this in mind. So this album […]

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Concert Reviews

Variable Formations. Café Oto, February 16th 2013

February 18, 2013

I guess it was always inevitable that Saturday night’s concert at Café Oto would produce exceptionally beautiful music. The six musicians that curator Simon Reynell brought together were each skilled performers whose normal areas of activity showed considerable overlap. The plan was for established sub-groups and solos to present their work in the first half […]

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CD Reviews

Various – Wandelweiser und so weiter

February 11, 2013

Another Timbre 6x CD box Annoying but necessary caveats out of the way first- I am thanked in the liner notes of this box set, for my logistical and moral support to its curator and publisher Simon Reynell. This support amounts to driving a few musicians and bits of equipment about from time to time […]

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Concert Reviews

Murmuration at Café Oto. 13th October 2012

October 15, 2012

I think I was one of the few who actually didn’t think that last night’s monumental affair of a concert organised by Simon Reynell in London was likely to produce music of any great value. To be clear, this wasn’t because I didn’t rate the musicians on display very highly- quite the contrary, the line […]

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CD Reviews

Barry Chabala, Bonnie Jones, Louisa Martin, Tisha Mukarji, Toshimaru Nakamura, Gabriel Paiuk – Unbalanced in, Unbalanced out

August 24, 2012

CDr Another Timbre Tonight’s CD is one I have been pondering over for over a month now- a recent release on the Another Timbre label by an internet-connected sextet “project managed” by the New Jersey guitarist Barry Chabala. Unbalanced in, unbalanced out was put together over a period of time by Chabala, (guitar) Bonnie Jones, […]

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CD Reviews

Catherine Lamb – three bodies (moving)

August 10, 2012

CD Another Timbre Its hard not to compare the music I am writing about tonight to the music I wrote about yesterday, given the proximity of the two reviews to one another within this blog’s timeline, and also, to some degree given the shape and form of the music. Catherine Lamb’s three bodies (moving), a […]

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CD Reviews

Saturday 1st May

May 1, 2010

o finally after a bit of a break, a CD review of sorts. The CD in questions is imaginatively named Duet, a recording by Martine Altenberger (cello) and John Russell (guitar) it is one of a handful of new releases on the ever prolific Another Timbre label. Now, this CD will have its critics, mostly from those adverse to what seems these days to be called EFI, or European Free Improvisation, for reasons I have never quite understood, but the term seems to work well as shorthand for those that choose to divide improvised music up into convenient chunks. Duet will probably fall under the EFI heading because it is made by musicians that have been improvising for quite a while, involves acoustic instrumentation and in places can sound quite fast and busy. Still just sounds like an improvised music CD to me 😉 So yes it is true that this CD could have been released twenty years ago without anyone blinking an eye. It isn’t as full-on and frantic as you might expect however, quite the opposite in many places, but certainly it is acoustic, doesn’t involve much in the way of extended technique and portrays a direct dialogue between the two musicians. In fact, its beauty all lies in that dialogue.

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CD Reviews

Wednesday 24th March

March 25, 2010

I saw the duo perform live in London a few weeks back at a launch show for this and other discs on Another Timbre and wrote about it here. This CD covers similar ground to the concert did, with Cornford working with the inside of an old piano, which he has miked up in some mysterious manner so as to produce mostly soft tonal feedback clouds and Rodgers playing more straightforward piano with objects applied so as to widen the realm of possibilities. There are three tracks here making up an album of forty-five minutes total length. the first is named Weighted. The piece starts very slowly, with just distant high pitched tones and almost undetectable scratching at piano strings leading the way. As the piece progresses so the pattern of the album emerges, with Cornford producing soft feedback swells from his piano innards that Rodgers sprinkles a combination of small tinkling interludes, percussive clatter and gently played straightforward notes into. This piece moves at a deathly slow pace, with the sounds used given all the time and space they need to be listened to lovingly, rolled around the eardrum a little before moving on. There is a definite sense of a delicate grandeur to the music, in the best sense of that word. Sounds appear at intervals and are clear statements carefully placed, and everything has a sense of weightiness to it as if everything has been thoroughly deliberated over in the moment before being added to the music. The track ends with a lovely passage where a single unwavering tones curls slowly from Cornford as Rodgers’ tiny bell-like ringing follows the straight line.

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CD Reviews

Friday 26th February

February 27, 2010

Yet more piano tonight then, this time of the improvised variety, played inside and out with I suspect some degree of preparation. The CD in question is Heartland, a solo disc from Berlin’s Magda Mayas, released recently by Another Timbre as part of the piano series. Solo piano improvisation seems to be appearing thick and fast of late, with some wonderful releases coming from the likes of Sebastian Lexer and Cor Fuhler. This release from Mayas is another fine one to add to the list.

There are two pieces of music that make up Heartland, a nineteen minute track recorded in Berlin in November 2008, and a thirty-two minute live set recorded live in New York a couple of months earlier. The first of these is named Shards, which is quite a fitting title given the dramatic, almost explosive nature of some parts of the piece. Mayas’ approach to the piano uses a variety of methods inside and outside of the instrument, scrapes, crashes, thuds and strumming alongside some “normally” played keyboard notes. In many ways she is doing little different to what we have heard before by other players, but her playing has real character and personal style. Much of the time she works by mixing up different methods of playing at once so what we hear is a blend of different sounds, wild shimmering scrapes at the strings underpinned by regular keystrokes for instance, the overall effect being one of depth and variety, depite the fact we are listening to a solo performer.

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CD Reviews

Monday 9th February

February 9, 2010

The album in question is called The Middle Distance, is by the trio of Chris Burn, Philip Thomas and Simon H Fell, and is a recent release on the Another Timbre label. I should of course point out that AT’s Simon Reynell is a friend, wrote a review for these pages a couple of days ago, and is hopefully meeting me for a drink tomorrow before the concert, but that would not stop me writing a bad review here if I thought the CD merited one. As it happens I really like the music here, as is often the case with Another Timbre releases.

I should state right now though, that if you are one of those people that likes to pigeonhole improvised music into categories and then subsequently does not like the one labelled “EFI” then I probably wouldn’t read on any further. Although the music on The Middle Distance is actually quite varied, and is always very subtle and delicately balanced it is occasionally quite busy and expressive. It should also be added that it is often also quite quiet and spacious, but as wonderfully crafted as it is it probably won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, sadly.

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CD Reviews

Sunday 31st January

January 31, 2010

Still not well, spent the first half of the day in bed but listening to Lost Daylight, the new Another Timbre album by John Tilbury and Sebastian Lexer almost exclusively. I have listened to this album a great deal over the past couple of weeks, initially sitting in awe of it and later spending time really trying to understand it better. It is in many ways a CD in two halves. The first half an hour of the disc consists of five performances by Tilbury of piano works by the American minimalist composer Terry Jennings. There then follows a forty minute recording by both Tilbury and Lexer of John Cage’s Electronic Music for Piano, a work from 1964 that was written for David Tudor. The album can be divided between the two not only simply by composer but also through the very different approach to aesthetics and beauty. In fact, it could almost be said that the two halves sit in complete contrast to each other, almost standing as a neat analogy for some of the main issues tackled by 20th Century composition.

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CD Reviews

Tuesday 19th January

January 20, 2010

Аρέθουσα, or (Arethusa as I will type it from here on!) was recorded in Madrid, Spain in 2008. Matthews, who works with software synths here along with processed field recordings, is an American ex-pat who has been a resident of the Spanish capital for a good few years now. Rives, who plays soprano sax here is a Frenchman who, last I heard was living in the Lebanon. Matthews’ intelligently written sleeve notes allude to change, comparing the musicians’ displacement from their homelands to the flight of Arethusa in the classic Greek tale. Certainly it is interesting to stop and think about how the sounds recorded here came together, the chance occurrences, the coincidental decisions made, how these musicians happened to be in the same place at the same time to record this music. When you consider again how Matthews has evolved his work away from his origins as a clarinet player to his input to this album then the journey to this point becomes even more complex.

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CD Reviews

Wednesday 6th January

January 7, 2010

The music in question is yet another release on the Another Timbre imprint (I’m trying to absorb all of the recent batch before the next set appears in a couple of weeks… its not easy keeping up with this label) This one is named Empty Matter and comes from a duo made up of two of my very favourite musicians (and people) in the world, Lucio Capece and Lee Patterson, their first recordings together made in a London church back in June last year, when both musicians had travelled in from far off strange lands to appear (in different groups) at Another Timbre’s Unamed Music Festival. Usual caveats… I consider both of these musicians to be friends, have released music on cathnor by both of them and will probably find it slightly harder to be subjective than usual blah blah…

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CD Reviews

Wednesday 30th December

December 31, 2009

What makes The Cat from Cat Hill such a pleasure for me personally though is in the subtlety of the sounds chosen. This is a difficult thing to describe in a way that makes sense to anyone but myself. Generally speaking, each musician contributes one sound at a time, which they let slip in and out of proceedings at a slow, slow pace. So Hughes will let an eBowed zither note hang in the air, as Farmer rubs dry twigs against a contact mic and Jones will later introduce a gentle feedback hum, but each of these sounds will be very carefully picked out as being the ideal fit for those around it. So we don’t just hear a musician add a whine or a series of scrapes, we hear them carefully craft them to either blend perfectly, or on occasion dramatically alter the sounds already there

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CD Reviews

Wednesday 16th December

December 17, 2009

So four more releases from the Another Timbre label then, bringing the total number of discs to appear on Simon Reynell’s labour of love close to thirty in just a couple of years. With four or five more planned for early 2010 AT has become the most prolific source of good quality music in no […]

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CD Reviews

Wednesday 2nd September

September 2, 2009

Well I worked for a continual fifteen hours overnight, and returned home, in a complete daze at nine this morning. I think I wrote before here about a morning travelllng home and listening to music when so exhausted its hard to even stay conscious, so I won’t do it again, but this morning heading home […]

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CD Reviews

Thursday 16th July

July 17, 2009

It took me all day to listen properly to Decentred again. I did as I said I would last night and put it on to listen to in bed, but of course I promptly fell asleep just minutes into the first track. I’ve listened carefully a few times today now though, and as I type […]

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CD Reviews

Saturday 11th July

July 11, 2009

Still feel like hell. I’m actually very slightly worried about the possibility of swine flu now. I always shift a cold within 48 hours. This has lasted longer and is getting worse. Its unlike me to join in national paranoia campaigns but I really do feel ill and getting through work today was not easy […]

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CD Reviews

Wednesday July 8th

July 8, 2009

Not feeling great today, but a day off of work has meant I am relaxed enough to get a few things done here and listen to some music as I do it. This post then will probably be the first of four over the next week or two writing up the four recent CDr releases […]

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CD Reviews

Monday 22nd June

June 23, 2009

For the vast majority of readers here that are not from South Yorkshire, Midhopestones is pronounced Mid-urp-sterns (or something equally indecipherable 😉 ) It is a village near Sheffield within which lies a church used by Simon Reynell to record the quintet of Rhodri Davies, Michel Doneda, Louisa Martin, Phil Minton and Lee Patterson in […]

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CD Reviews

Saturday 30th May

May 30, 2009

Another long day at work, tired with barely a moment to myself. But then you knew that already, shut up and move on to the music Richard. Well only one disc again tonight, but I’ve listened through to it twice, and have managed a couple of interrupted spins before. so I have taken in just […]

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CD Reviews

Monday 11th May

May 11, 2009

A tedious, irritating and mentally exhausting day at work today. Coming home though I listened to Rhodri Davies and Max Eastley’s Dark Architecture, yet another new release on Another Timbre, this one a CDr as part of the AT Byways series of discs. I actually found myself listening so closely, absorbed in the music that […]

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CD Reviews

Monday 27th April

April 28, 2009

I’ve been listening to the recent release by Rhodri Davies and Annette Krebs on the Another Timbre label quite  bit over the past week or so, but while I know I really like it a great deal I haven’t really been able to find the right words to be able to say what it is […]

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CD Reviews

Saturday 11th April

April 11, 2009

Well today was a nice day. I took a slow trip into London, for mainly uninteresting reasons, but also to drop by Café Oto and have a browse around the new 323 shop. Mr Wastell was away attending executive matters elsewhere, so I had a cup of tea and a long chat with Paul Abbott, […]

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