CD Reviews

Monday 15th February

February 16, 2010

Tonight’s CD is easy to locate the sleeve for however, given that it is a cleverly designed little envelope made up of two interlinking L-shapes of card that, once you’ve got the knack of it wrap around the disc, with the CD itself almost holding the sleeve in place rather than the usual opposite scenario. The CD is named Oscillation Vacillation and is a newish release on the Korean Balloon and Needle label featuring two recordings by the quartet of Joe Foster, Hong Chulki, Takahiro Kawaguchi and Ryu Hankil. (Usual caveats here, I released a CD involving Hankil late last year and am currently trying to organise him a UK tour in March, but my objectivity isn’t affected etc…)

So this CD includes two recordings both made on the same day in Korea, possibly at a live concert, though this isn’t clear. The first piece is sixteen minutes in length, the second a fraction short of forty. The sleeve details are minimal, with most of the information about who played what listed on the face of the disc itself (slightly annoying!) but for this performance Takahiro Kawaguchi worked with his remodeled counters and self made objects, Hong Chulki used a turtable minus its cartridge, Ryu Hankil settled for just a speaker and piezo mic vibrations. Joe Foster’s choice of instrumentation i snot listed for some reason, but I think I only hear electronics in there. It isn’t at all easy to tell who is making what sound, but throughout the first piece and during much of the second the skittering, clattering half rhythms seem to definitely come from Kawaguchi’s clockworkesque set-up, with Ryu Hankil choosing not to work with his clockworks on this recording, presumable for fear of ticking. whirring overload. If the rattles and churning sounds provide an undercurrent to the first track then the sounds overlaid by the other musicians do not necessarily follow in any pattern, and certainly they are more sparse than perhaps this line-up might promise. There are little bursts of gritty, short-circuiting electronics, the raw scrape of amplified surfaces rubbing against each other and a generally percussive feeling of scattered debris rather than extended sounds or anything leaning towards noisy layers.

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CD Reviews

Tuesday 17th March

March 18, 2009

Congratualtions, you’ve clicked on the official home of Newlondonwhat? an all new musical genre! Yawn. I listened to some Korean music today. Actually not just Korean, but certainly music recorded in the years 2007 and 2008 in South Korea as part of the Relay series of concerts and released now on the Manual label as […]

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