Creative Sources

vgo-(73)_big

Ernesto Rodrigues

has been playing the violin for 30 years and in that time has played all genres of music ranging from contemporary music to free jazz and improvised music, live and in the studio.His main interest shifted towards contemporary improvised and composed music. The relationship with his instruments is focused in sonic and textural elements. Electronic music was an early influence on his approach to violin playing, which challenges traditional romantic concepts of the violin/viola through use of preparations and micro tuning.

Active in different settings on the Portuguese scene for free improvised music, both as a collaborator and in leading his own groups. Music for Dance, Cinema, Video and Performance Ernesto Rodrigues has created the record label Creative Sources Recordings in 1999, which mainly concentrates on releasing experimental and electro-acoustic music.

 

multiples | cs001multiples | cs001

Ernesto Rodrigues /violin, viola, soprano saxophone. Guilherme Rodrigues /cello. José Oliveira /percussion, acoustic guitar.

Dedicated to John Stevens. Total Time 52:30 © 2001. Recorded on 27 December 2000 at Tcha Tcha Tcha Studios, Lisbon. Cover design by Carlos Santos

Hard hitting shorts of trio improvisations played on violin, viola, cello, sax, percussion and acoustic guitar. Don’t expect anything too light here, as Ernesto, Guilherme and Jose attack you with ear-splitting harmonics, diverging high notes going from “ppp” to “fff”, bouncing balls on strings, strident contrapuntal monsters. No sound is treated without the due attention, and everything appears to spring right out of the players’ guts. But mind you, this record is by no means cerebral, though it could be difficult to fathom at a first listen; each of these 28 tracks will reward your concentration and, at the end of the day, you will be happy for having discovered new talented instrumentalists in the “hard hat area” of free music. — Massimo Ricci (Touching Extremes)

CD version (incl. shipment cost world-wide)

Price: €16.00
 

sudden music | cs002sudden music | cs002

Ernesto Rodrigues /violin, viola. António Chaparreiro /electric guitar. José Oliveira /percussion, inside piano. Total Time 70:26 © 2002. Recorded on 9 December 2001 at Tcha Tcha Tcha Studios, Lisbon. Cover design Carlos Santos

What would you hear if someone took you in a forest at night and left you there, tied to a tree? From my point of wiew, I’d be extremely scared at first but then I’d start to listen carefully, trying to discern any subtle whisper and catching sinister creaks and thumps just in time to not be surprised. If I survived the stings of mosquitoes and other insects and managed to control my fear, I’d enjoy silences and energies, the bursts and the little noisy manifestations and maybe I could even sing along with the crickets. This time, Rodrigues, Chaparreiro and Oliveira (violin and viola, electric guitar, percussion and inside piano) gave me exactly this kind of feeling; it was a highly surprising listening and one of the best releases of the label until now. — Massimo Ricci (Touching Extremes)

CD version (incl. shipment cost world-wide)

Price: €16.00
 

23 exposures | cs00323 exposures | cs003

Ernesto Rodrigues /violin, viola. Marco Franco /soprano saxophone. José Oliveira /percussion, acoustic guitar.Total Time 61:23. Recorded on 6 November 2001 at Exit Studios, Lisbon. Front cover photographs by Luís Lisboa.3 © 2002. Cover design Carlos Santos

An abundant hour of extremely creative timbral explorations, “23 exposures” should ideally be approached after a training of hours upon hours of active listening. The sounds fall here and there like raindrops, mixing and combining themselves according to their inner essence – percussive, breathy, harmonic or squealing; everything is improvised but it seems like the parts were advance-planned, such is the coherence of the overall result. Even if I’m not unfamiliar with this kind of material, I could not compare this music to anything else; I find its fractured existence similar to a process to be necessarily followed from the beginning to the end, like a microscopical observation of a small group of living cells. — Massimo Ricci (Touching Extremes)

CD version (incl. shipment cost world-wide)

Price: €16.00
 

anamnesis | cs004anamnesis | cs004

Pedro Chambel / guitar

Recorded on 28 November 2001, Lisbon. Front cover photographs by Carlos Paixão. Total Time 41:12 © 2002. Cover design Carlos Santos

A set of four very beautiful, very spare pieces for guitar done in 2001 wherein a fine balance is achieved between recognizable guitar sounds and mists of hum and grit. Though differently sourced, I hear a good bit akin to what Toshi Nakamura and Sachiko M were doing around the same time. There’s a bit of resonance in the room, making for a fine sense of concentrated isolation; one has the sense of a sharply lit area in a pool of darkness, dust motes aswirl in the air. Chambel is both patient and active, keeping the volume low, allowing for spatial ellipses. The last cut is an especially lovely series of cloud-like bursts, all haze and soot, a softly sputtering engine filling a field with ash. A very well conceived recording, a hidden gem in the Creative Sources catalog (# 4 in their lengthy series) that shouldn’t have been overlooked. — Bryan Olewnick (Just Outside)

CD version (incl. shipment cost world-wide)

Price: €16.00
 

ficta | cs005ficta | cs005

Ernesto Rodrigues /violin, viola. Guilherme Rodrigues /cello, pocket trumpet. Gabriel Paiuk /piano. José Oliveira /percussion. Recorded on 19 December 2001, at Tcha Tcha Tcha Studios, Lisbon. Total Time 46:37 © 2002. Cover design Carlos Santos

Of the first five albums Creative Sources Recordings released, «Ficta» simply is the best one. Ernesto Rodrigues (violin and viola), Guilherme Rodrigues (cello and pocket trumpet) and José Oliveira (percussion) — the trio featured on the previously released «Multiples» — are joined by pianist Gabriel Paiuk for a free improv session low on sounds per minute but very high on intensity. The quartet strikes a near-perfect balance between listening and playing. With his piano Gabriel Paiuk brings new colors but doesn’t enhance the tonal (or even musical) component of the music. His playing remains highly abstract and for the most part confined to the bowels of the instrument. He rarely hits a note or chord and when he does it has the impact of thunder. José Oliveira displays a lot of inventiveness, producing the most captivating (and pertinent) sounds out of a restrained selection of instruments, much like Günter Müller or Lê Quan Ninh. Ernesto Rodrigues and Guilherme Rodrigues scratch and wail quietly, but there is fire in their restraint. Non-idiomatic improvisation can loose a listener in his or her own thoughts. «Ficta» will do that but only for the best reasons. It provokes, it questions, it leaves enough room to let you loose your concentration, only to suck you back in. Excellent free improv of the most challenging kind, this CD is highly recommended. — François Couture (AMG)

CD version (incl. shipment cost world-wide)

Price: €16.00
 

ura | cs006ura | cs006

Ruth Barberán /trumpet. Matt Davis /trumpet. Alfredo Costa Monteiro /accordion.Total Time 56:18 © 2003. Recorded on July 2002 at Estudi 84, Barcelona. Front cover photograph by Alfredo Costa Monteiro. Cover design by Alfredo Costa Monteiro

Two trumpets and an accordion recorded in Barcelona last year. We’re touching here the borders of few genres, from Improvised to exprimental and composed contemporary music. If this music has an obscure side it also stands as a question to me. First of all because here each instrument is played in a rather extended, stretched way but also because it’s hard to underline the exact path of it. It is indeed surprising, never falling where you could expect it to. Just as an example, it’s often played very quietly but still it remains very powerful and dense or it seems improvised but at the same time sounds very organised. It’s in many ways poetic but not exactly extatic. Should I go on like that trying to explain it or simply leave it happen in my ears? The instruments are reaching certain limits, it starts to crackle or sounds like ready to break, then silence comes again, deep breathing, pauses, restart, etc … it’s maybe just a crossroad or a state of the artists here involved. I can’t tell and the more I listen to this trio, the more I want to leave away any form of understanding. It works, it exists, very simply, it’s here played. — Noël Akchoté (Skug)

CD version (incl. shipment cost world-wide)

Price: €16.00
Out of Stock

cs007b.jpgassemblage | cs007

Ernesto Rodrigues /violin, viola. Guilherme Rodrigues/cello, pocket trumpet. Manuel Mota/electric guitar. José Oliveira /percussion, acoustic guitar, inside piano.

Total Time 37:36 © 2003. Recorded on 13 December 2002 at Tcha Tcha Tcha Studios, Lisbon. Photographs by António Graça. Cover design by Carlos Santos

Here is a very nice work of improvisation. «Assemblage» is an ad-hoc ensemble with Ernesto Rodrigues (on violin and viola), Guilherme Rodrigues (on cello and pocket trumpet), Manuel Mota (on electric guitar) and José Oliveira (on percussion, acoustic guitar and inside piano). They play three compositions (so it says on the cover, but we can safely assume this was all recorded during improvisation) and do this by using objects that are not commonly used to play instruments like this. Thus the result is an assemblage of sound (hence the title). Overall they love small sounds happening all over the place – a small scratch here, a pluck there, some bang inside the piano, slowly building tension in a piece, but there is never a lift-off. Nowhere the procedures explode and erupt in a wall of noise. These four people are rather held-back in their playing, maybe pre-arranged (who knows?) before they started recording, but they cleverly know to keep the tension on the right spot. Well done. — Frans de Waard (Vital Weekly)

CD version (incl. shipment cost world-wide)

Price: €16.00
 

cs008b.jpgcesura | cs008

Ernesto Rodrigues / viola. Alfredo Costa Monteiro / accordion. Guilherme Rodrigues / cello, pocket trumpet. Margarida Garcia / electric double bass. Total Time 43:04 © 2003. Recorded on 26 July 2003 at Tcha Tcha Tcha Studios, Lisbon. Cover design by Carlos Santos

The inside notes are going to help me out a little bit with this one: “Cesura is a Portuguese word which refers both to the act of cutting and to the scar that very same act produces. Cause and effect simultaneously…this music is cut with a flick knife over the surface of silence, which is why Ernesto boasts that it is his least musical work.” . Silence is a prevalent force in this recording, but it is dominated by short lacerations of sound that scar its precious loneliness with ugly tokens of violence. This is minimalism at a stab. I think that it is very important to understand the concept before jumping head first into this recording. Without knowledge of intent, this could be much more easily dismissed as random noise. Now I know, and I can feel the pain. This is pretty beautiful in its strange combination of abstract and graphicness. — (Neo-Zine)

CD version (incl. shipment cost world-wide)

Price: €16.00
 

cs009b.jpgno furniture | cs009

Boris Baltschun / sampler. Axel Dörner / computer,trumpet. Kai Fagaschinski / clarinet. Total Time 45:35 © 2003. Recorded, mixed and mastered between November 2002 and October 2003 in Berlin. Cover design by artwork signorinah.net

Abstraction rules for this Berlin trio; trumpeter Axel Dörner blows turbulently straited columns of air through his horn, frequently treating them with electronics, while clarinest Kai Fagashinski uncorks fragile harmonic snorts, whinnies and whispers. Sometimes the pair even play conventional-sounding notes. These shifting, aspirated sound streams are embedded in austere beds of electronic tones and twitters constructed by sampler player Boris Baltschun, a mix of jagged pitch-shifting and subdued rumbling. The music hovers, marbled with wind-tunnel harmonic effects. — Peter Margasak (Down Beat)

CD version (incl. shipment cost world-wide)

Price: €16.00
 

cs010b.jpgrumeur [for solo accordion] | cs010

Alfredo Costa Monteiro / accordion

Recorded by Ferran Fages, March 2003 in Barcelona. Total Time 38:49 © 2004. Cover design Alfredo Costa Monteiro

“RUMEUR” was conceived in continuity; but not in the narrative sense; each piece was developed independently, but always with a common preoccupation: The timbric continuity of each of them and the way it comes about, intuitively directed by a kind of sonorous alliteration. “RUMEUR” is about the manifestation of sound in its fluidity, its prolongment, or, better said, its sequence, in the same way that a rumour, by its very function and condition never really attains truth. —
Alfredo Costa Monteiro, Barcelona 2004

CD version (incl. shipment cost world-wide)

Price: €16.00
 

cs011b.jpgcontre-plongée [six cuts for string quartet] | cs011

Ernesto Rodrigues/violin, viola. Gerhard Uebele/violin. Guilherme Rodrigues/cello. José Oliveira/acoustic guitar, inside piano.

Recorded on 08 October 2003 at Tcha Tcha Tcha Studio, Lisbon. Total Time 48:37 © 2004. Cover design Carlos Santos

Time for some ass kissing. I’m an Ernesto Rodrigues fan. He is one of the only artists out there who can use minimalism in music and still paint an audio picture that I can understand. Yes, this is one of those recordings where you need to turn the volume up a little and wait for the sounds to come in when they feel like it. On this one, Ernesto joins a very unconventional “string quartet.” Unconventional because the instruments are not played in the fashion that they are traditionally employed. Not only that, but the inside “strings” of a piano are played as a string instrument. Neat aye? Well, add to that an improvisational session with all of these oddities just screeching and clawing their way in and out of existence in seconds flat, and you got yourself a real winner. — (Neo-Zine)

CD version (incl. shipment cost world-wide)

Price: €16.00
 

cs012b.jpgdorsal | cs012

Ernesto Rodrigues/viola. Manuel Mota /electric guitar. Gabriel Paiuk/piano.

Recorded 23/10/003 at Tcha tcha tcha Studio by Diogo Tavares, Lisbon. Total Time 44:52 © 2004. Cover design Carlos Santos

[…] “Dorsal”, with its trio of viola, electric guitar and piano, is a more open affair, more relaxed with a greater amount of “air” between instruments, and has greater immediate charm. Quiet playing with scurrying undertones is the order of the day, again with more than a nod to past exemplars of the discipline like Iskra 1903. As with the Schwimmer disc, each track works fairly well if leaving little lasting impression (perhaps that’s an aspect of the group’s conception, who knows?) other than having heard three attentive musicians communicating (perhaps that’s enough!). An exception is the piece titled “Natural”, where a wispy continuum is maintained, a tenuous thread of gurgles and brushstrokes with the occasional plink and plonk that’s mysteriously absorbing, with a depth that the remaining pieces don’t quite achieve. Would that this pathway was more intently explored. Mota has a generally lovely attack, picking up the baton dropped by Sugimoto a couple of years back and both Rodrigues and Paiuk are pleasingly self-effacing. They appear to be scratching toward some rewarding areas and if they fall a wee bit short on this particular journey, I’m certainly interested to hear what develops. This trio has the decidedly greater upside. — Brian (Bagatellen)

CD version (incl. shipment cost world-wide)

Price: €16.00
 

cs013b.jpg7X4X7 | cs013

Alessandro Bosetti /soprano sax. Michael Thieke /clarinet. Sabine Vogel/flute. Michael Griener /percussion.

Recorded 9/2/2003 by Ronny Trocker at studio P4, Berlin. Total Time 48:37 © 2004. Cover design Asi Föcker

The portugese label Creative Sources started as an outlet for the musical activitites of Ernesto Rodrigues. But since the cd by No Furniture, a trio of Boris Baltschun (sampler), Axel Dörner (computer, trumpet) and Kai Fagaschinski (clarinet), the label gives also room to german improv projects. Listening to the cd of Schwimmer this is no surprise, because the improv music of these ensembles is comparable to the projects of Ernesto Rodrigues. We hear the same sparse, meditative improv music, that gives room to each little sound, subtlety and silence.

Schwimmer is a quartet: Michael Thieke (clarinet, alto clarinet), Alessandro Bosetti (soprano saxophone), Sabine Vogel (flute, piccolo, bass flute), Michael Griener (drums). They recorded on a day in february 2003 in Studio P4 in Berlin.

The titles of the tracks on Schwimmer are pictographical presentations that contain some hidden logic. This shows a comparable love for abstraction. Because we cannot associate the music with the meaning of the titles, one could say that is focuses the listener more on the concreteness of sound.
The music is sometimes so intimate and modest that it disappears into silence. Schwimmer dwell in a micro-world of sound close to silence. — Dolf Mulder (Vital)

CD version (incl. shipment cost world-wide)

Price: €16.00
 

cs014b.jpgtidszon | cs014

Birgit Ulher /trumpet. Martin Küchen/baritone & soprano saxophones, selected mutes, pocketradio. Lise-Lott Norelius /objects and live electronics. Raymond Strid / drums and percussion.

Recorded 12 December 2003 at Tonstudio Hrólfur Vagnusson. Total Time 43:09 © 2004. Cover design Carlos Santos

Vaporized spirits surface on the quartet album by UNSK, an acronym for its members-trumpeter Ulher, electronic specialist Norelius, drummer Strid, and reed player Küchen. The band shimmers through eight coded titles evolving from individual introspective musings that spur responses and retorts from the others of a jagged, abbreviated nature. There is an otherworldly ambiance circling around the abrupt interaction. Silence often is a copilot on this mystic flight, as is a methodical pace, but the action rises above a simmer on numerous occasions. Küchen stretches his notes in rubbery fashion while Ulher uses blunted slurs and tonguing techniques to force brusque tones from her trumpet. The horns coalesce in an atonal sound spectrum surrounded by live electronics and subdued percussion additives that enhance further the purified mystique of the set.

Norelius’s electronics blend in favorably with compatible tone patterns produced by the band. Drums, trumpet, and saxophone syllables are individually plucked from the group’s dialogue and massaged/regenerated in a way that embellishes and fills in some of the blank spaces. Often the pitch is ultra-high, as when Ulher concocts a brew of eerie squeaks and squeals or Küchen takes his soprano saxophone to the upper register. When Küchen’s baritone creeps in, the mood becomes somber as the deep tones of his sax, the drums, and the electronics burrow to subterranean levels. UNSK speaks in an alien tongue, yet the language is easily translated by performing the simple act of listening. Yes, it is difficult, and yes, it is demanding, but immersing oneself into this world of sound will generate rewards. – Frank Rubolino (Cadence)

CD version (incl. shipment cost world-wide)

Price: €16.00
 

cs015b.jpgmetz | cs015

Xavier Charles /clarinet. Bertrand Denzler /saxophones. Jean-Sébastien Mariage /electric guitar. Matthieu Werchowski /violin.

Total Time 32:18 © 2004. Recorded on 25 May 2003 in Metz. Cover design Carlos Santos

«Metz» is one of two CDs featuring Jean-Sébastien Mariage that were released in late 2004 on Creative Sources, and while «L’Écorce Chante la Forêt» is disappointing in its lack of corporeality, «Metz» is the exact opposite, even though both recordings fall in the current of radically quiet free improvisation. Xavier Charles is here heard on acoustic clarinet only (a rarity since he began to work with vibrating surfaces) and joined by Bertrand Denzler on tenor sax, Mariage (once of the group Chamaeleo Vulgaris) on electric guitar and fairly newcomer violinist Mathieu Werchowski (whose session in trio with John Russell and Ute Volker, Three Planets, is more energy-driven but just as intense as this one).

Recorded live in October 2003 at the Temple Neuf in Metz, France, «Metz» is presented as a single 32-minute piece, but it sounds like a suite of roughly 5-minute segments (either edited together or performed “as is” with collective silences occurring naturally). Some passages are extremely quiet, but they never let go of the tension that holds the performance together.

There are dynamic exchanges between Charles and Denzler, crackling textures from Mariage, and a lot of highly-relevant nervous playing from Werchowski. The range of dynamics, the variety in the sound palette, the virtuosity displayed by Charles and Denzler (listen to that tongue work) and the structure of the piece in short episodes all contribute to keep the listener on the edge of his or her seat until the very last seconds. This is exactly the kind of balance Ernesto Rodrigues has been reaching in his group recordings and it comes as no surprise that «Metz» would come out on his imprint. Creative Sources followers will have no difficulty immersing themselves in this highly recommended release. — François Couture (All Music Guide)

CD version (incl. shipment cost world-wide)

Price: €16.00
 

cs016b.jpgl’écorce chante la forêt | cs016

Frédéric Blondy /piano. Jean-Sébastien Mariage /electric guitar. Dan Warburton/violin. Total Time 48:38© 2004. Recorded on 27 May 2001 in Paris. Cover design Carlos Santos

[…] Also on the more conventional instruments and methods of playing is the disc by Frederic Blondy (piano), Jean-Sebastian Mariage (electric guitar) and Dan Warburton on violin. The recordings here are also made in concert, albeit some time ago, 2001. Their playing is more stretched out and more empty, compared to the ‘Metz’ disc. Most of the time they seem to be making less sound, but occassionally leap forward with short outbursts of hectic and frantic playing. However in ‘Sleep, Perchance To Dream’ they lull the listener into sleep with sheer inaudible playing. Nice one too.– Frans de Waard (Vital Weekly)

CD version (incl. shipment cost world-wide)

Price: €16.00
 

cs017b.jpgkunststoff | cs017

Ute Wassermann /voice. Birgit Ulher/trumpet.

Total Time 1:00:00 © 2004. Recorded on 7 and 27 December 2003 at home and at Centre d’Estudis Musicals. Cover design Carlos Santos

The almost absurd expansibility of Ute Wassermann’s voice is a rehabilitating process for the ears; this duo with trumpeter Birgit Ulher is a major statement in the artistic curricula of both. Apparently flippant, rarely querulous, Ute works the hidden corners of guttural domestication, nattering with steady intelligence and technical committment to create a hybrid instrument that mocks electronic oscillations and intramural arguments, all the while keeping a firm grip over a perfect coordination of oddity and hermetism. This impression is reinforced by a splendid performance by Birgit, who paces the distance between the timbres with a sapient command of the trumpet’s short-tempered outbursts, carefully alternating sweet spots and rancid spurious vibrations to find the correct decoding message needed to countermeasure Wassermann’s speculations. This is an astounding release, a special treatment for improvisation lovers, a fresh hallucination revealing itself as truth. — Massimo Ricci (Touching Extremes)

CD version (incl. shipment cost world-wide)

Price: €16.00
 

cs018b.jpgcapacidad de pérdida | cs018

Ruth Barberán / trumpet

Total Time 35:38© 2004. Recorded on 7 and 27 December 2003 at home and at Centre d’Estudis Musicals. Cover design Alfredo Costa Monteiro

Trumpet player Ruth Barberán belongs in that area of improvisers that play wind instruments exploiting their more obscure cavities in a completely new approach to virgin territories, thereby also inventing a modern vocabulary. In “Capacidad de pérdida”, Ruth hoards lots of strange emissions and uses them to shut down every conceivable door leading to a “conventional” way of playing: we hear expertise and ingenuity in equal doses, the instrumental machinery radically altered by some kind of goblin robbing “regular” notes and leaving breath, tongue, saliva and fingers discussing about a future that has to be completely reinvented. Hell-bent on sheer gestural significance, distrustful of everyone in the perfect ruffle between the disclosure of a new secret and the opprobrium of ignorant reactions, this girl walks away with her head well high, like if she’s telling us “Do it yourself…if you’re able to!” — Massimo Ricci (Touching Extremes)

CD version (incl. shipment cost world-wide)

Price: €16.00
 

cs019b.jpga cavall entre dos cavalls | cs019

Ferran Fages / electric guitar

Total Time 33:27 © 2004. Recorded on June 2004 at Metrònom, Barcelona. Cover design Alfredo Costa Monteiro

The Catalan guitarist Ferran Fages was introduced to avant-garde audiences by Ernesto Rodrigues’ reputed Creative Sources label. Despite the imprint’s history in quiet, scaled-down experimental music, «A Cavall Entre Dos Cavalls» comes as a surprise. This set of electric guitar solos (13 titles, two more unannounced) is very listener friendly: gentle, mostly tonal, pleasant. Ferran’s short pieces (written pieces, not improvisations as could be expected) involve slow strumming and chord variations presented thoughtfully. Loren Mazzacane Connors comes immediately to mind, along with Ernesto Diaz-Infante’s first albums (of piano music, but with the same kind of naivete) and Steffen Basho-Junghans (his “Virgin Orchestra” series). Maybe also the softness of Ben Monder (minus the jazz element). The album is strongly inhabited by a sense of discovery, of finding one’s true self as the notes and chords are delicately played. A first listen highlights the prettiness of it all, while giving the impression that substance is lacking — and the short duration of the album (33 minutes and a half) contributes to the latter. But subsequent listens dispel the vagueness in aim and reveal that the prettiness will not fade with time. What at first sounds like pointless meanders is ultimately heard as a clear statement. A statement that happens to be easy on the ears and prone to meditation. — François Couture (All Music Guide)

CD version (incl. shipment cost world-wide)

Price: €16.00
 

cs020b.jpgkreis | cs020

Ernesto Rodrigues /violin, viola. Michael Thieke /clarinet, alto clarinet Guilherme Rodrigues /cello, pocket trumpet. Carlos Santos /electronics. Recorded on 29 March 2004, at Tcha Tcha Tcha Studios, Lisbon. Total Time 40:36 © 2005. Cover design Alfredo Costa Monteiro

A quartet exploring the concepts of electroacoustic improvisation. The music produced is a result of the interplay between the acoustic sound and the electronic counterpart. Always looking for small details, building a fusion of meanings, on what is fisically produced and the electronically manipulated… — Carlos Santos October 2004

CD version (incl. shipment cost world-wide)

Price: €16.00
 

cs021b.jpgetwa | cs021

Bertrand Gauguet / alto & soprano saxophones

Recorded on 10/11/12 February 2004, at St. Jean des Landes Chapel, Concoret, France. Total Time 41:56 © 2005. Cover design Carlos Santos

‘Etwa’
means ‘somesuch’ or ‘more or less’ in English and is the work of the for me unknown Betrand Gauguet, who plays alto & soprano saxophones. The seven pieces were recorded at two different chapels in France. I suspect that has nothing to with some religious aspects of improvised music, but rather the spatial qualities of such locations. Placing the microphones seems to be an important thing for Gauguet. By placing them in various positions in the space, they will pick up both his playing aswell as the space it is played in. This is done rather well: Gauguet’s music has indeed a spatial quality. Like «Kreis» this is music that lies in the modern improvisation.

His saxophones never sound like saxophones, but could very well Axel Dörner’s trumpet or Alessandro Bosetti’s clarinet. If you are aware of my reservations against traditional saxophone playing, you can imagine that I am more than happy with this new form of playing. The saxophone becomes an electro-acoustic object, albeit one in a bigger space, investigated and proved to be a usefull thing. ‘Etwa’ has some intense playing, leaving the attentive listener breathless. Probably the player aswell. — Frans de Waard (Vital Weekly)

CD version (incl. shipment cost world-wide)

Price: €16.00
 

cs022b.jpgvasistas | cs022

Bertrand Denzler /tenor saxophone. Jean-Luc Guionnet /alto saxophone. Kazushige Kinoshita /violin. Taku Unami /laptop & guitar

Total Time 67:35 © 2005. Recorded on 19 September 2003 in London. Cover design Carlos Santos

Listening is porous – however hard you try to exclude the sound of the outside world, it sneaks in, and even with the most expensive headphones money can buy clamped tightly to your head the tiniest friction of hair on skin will be loud enough to spoil your music, if you let it. And we all know what happened when Cage went into that anechoic chamber. Old story. So instead, open your ears to it. “Vasistas” is a French word – one of only a few deriving directly from German – meaning louver window or opening windowpane, a perfect metaphor for music opening out onto reality, which is exactly Bertrand Denzler and Jean-Luc Guionnet on saxophones, Kazushige Kinoshita on laptop violin and Taku Unami on laptop (computer this time) and guitar do in this 67-minute span of music. As if to prove the point, Vasistas wasn’t recorded late at night in a studio, but one afternoon in Patrick McGinley’s London home, in which the sound of the inhabitants moving about in nearby rooms joins the distant rumble of passing traffic and the fragile, predominantly quiet music. The dynamic level may be low and the texture sparse, but if you choose to turn up the wick and concentrate there’s a sense of concentration and intensity to it all. Turn the knob the other way, however, and the result is equally captivating, as the puffs and bleats of the saxophones, the grainy rustle of Unami’s electronics and the intermittent crinkles and pings of Kinoshita’s fiddle mesh gently and rather magically with the surrounding environment. If you do the same you’ll find it fascinating to listen to. — Dan Warburton (Paris Transatlantic)

CD version (incl. shipment cost world-wide)

Price: €16.00
 

cs023b.jpgistmo | cs023

Ferran Fages /acoustic turntable. Alfredo Costa Monteiro /accordion. Ruth Barberán /trumpet. Total Time 40:53 © 2004. 1 Recorded on November2003 in Toledo. 2 Recorded on October 2003 in Barcelona. Cover design Alfredo Costa Monteiro

No less than six new releases on the Creative Sources label, placing the label right in the centre of improvised music. The first release is by Ferran Fages (acoustic turntable), Alfredo Costa Monteiro (accordion) and Ruth Barberan on trumpet. The latter plays her instrument as is common these days – say the Axel Dörner method, the instrument as an object. The accordion is played conventionally, well more or less that is. In two lenghty pieces, both recorded late 2003, this trio improvises through a somewhat noise related set of music, even in the more silent parts of the music. There is some intense playing going on, that is quite demanding for the listener, as well as for the performers I guess. Scratchy, noisy and intense. Nice work. — Frans de Waard (Vital)

CD version (incl. shipment cost world-wide)

Price: €16.00
 

cs024b.jpgpocket progressive | cs024

Claudio Rocchetti /turntable, small percussions, radio. Fhievel /field recordings, objects. Luca Sigurtà /cymbals, objects, toys. Total Time 34:15 © 2005. Recorded on 15 and 16 April 2004, Bologna, Italy. Cover design by Fhievel and Luca Sigurtà

This is my first contact with music from this label and it is a good start. The three musicians above recorded this CD in two days and needed two days more for editing and mastering. That is quick, but lucky for us, it is apparently enough time to produce a good CD. The disc contains two tracks, the first one 22:36 minutes and the second 11:37 minutes. It is quite obviously an improvisation that we hear, but of course only the good parts are left, forming strong sets of quiet sounds from field recordings, electronics and different objects. It actually reminded me in more than one way of live performances by Kapotte Muziek. The ingredients are practically the same and so is the way things are built up. Of course Rocchetti, Fhievel and Sigurta have their distinctly own signature and this makes it all the more fun to listen to (for me anyway). They give each other ample time and space for parts to develop and sounds to become embedded in the whole atmosphere. There are some odd things going on here and there, but they are exactly the ones needed to give everything a certain edge now and then. It takes time for this music to sink in and also it needs a certain quietness around the listener, but if these conditions are more or less met, the reward will be yours. — MR (Vital Weekly)

CD version (incl. shipment cost world-wide)

Price: €16.00
 

cs025b.jpgabu tarek | cs025

Franz Hautzinger / trumpet. Mazen Kerbaj / trumpet.

Recorded on 26 August 2003, Lebanon. Total Time 48:03 © 2005. Cover design Mazen Kerbaj

“Abu Tarek” was recorded in August 2003 in Lebanon; “no cuts no overdubbing” states the laconic liner notes: not a surprise since it’s the Creative Sources standard, but still one wonders where these sounds could possibly come from. Both Hautzinger and Kerbaj play trumpet, but, except for the elegiac sparkles of “Hermel”, no conventional trumpet playing is to be recognized here (again, nothing new for the Lisbon label). Water running through rusty pipes, green logs burning, natural gas emissions, bat signals… everything comes to mind but a “regular” trumpet. While obviously harsh and confrontational, this improvised session has many beautiful moments, thanks to the variety of inventions of the two performers, really melting into each other’s sound. A bumpy path, but also one that the listener will want to walk several times. — Eugenio Maggi (Chain DLK)

CD version (incl. shipment cost world-wide)

Price: €16.00
 

cs026b.jpgaspirations & inspirations | cs026

Wade Matthews / alto flute, bass clarinet

Recorded between 2002 and 2004 in Madrid and Albi. Total Time 38:37 © 2005. Cover design Carlos Santos

The first word that comes to mind is “attack”, even if this nightmarish volley of grenades lobbed our way by Wade Matthews turns out to be, as he explains in the booklet, an intricate circuit of unimaginable pipe dreams that materialize incredibly right in our ear holes. Close miking guarantees fantastic detail in every perceivable nuance of Matthews’ bass clarinet and alto flute, generating mesmerizing patterns of circular breathing and percussive tongue clucking that sound like a one-man shamanic tabla / flute duo. Extended techniques raise the curtain on an otherwise invisible world of gremlins and gizmos dancing through a forest of unfathomable harmonics. Horse-like whinnies and tiny shards of regular timbre spring out of the alembics every once in a while to remind us we’re not listening to some deranged plumbing system, while growling mixtures of voice and venomous insufflations will have you wondering what possible use there is for the synthesizer anymore. Matthews is an artist whose palette contains so many colours that describing it as “kaleidoscopic” sounds almost offensive. — Massimo Ricci (Paris Transatlantic)

CD version (incl. shipment cost world-wide)

Price: €16.00
 

cs027b.jpgailack | cs027

Tetuzi Akiyama / tape delayed electric guitar. Jason Kahn /analogue synthesizer, percussion. Utah Kawasaki / dismanteled roland synthesizer, cell phone. Total Time 34:20 © 2005. Recorded on 22 April 2004, Tokyo, Japan. Cover design by Jason Kahn

“Ailack” documents a concert performed by Tetuzi Akiyama, Jason Kahn and Utah Kawasaki on February 22, 2004 at the Kid Ailack Art Hall in Tokyo. This is the group’s second concert and second CD. Their first CD, “Luwa,” documented a concert performed on October 17, 2000 at the Luwa Fabrik in Zürich and was released on Rossbin Records. — Jason Kahn

CD version (incl. shipment cost world-wide)

Price: €16.00
 

cs028b.jpgkenon | cs028

Kazushige Kinoshita /violin. Masahiko Okura /alto saxophone, tubes Masafumi Ezaki /trumpet, metals.

Total Time 52:16 © 2005. Recorded on June 2004. Cover design by Carlos Santos

Nibbles and leakages of anorexic timbres raise a few preoccupations for the maintainance of the system but the level of alertness is already quite high since the very first minutes. Metallic deformations of bottled hydrogen spring out of exquisite anti-structures, forming small complexities of salivary foliage which extends its reach even during dead silences. Okura and Ezaki breathe through gentle radioactivity, their flash bulbs emitting a series of microfaunae whose lifespan is measurable in the range of seconds, while Kinoshita’s pluckings sound like he left his violin out in the cold, then in the sun, so that wood fibers’ contractions and expansions move the instrument without a human touch. An improvisation, yes, but also the exposition of a silent ideology that manages to nail the listener until its appeal becomes evident. — Massimo Ricci (Touching Extremes)

CD version (incl. shipment cost world-wide)

Price: €16.00
 

cs029b.jpgstand clear | cs029

LOS GLISSANDINOS

Kai Fagaschinski/clarinet. Klaus Filip /sine waves.

Total Time 43:33 © 2005. Recorded on July 2004. Cover design by Conrad Noack & Kai Fagaschinski

If pushed to choose just half a dozen releases on Creative Sources to take to the fabled desert island (tough call, as any present shortlist would include as least twice that many, and I’ll be modest enough to exclude my own outing on the label, very proud of it though I am), Kai Fagaschinski’s No Furniture, with Boris Baltschun and Axel Dörner (CS 009) would definitely be in the suitcase. One of the disadvantages of such an ambitious release programme – Ernesto Rodrigues has truly flooded the market in the past year with over 20 new titles – is that punters (and journalists) are often spoilt for choice and tend to skip over things that they might normally devote more attention to. Such was the case, it seems, with No Furniture – though heaven knows I tried to push the album as hard as a could – and let’s hope history doesn’t repeat itself with Los Glissandinos, clarinettist Fagaschinski’s duo with laptopper Klaus Filip. While I fully respect those cats who like their album covers abstract and almost entirely devoid of information, I’ve always had a soft spot for cover art, believing, misguidedly perhaps, that if the artists hadn’t intended it to complement in the music in some way, they wouldn’t have chosen it.

The photographs that adorn Stand Clear show a fine summer’s day on the banks of an inviting river, a campfire that looks just about ready for a barbecue, and, behind the disc itself, the muzzle of large sandy coloured hound close to the camera (dangerously close perhaps, though it looks to all intents and purposes as if it’s about to give it a friendly lick). I wonder, if the cover art had been as austere as No Furniture’s hand drawn tables, chairs and sofas, whether Fagaschinski and Filip’s music might sound less inviting than it actually does. As it is, Filip’s glowing, spacious sustained sinewaves and Fagaschinski’s breathy purrs are eminently listenable, almost soothing, even in the strident upper register workouts of “History of the Animals”. A lot of this kind of music comes across as chilly – is there anything more glacial than the icy blasts of Franz Hautzinger on Brospa? – but there’s a warmth and richness to Los Glissandinos’ microtonal meanderings and Lucier-like investigations of difference tones that’s instantly appealing. Well, the family dog might take a bite out of you if it hears it, but I think it’s splendid. — Dan Warburton (Paris Transatlantic)

CD version (incl. shipment cost world-wide)

Price: €16.00
Out of Stock

cs030b.jpgsunday sundaes | cs030

Stefan Keune / sopranino & alto saxophones

Recorded between 2 August and 2 September 2004 in Duisburg. Total Time 45:12 © 2005. Cover design Carlos Santos

It is impossible not to be immediately floored by the technical command and the overwhelming repertoire of special FX that Stefan Keune brings to the table with this collection of scaled-down invitations to solo sax paradise. A captive nightingale undergoing electroshock therapy singing Xenakis (“Reedcycling”), Keune, rips pages from Alfred 23 Harth’s book of schizophonics (“Palate”, “The mole”) and chews them into a pulp of his own in search of sinuous epileptic martyrdom. There is not a single dull moment; with its acute multiphonics, wrinkled harmonics and lyrical monkey business, Sunday Sundaes is in a class of its own among the many marvels of Ernesto Rodrigues’ label, revealing Keune as one of the most resourceful loonies on the current scene. — Massimo Ricci (Paris Transatlantic)

CD version (incl. shipment cost world-wide)

Price: €16.00
 

cs031b.jpgamber | cs031

Rhodri Davies /harp. Robin Hayward /tuba. Julia Eckhardt /viola. Lucio Capece /soprano saxophone, bass clarinet.

Total Time 42:42 © 2005. Recorded on April 2004 in Berlin. Cover design Carlos Santos

The two tracks on Amber are derived from studio quartet recordings made in Berlin 2004 by radical Welsh harpist Rhodri Davies, Berlin-based English tuba player Robin Hayward, Julia Eckhardt, a violist working of Berlin and Brussels who has played improvised and composed new music over the last decade in a number ensembles including Q-O2 and Incidental Music and Lucio Capecce, an Argentinean reeds player now living in Berlin who plays bass clarinet and soprano saxophone both solo and in various groups. This is improvised music from that realm of extended techniques in which string instruments are scraped, rattled and knocked, brass and reeds yield arrays of hisses and plops, and everyone avoids the notes of the chromatic scale like the horrible plague they are. At its best, it is labile and engrossing, featuring both subtle changes in shifting layers and more abrupt discontinuities as the four players answer or build upon each other’s contributions. However, it is not free of nervous post-reductionist fidgeting and hermetic droning, both of which too often lead the music into somewhat monotonous terrain, but readers tolerant of drone and repetition will not be discouraged. — Wayne Spencer (Paris Transatlantic)

CD version (incl. shipment cost world-wide)

Price: €16.00
Out of Stock

cs032b.jpgstralau | cs032

Bertrand Denzler/tenor saxophone. Axel Dörner/trumpet, computer. Daniel Erdmann /baritone & soprano saxophones. Michael Griener /drums. Günter Müller/ipod, md, selected percussion, electronics.

Total Time 54:11 © 2005. Recorded on August 2003 in Berlin. Cover design Carlos Santos

Recorded in 2003 at Stralau 68 (Berlin), this 54-minute single-track cd is a remarkable recording of an improvised session by Bertrand Denzler (tenor saxophone), Axel Dörner (trumpet, computer), Daniel Erdmann (baritone and soprano saxophones), Michael Griener (drums) and Günter Müller (ipod, md, selected percussions, electronics). As austere as the cover photos, “Stralau” gradually shifts from the initial low-end blows to more frantic passages of screeching reeds and metallic percussions, then settles, in the second half, to a nebula of crackling electronics. I guess no major editing has occurred, so let’s say this was a particularly tight and inspired performance, where all musicians did know how to self-distribute their own spaces. As with many recordings of Müller’s, the electronic element adds a sort of spiderweb cohesiveness even to the most rarefied moments. — Eugenio Maggi (Chain DLK)

CD version (incl. shipment cost world-wide)

Price: €16.00
Out of Stock

cs033b.jpgsen | cs033

Ernesto Rodrigues /viola. Toshihiro Koike /trombone. Guilherme Rodrigues /cello, pocket trumpet.

Recorded on 8 December 2004, Lisbon. Total Time 47:22 © 2006. Cover design Carlos Santos

While Ernesto and Guilherme Rodrigues are featured on their customary instruments (viola, cello and pocket trumpet) Toshihiro Koike – whose playing I meet for the first time – is a trombonist, here strategically placed at the centre of the stereo field in the mix, with father and son sharing the left and right channels. “Sen” is one of those episodes in which the sum of the parts gives exactly what expected; starting from pretty disciplined arco dragging, we walk across a series of sonic circumstances ranging from the über-shrilling to the acceptably dissonant, with the strings working as producers of feeble harmonics, metallic caressing and snapping bounces while Koike alternates various kinds of techniques to produce sounds that are influenced both by the gurgling liquids of the mouth and the belching, droning rumble of air pressure into the instrument’s tubes. These timbral associations are not exactly new in terms of surprising results but give a pretty defined idea about the places the artists decide to stop in, their interest in combinations and parallelisms of harshness and malleability ever informed by their reciprocal listening capabilities. A little colder than other collectives involving the Rodrigueses, these two improvisations must be taken for what they are: experiments without any pretence of philosophical or ideological interpretation, much less aesthetic meaning – even if they do express an aesthetic of sorts. — Massimo Ricci (Touching Extremes)

CD version (incl. shipment cost world-wide)

Price: €16.00
 

cs034b.jpgabsence | cs034

Axel Dörner /trumpet. Leonel Kaplan /trumpet. Diego Chamy /percussion.

Total Time 44:32 © 2005. Recorded on March 2003 in Buenos Aires. Cover design Carlos Santos

Then onto the trios, of which the first one has the well-known Axel Dörner (trumpet), Leonel Kaplan (trumpet) and Diego Chamy (percussion). As this was recorded (in 2003) in Buenos Aires, Argentinia, I have reasons to believe that Kaplan and Chamy are from Argentina. This is top of new improvisation. Dörner continues to explore his techniques of trumpet playing, which has nothing to do with the trumpet as such, but everything with the instrument as an object and Leonel Kaplan proofs to be a good student (assuming of course it’s not Dörner who nicked the technique!) and the percussion of Chamy can be anything that has a surface to hit. Very intense playing by all three players on board and an even more demanding release that the previous highlight of this bunch. — Frans de Waard (Vital)

CD version (incl. shipment cost world-wide)

Price: €16.00
 

cs035b.jpgagape | cs035

Martin Küchen /prepared and non prepared alto saxophone. David Stackenäs/guitar.

Recorded © 2005. Cover design Carlos Santos

The fantastic, memory-eliciting photos of the cover, portraying family members in pretty advanced age posing in their old-style living rooms, plus the recording date – May 16th 2004, seventieth birthday of my mother – constitute a pretty interesting coincidence; the oblique conjectures by Küchen on prepared and unprepared alto sax and Stackenäs on guitar and low-budget electronics do the rest in this “dynamically static” (here I go again) release, where ears are literally forced to to invent colourful gradations in what apparently manifests as a series of irregular blocks of almost repressed energy, whose tonality comes from just a bunch of clashing harmonics and jangling sustained string vibrations. Righteous angers are kept at bay, indeed they get moulded into dozens of stimulating projections that the brain has a hard time decoding, accepting them only after a few seconds; what starts as a juxtaposition of quivering electric flows is watered by humid pipes of uncertainty, the intertwining structural networks becoming a saturating isolation from substantial relationships with the external world. A subtle thread divides the couple from a complete implosion, yet this never happens and the observation of this progressive counterbalance of obstinations yields truly appreciable consistency and a wholly new definition of “artistic responsibility”. — Massimo Ricci (Touching Extremes)

CD version (incl. shipment cost world-wide)

Price: €16.00
 

cs036b.jpgswift machine | cs036

Gilles Aubry /computer. Antoine Chessex /saxophone. Torsten Papenheim /guitar.

Total Time 39:03 © 2005. Recorded July 2003 in Berlin. Cover design Carlos Santos

Absolutely no searching for purity here, as “Swiftmachine” – a computer, sax and guitar trio – are fully functional in their pretty atypical noise reflections. Indeed, Aubry, Chessex and Papenheim are not the most radical deformers of timbral regularity; it’s rather one of those instances where the voices of the single instruments are always pretty recognizable throughout the music. Nevertheless, the concoction works well without additional efforts, as the mass of sound twists and turns with a good degree of colourful peculiarities, mixing nicely like in a mad scientist’s laboratory alembics. These men do not try to rewrite the book of improvisational shapes, yet find their way through harmonics, string scraping, wet conduits and laptop transmutations in a series of strange bubbles which dissolve in the air wryly, like if germs of corruption decided to remain just a chuckle in the chaos of life. — Massimo Ricci (Touching Extremes)

CD version (incl. shipment cost world-wide)

Price: €16.00
 

cs037b.jpglandscape: recognizable | cs037

Birgit Ulher /trumpet. Lou Mallozzi /turntables, cds, microphones, organ pipes, amplified voice. Michael Zerang /friction drum, wind whistle, xylophone bars, snare drum, bird calls, metal, snare drum.

Recorded June 5th 2004 at Experimental Sound Studio, Chicago. Total Time 53:45 © 2005. Cover design Carlos Santos

Creative Sources indeed. Ulher plays trumpet as a sound source, rather than a “musical” instrument. So she’s blowing, squeaking, sputtering, hissing, and like that. Zerang coaxes subtle sounds from various percussive objects, whistles, bird calls, etc. Mallozzi adds higher-tech input with his CDs, voice material, turntables, and microphones. Once in a while the trio gets a bit of a clamor going, but generally these sound concoctions are on the sparse side, with a backdrop so quiet that every nuance really stands out. Track lengths fall within the 6 – 9 minute range, which is about the right size for unearthly sound pieces like these. Great headphone material. — Max Level

CD version (incl. shipment cost world-wide)

Price: €16.00
 

cs038b.jpgwrong shape to be a story teller | cs038

Nate Wooley / trumpet

Recorded live in Jersey City, NJ 8August 2004 © 2005. Cover design Carlos Santos

Wrong Shape to be a Story Teller (creative sources recordings 038). This is a solo trumpet disc from local trumpet ace Nate Wooley, one of the few cats who is working hard at redefining the vocabulary and sound of the trumpet. Although saxes often get most of the ink in the history of jazz (Bird, Trane, Ornette, Dolphy, Ayler, etc.), it seems to be the trumpet players that really link the history of change (Louis Armstrong to Miles Davis to Don Cherry, Lester Bowie, etc). Over the past decade another bunch of trumpeters have signaled new sounds for that old horn. Europeans like Axel Dörner and Franz Hautzinger, as well as their American counterparts: Greg Kelley and Nate Wooley, each have done their share to expand their unique sound(s). When I first put this on, I thought someone was boiling water for tea, that same sort of whistle. This 51-minute epic solo effort show a variety of different sounds, textures and approaches to the trumpet. Notes are stretched out and bent into different shapes and often it is difficult to tell what instrument Nate is actually playing. You can tell he is concentrating as he works with small fragments of note and bending them in strange way. A most impressive effort. — BLG (Downtown Music Gallery)

CD version (incl. shipment cost world-wide)

Price: €16.00
 

cs039b.jpgdining room music | cs039

Quentin Dubost /electric guitar. Wade Matthews /alto flute, bass clarinet. Stéphane Rives/soprano saxophone. Ingar Zach /percussion. Recorded 21 August 2004 at Maison Bustros, Beirut, Lebanon. Total Time 41:37 © 2005. Cover design Carlos Santos

Dining Room Music, eh? Correct me if I’m wrong but there seems to be some sort of allusion to Erik Satie’s musique d’ameublement – furniture music – the celebrated precursor of Brian Eno’s concept of ambient music. But that’s as far as the analogy goes – even at low volume there’s nothing remotely ambient about this gritty, challenging set of three improvisations by Quentin Dubost (guitar), Wade Matthews (bass clarinet and alto flute), Stéphane Rives (soprano sax) and Ingar Zach (percussion), recorded in the dining room – aha, that’s why – of the Maison Bustros in Beirut on August 21st last year. On paper, Rives and Matthews might seem an odd pairing: the former is well known for his uncompromising sonic research into extreme registers and feedback (Fibres, on Potlatch), while Matthews is a more voluble player (witness his own recent Creative Sources solo outing, Aspirations and Inspirations). But the two prove to be eminently compatible, thanks to the skilful mediation of Zach, who’s equally capable of playing the fast, clattery stuff as well as stripped down lowercase, and Dubost, whose guitar work throughout is most impressive. It’s a solid, satisfying outing, which you could, I suppose, play during dinner – though I doubt whether any of the musicians would want to be held responsible for subsequent gastric disorders. Great stuff. — Dan Warburton (Paris Transatlantic)

CD version (incl. shipment cost world-wide)

Price: €16.00
 

cs040b.jpgleuchten | cs040

Michael Thieke / alto clarinet

Recorded 9 August 2002 in Berlin. Cover design Alfredo Costa Monteiro

How most Creative Sources artists manage to get such a crisp sound quality by recording directly without overdubs is still a mystery to me. “Nicht existent”, the opening track of Thieke’s cd, recorded in Berlin in 2002, is a fascinating piece of rolling and dripping sounds – actually sounding like water passing through and dripping from a pipe. The rest of the cd is far more abrasive and hostile, with hardcore experiments of breathing through a muted instrument (by the way, it’s an alto clarinet) or small pebble-like microsounds (“Jene randfiguren”). An interesting but unavoidably less involving experience for the listener, and a bit repetitive on the long run. — Eugenio Maggi (Chain DLK)

CD version (incl. shipment cost world-wide)

Price: €16.00
 

cs041b.jpgdiafon | cs041

Barry Weisblat /electronics. Alfredo Costa Monteiro /pick-ups on turntable. Ernesto Rodrigues /violin, pick-ups, objects. Recorded 12 July 2004 at Tcha Tcha Tcha Studios, Lisbon, Portugal. Total Time 40:00 © 2005. Cover design Alfredo Costa Monteiro

“Diafon” is played on electronics, pick-ups (on turntable or not), violin and objects, its shredding electric discharges perfectly balanced by sick winds of microsonic currents howling their nasty aridity in the desolation of a desert. A handful of occasional silences subdivides a single trip to environments where everything that could be described as “luscious” is totally banned; Barry, Alfredo and Ernesto look for an imaginary aqueduct with every switch they flick, yet they only keep finding corpses of significance and remains of analytical knowledge. What emerges at the end is a new form of fossil energy, a kind of low-key science thanks to which surviving in the poorest mental condition becomes easier and – in some instance – desirable. The narrow way to the decongestion of the ears this time leads right into a strident contrast of bleached beauty and noisy consciousness. — Massimo Ricci (Touching Extremes)

CD version (incl. shipment cost world-wide)

Price: €16.00
 

cs042b.jpgsputter | cs042

Birgit Ulher /trumpet. Gino Robair /energized surfaces, voltage made audible.

Recorded June 1st 2004 at Guerrilla Recording, Oakland, CA. Total Time 58:32 © 2005. Cover design Carlos Santos

“Sputter”, a collaboration between German trumpeter Birgit Ulher (a new name to me) and percussionist/electronicist Gino Robair is probably the most divorced from jazz-based improv of the three recordings although I think you can still, often, pick up structural elements that come more out of the tradition of call-and-response than out of the AMM, “listening without listening” school. Ulher operates in the post Dorner/Kelley world of brass players—any sound the trumpet is capable of achieving is fair game—though she alludes to the avant smears of Lester Bowie and even Don Cherry at times. Robair, here credited on “energized surfaces” and “voltage made audible” (I gather this doesn’t exclude items being hit once in a while), makes active conversation with her, the chittering, electronic bird flitting around the bell of her horn. There’s an incessant aspect to the “talking” that you’d be unlikely to hear in much eai and there are occasions when part of me wants to say, “Be quiet and listen for a minute” but that’s probably an unfair way to judge this music. As the album title implies, this is work of an aerated, effervescent nature, hearing and responding with quickness, jumpy even at its most inactive. As one warms to the approach, the last several tracks begin to work their logic and cause one to rethink the first pieces. The last cut in particular, the all too brief “Entelechy”, achieves a perfect balance, a fine conversation indeed. — Brian Olewnick (Bagatellen)

CD version (incl. shipment cost world-wide)

Price: €16.00
 

cs043b.jpgkinetics | cs043

Ernesto Rodrigues /violin, viola. Guilherme Rodrigues /cello, pocket trumpet. Oren Marshall /tuba. Carlos Santos /electronics. José Oliveira /percussion.

Recorded 6 April 2004 at Tcha Tcha Tcha Studios, Lisbon, Portugal. Total Time 44:58 © 2006. Cover design Carlos Santos

The eight segments forming “Kinetics” – an improvised suite for violin, viola, cello, pocket trumpet, tuba, electronics and percussion – mark an important moment in Creative Sources’ history as this is maybe the record in which the connection between the elements is heightened at the very top level. The music reaches several peaks of remorseless coldness, almost intimidating in its unalloyed brightness, but in those repeated machinations the warmth of an evolved acousticity is diffused all around, transforming splinters and chips in a cohesion of intents, a sharp-witted testimony of these musicians’ uncommon capability to perceive a sound before it materializes. And once it comes, there’s no looking around in confusion: every source is put at the service of a concrete, instantaneous development of a relational instability between often unrecognizable instruments. Pinched nerves, electrostatic halos and resonating suggestions constitute the ideal underwood for some peculiar animal that breathes through tubes and valves while sniffing around to locate its prey; plastic balls bouncing on strings generate multiform refractions, frisky snippets of already shattered “chords” that will never exist. Finally, scorching manipulations of feedback remind us not to trust our unplugged desires, mercilessly stinging our membranes. Every idea is strongly affirmed and counts an awful lot, everything makes sense, perfectly logical in the flow of impulsive creation. An unmissable release. — Massimo Ricci (Touching Extremes)

CD version (incl. shipment cost world-wide)

Price: €16.00
 

cs044b.jpgduo… | cs044

Cyril Epinat /acoustic guitar, objects. Mathias Forge /trombone, objects. Jérôme Bertholon /recording, electric lighter, quartz clock.

© 2005. Cover design Carlos Santos

Duo . . . (CS 044) is a fascinating, cryptic set of recordings from Cyril Epanat (acoustic guitar and objects), Mathias Forge (trombone and objects) and Jérôme Bertholon (recording, electric lighter, quartz clock). Recorded from over the course of 30-some hours—from just before midnight on a Friday until Sunday dawn—these very quiet pieces are mostly rather abstract and seem to reflect the “environmental” properties of the recording locations (all in Southern France, and credited simply as “grove”, “leafy forest”, “big field pondside”, and “’Chatelus’ stone”). Forge is certainly the more garrulous of the players, exploring the flatulent tailgating end of the sound spectrum but doing so—if this is possible—in a highly restrained fashion (which surely requires an impressive amount of control). Epanat will only rarely slash across the strings or pluck a single resounding note—he’s more likely, much more than Forge, to avoid the idiomatic properties of his instrument. Occasionally I thought I heard some insects buzzing in the environs and even more seldom there are passages of rising intensity. But most tracks are anything but effusive, with the players intent to merge with whatever sounds they find around them. Excellent stuff. — Jason Bivins (One Final Note)

CD version (incl. shipment cost world-wide)

Price: €16.00
 

cs045b.jpgsavagnières | cs045

Christoph Schiller /spinett. Peter Baumgartner /laptop.

© 2005. Recorded 10th and 11th December 2004, Savagnières/CH. Cover design Carlos Santos

Titled after the Swiss city it was recorded in one year ago, “Savagnières” features Baumgartner at powerbook and Schiller at spinett, quite an unusual instrument especially in the improvised field. Electronics are mostly kept at a quiet and very minimal level, consisting in modulated sinewaves and drones; quite the opposite for the spinett playing, which is hectic and energetic, while avoiding the noise peaks which are often present in the Creative Sources catalogue. Nonetheless, Schiller knows how to dose the plucking and picking of his instrument, so that the two elements (electronic and acoustic) actually merge very well, creating a suspended and mysteryous dialogue. As always, top-notch design by Carlos Santos. — Eugenio Maggi (Chain DLK)

CD version (incl. shipment cost world-wide)

Price: €16.00
 

cs046b.jpgd is for din | cs046

Tisha Mukarji / square piano frame

Recorded April 2005 in Copenhagen. Cover design Tisha Mukarji

Another new name, Tisha Mukarji (I’m guessing female, but I’m not sure) plays “square piano frame” on this solo release. It’s entirely acoustic and the catalog of sounds produced is impressive right from the get-go, a small avalanche of rapid, high string plucks and the clatter of, I think, various objects rolled or otherwise jostled around the frame’s interior. But almost as quickly as one processes the novelty of the sounds, one is left wanting to hear much more in the nature of ideas and general conception. I was growing severely antsy long before the first cut’s abrupt cut-off after almost 18 minutes. The second track, “Brush Piece (Jagged)”, works much better; it sounds as though a bow is being deployed in addition to brushes, but whatever the case, a convincing, detailed soundscape is produced by simply remaining in a distinct area and taking the time to hear and appreciate what’s there, though even here she drags things on for a few minutes longer than necessary. “Screech” has the joint virtues of comporting with its title and brevity while “Whispers” is effectively dark and brooding, not unlike the brush piece but, happily, of excellent length. Caveat emptor. — Brian Olewnick (Bagatellen)

cs047b.jpgbig clouds in the sky today | cs047

Doug Theriault /Sensor Guitar controlling live electronics. Bryan Eubanks /Open Circuit Electronics. Recorded Live at studio LTR in Portland Oregon on April 16 and 23rd 2005. Cover design Carlos Santos

Interference knows no hesitation, manifesting itself through circumstantial entanglements of unusual phenomena which may or may not be caused by human choices. Through their work with electronics, controlled by a sensor guitar and by an “open circuit” respectively, Theriault and Eubanks give birth to an earnest album of incendiary dissonance; yet, the desperate anguish of extended distorted frequencies and incumbent radioactive rainfalls often finds openings towards a strange agonizing calm, in which the “big clouds” seem to leave some space to the noise of a motor airplane in between the siren-like calls of distant car alarms whose battery will die only after an eternity of tormented ecstasy. Discouraging any try to transform their sound in a cheap appreciation of the mere experiment, the couple works intently trying to dictate some new rules for the abrasion of tranquillity, leaving our ear-aching pretence of knowledge without its crutches when silence finally falls. — Massimo Ricci (Touching Extremes)

CD version (incl. shipment cost world-wide)

Price: €16.00
 

cs048b.jpgglotosifres | cs048

Nush Werchowska /piano. Mathias Pontèvia /drums. Heddy Boubaker /alto saxophone.

© 2005. #1 & #2 recorded at Atelier des Pianophiles – Toulouse by Sébastien Cirotteau (December 2004. #3 recorded at Festival Zieu-M-Zic 2004 by Sébastien Cirotteau (July 2004). Cover design Carlos Santos

29 minutes is a bit slight for an album – across the electric fence in Popland that would count as a single – but there’s a lot of information to digest in these three pieces recorded in July and December 2004 featuring pianist Werchowska, percussionist Pontévia and saxophonist Boubaker (normally they go under the name Trio Pakos, but not here apparently). Nush (it’s “Nusch” on the Creative Sources site but I take it that’s a mistake) Werchowska is at her best when scrabbling round inside the instrument, and Pontévia and Boubaker follow her into some very strange undergrowth on the opening “Bribes” – in French that means “bits” or “extracts”, by the way, not payment for services rendered – but when actual notes come into play, i.e. when Werchowska actually engages with the keyboard, on “Spires”, things get a little muddy underfoot. One senses pitch isn’t all that important to these guys, and thankfully the closing “Mascaret” takes us back out into the windswept wilderness. It’s uncompromising stuff, and proof that there are strange and dangerous things going on in the idyllic South of France. If you don’t understand the album title, by the way, go Google and, erm, practice your French. Oh yes, Boubaker and trumpeter Sébastien Cirotteau, who recorded the three pieces here, also have a fine duo release, Vortex, for mp3 download at www.stasisfield.com. Go! — Dan Warburton (Paris Transatlantic)

CD version (incl. shipment cost world-wide)

Price: €16.00
 

cs049b.jpgdrumming | cs049

Günter Müller /ipod, electronics. Jason Kahn /laptop. Christian Wolfarth /percussion.

© 2005. Recorded on October 29, 2004 at the Werkstatt für Improvisierte Musik, Zurich, Switzerland. Cover design Jason Kahn

“Drumming” is quite a deceiving title if taken literally, though Kahn’s liner notes in Creative Sources website are explicit: this trio recording is meant to further explore the possibility of drumming beyond the usual notions and tecniques. Both Jason Kahn (here at laptop) and Günter Müller (here at ipod and electronics) have creatively played drums and percussions for years before almost exclusively moving to electronics; and their experimental approach is evidently shared by Christian Wolfarth, whose minimal drum set is barely distinguishable from the digital mist of his two companions. Much like Kahn’s typically abstract yet somehow organic layout, the nine improvised tracks are a successful blend of algid electronic particles and an urgent rhythmic flow, especially in little gems like “Drumming 2″ and “Drumming 4″, the latter with a train-like loop throbbing beneath. — Eugenio Maggi (Chain DLK)

CD version
(incl. shipment cost world-wide)

Price: €14.00
 

cs050b.jpgaérea | cs050

Alfredo Costa Monteiro /accordion. Ruth Barberán /trumpet.

© 2005. Recorded in 2004 , Barcelona. Cover design Alfredo Costa Monteiro

Monteiro, here on accordion, returns with fine trumpeter Ruth Barberan as the palindromic pair, I Treni Inerti, on “aerea”, decidedly my favorite of the four releases covered here and, in all likelihood, the one I’ll return to from time to time. The first track, “Luz Azul”, finds both instruments wielded in relatively traditional fashion, laying out thick, deep waves of sound, washing against one another in long, languorous sighs and moans. “Ici” contains more in the way of breath tones and scrapes from Barberan, wheezes and clatter from Monteiro and, as such, works wells enough but not substantially differently from much music we’ve heard before from them and others. It falters some over its 18 minutes, though it picks up steam now and then toward the end. On the brief final cut, “Era Mala Mare”, Monteiro stays in more abstract territory while Barberan reverts to the deep tones heard on the first piece, all to very strong effect. Perhaps not up to the best work by these musicians as heard on other recordings from this label, but a pretty nice disc and one worth hearing. — Brian Olewnick (Bagatellen)

CD version (incl. shipment cost world-wide)

Price: €16.00
 

cs051b.jpgrocca | cs051

Agnès Palier /voice. Olivier Toulemonde /electroacoustic set.

© 2005. Recorded at Tossiat – France on 17 and 18 february 2005. Cover design Carlos Santos

Singer Agnès Palier moved from classical music, chanson to jazz. In the last few years she concentrates on singing in a free improvised context, which is the case on this new CD ‘Rocca’. For this occasion she is accompanied by Oliver Toulemonde on electroacoustic set. Toulemonde may be known as one of the founding members of the Collectif Ishtar.
Palier screams, yells, murmurs, growls, etc with her voice in a way one aspects from vocal artists like her. Toulemonde creates a great diversity of sounds, textures, etc. with his electro-acoustic set. The noises he produces are the perfect company for Palier’s voice: the same in atmosphere, color, intensity, etc. I can’t detect exactly what Toulemonde is doing on his so called ‘electroacoustic set’, but he seems to use all kind of objects. They are played and used by him in a very physical, lively and elegant way. Another reason that makes Toulemonde and Palier an interesting duo. Their improvisations play at at a highly abstract level. But on the other hand their sound poetry stays ‘on the floor': its dramatic and dynamic, and very human. Their explorations evolve within a wide range of sounds and musical possibilities. I never had a dull moment with this one. — Dolf Mulder (Vital)

CD version (incl. shipment cost world-wide)

Price: €16.00
 

cs052b.jpg500 g | cs052

Birgit Ulher / trumpet. Lars Scherzberg / saxophone. Michael Maierhof / cello.

Total Time 49:47 © 2005. Recorded March 14th 2005 at Vivaldi-Saal Berlin. Cover design Carlos Santos

Recorded live in Berlin, this is a trumpet/sax/cello trio moving along the coordinates of classic reduction but with a little more margin for the convergence of silence and big splinters of what often sounds like contemporary chamber music, with some old Art Zoyd improvisational flavour. Feeding their explorative needs, the musicians operate their machines like if they were throwing stones in a pool at regular intervals, then stopping to observe the ripples generated, finally throwing more objects to change those (ir)regular geometries. There is no apparent friction among the instrumental voices, with Maierhof’s cello contributing to the general temperament with touches of resonant wood, in a nice amalgam with the more introverted reciprocal responsiveness between the different air currents by Uhler’s trumpet and Scherzberg’s sax, which seem to accept the third of a perfect pair without any defensiveness. This three-legged animal walks around at its own peculiar pace, finally arriving right there where it’s needed. — Massimo Ricci (Touching Extremes)

CD version (incl. shipment cost world-wide)

Price: €16.00
 

cs053b.jpgphonèmes | cs053

David Chiesa / double bass

© 2005 Cover design David Chiesa

More musicality is experienced on the solo-album by David Chiesa. He started as an electric basssplayer in rock bands, but changed to improvised music and the acoustic bass. In a duel with silence quiet and loud parts succeed each other, illustrating in the meantime the considerable technique of Chiesa. — Dolf Mulder (Vital)

CD version (incl. shipment cost world-wide)

Price: €16.00
 

cs054b.jpgscatter | cs054

Birgit Ulher / trumpet

Total Time 45:39 © 2005. Recorded 8 and9 April 2005 in Kleve by Dieter Schlensog. Cover design Carlos Santos

It’s useful that German trumpeter Birgit Ulher chose to do a solo session as one of her three new releases for the Portuguese label Creative Sources (for whom she’s done two records prior to this recent set). Useful because hers is a group sound aesthetic, creating more a single voice than a conversation. Scatter affords a chance of isolate her approach and to then recognize her part in group projects. While Ulher is a part of the European community of makers of very small sounds – she’s worked with Martin Klapper, Roger Turner, Tim Hodgkinson, Rhodri Davies and Raymond Strid – the precedent for her first solo recording is the solo half of Lester Bowie’s 1982 double-disc All the Magic. Without Bowie’s humor, she still explores all the sounds of trumpet, all the smacks and clacks and, sputters that can be pushed through the metal tube. Over the course of ten tracks, she proves herself to be a resourceful experimenter in the vein of such fellow trumpeters as Axel Dörner, Frantz Hautzinger, Greg Kelley and Herb Robertson. Without reeds, trumpets (like trombones) can be cold instruments for such minimalist playing, and Ulher doesn’t try to mask the fact. Her playing can be guttural and harsh, and she makes use of the horn’s metallic sounds.[…] — Kurt Gottschalk (Signal to Noise)

CD version (incl. shipment cost world-wide)

Price: €16.00
 

cs055b.jpgplakation | cs055

Sascha Demand / electric guitar

© 2005. Cover design Carlos Santos

With this disc Creative Sources present a solo-work for electric guitar, by an unknown player/composer. For those who know this label it is clear that we are in the zen department of improvised music. Music that concentrates on sound in a non-rhetoric, ego-less way, often very near to silence. This is also the case for this album. Demand is one of those musicians who work as a performer of serious modern composed music on the hand, but develop themselves as improvisers, or better in the case of Demand, as a conceptual artist. With Boris D. Hegenbart he forms the duo 9khz, who have a cd out on Bottrop-Boy. With sound-artist Ralf Kleinemas he made an album for Nurnichtnur. On his solo album ‘Plakation’ Sascha Demand plays 39 miniature compositions in 55 minutes, only a few lasting longer then 2 minutes. In it’s totality the make up a mosaic of small, slightly different sound-paintings. Minimalist and sparse pieces on timbre and texture and sound. They were recorded at her home in Hamburg in the spring of 2005. Demand makes use of unusual guitar techniques. – Dolf Mulder (Vital)

CD version (incl. shipment cost world-wide)

Price: €16.00
 

cs056b.jpgkreisel | cs056

Claus van Bebber /turntables. Michael Vorfeld /percussion, stringed instrument.

© 2005. Cover design Carlos Santos

Using turntables, percussion and stringed instruments, Van Bebber and Vorfeld explicate their artistic nosiness through a kind of contractility that places events and forms in an ever-changing resilience of unexpected patterns, where non-usable noise and snippets of pre-recorded expressions are filtered from masses of discarded materials. While magnifying tense elucubrations based on corrugated frequencies and destructive recurrences, the sonic trajectories of “Kreisel” are visible from different angles; what’s missing in terms of silence and space is recovered by giving the listener no options, except a thorough acceptance of an uneasy jargon made of sudden delusions and betrayed expectations. Tendentially self-destructive, this music depicts semi-serious revelations about ugliness, which is exploited until its juicy extremism becomes the distillate of something usually unsafe for the ears, but nevertheless important for our search of truth. — Massimo Ricci (Touching Extremes)

CD version (incl. shipment cost world-wide)

Price: €16.00
 

cs057b.jpgmørke – lys | cs057

Wade Matthews /electronic synthesis. Ingar Zach /percussion.

© 2005. Cover design Carlos Santos

Six improvisations for electronic synthesis and percussion – each one titled with the translation of “Darkness/Light” in various languages – show Matthews and Zach doing damage to the imperturbable smoothness of regularity, thanks to temperamental exchanges of multiform epithets and magmatic advices. There are various instances in which distinguishing the sources is pretty difficult, such is the firecracker-like exposure of what sounds like a pillhead’s dream and the amplified noises of spermatozoa swimming in sulphuric acid. This music wants to blow everything out of proportion, yet it is ready to accept unforeseen events as a primary reason for its very existence; the utterly anarchic behaviour one can detect in the creative process becomes the origin of a set of new peculiar rules, in which paradoxically the concept of “interplay” is less important than the chance of allowing each sonic emission to fully achieve its completion, therefore defining the overall texture of these engaging pieces. — Maximo Ricci (Touching Extremes)

CD version (incl. shipment cost world-wide)

Price: €16.00
 

cs058b.jpgbelvédère dans l’étendue | cs058

Jean-Luc Guionnet /alto saxophone. Emmanuel Petit /guitar. David Chiesa /double bass. Éric La Casa /microphones & direct mixing. © 2005. Recorded in April 2003, France. Cover design Jean-Luc Guionnet

Belvedere (CS 058) is the title of a single, 70-minute performance by guitarist Emmanuel Petit, alto saxophonist Jean-Luc Guionnet, bassist David Chiesa, and Eric La Casa wielding microphones and mixing desk. It seems similarly in methodology to an earlier disc, Metro Pré St. Gervais, where Guionnet and violinist Dan Warburton descended into the Paris subway with La Casa, who sculpted the environment and the improvisers’ sounds in real-time, the results of which themselves contributed to the overall sound. Here the musicians gathered into a single dwelling, moving about in its space throughout the duration of the piece, exploring its resonances and its limitations in ways so that the cumulative sounding out of this space is quite vivid. Part of the charm of this performance comes from the occasional “intrusion” from the outside – there is the flitting or chirping of birds and, right at the end, some passing trucks. Occasionally the musicians produces identifiable sounds – there are long tones from Guionnet, grumbling arco from Chiesa, spectral feedback from Petit – but in general it sounds like listening to wood grow, or like some organic Eliane Radigue piece. Guionnet is the most dominant voice, playing more demonstrably than the others do, altering his attack consistently – from a buzz to a warble to a shriek – while the others mutter and hum (only seldom coalescing in a tutti swell or giving way to some rough damage from contact mikes). Provocative. — Jason Bivins (Bagatellen)

CD version (incl. shipment cost world-wide)

Price: €16.00
 

cs059b.jpgbruit | cs059

Pedro Chambel / guitars, microphones

© 2005. Recorded at home 2005. Cover design Carlos Santos

As the title might portend, “Bruit”, from 2005, is a more rough-hewn affair. The hums are louder, more forceful, the accompanying detritus strewn with more vigor. Again, there’s an eerie parallel to certain contemporaneous things involving Nakamura, like the sun-spot track from “between”–not a direct comparison but something that came to mind while listening. Things are generally pitched mid-range and below with occasional guitar-ish sounds surfacing and, as on the sixth track, some low, ringing tones that verge on the spacey. But Chambel also evinces some really fine focus, peeling off layer after layer of a given sound-area, savoring what he discovers for a few moments, then digging further. I enjoyed the earlier one more, but “Bruit” is certainly worth a listen. — Bryan Olewnick (Just Outside)

CD version (incl. shipment cost world-wide)

Price: €16.00
 

cs060b.jpgoxide | cs060

Hans Tammen /endangered guitar. Christoph Irmer /violin.

Recorded 1st April 2005 at Harvestworks Digital Media Arts Center, New York. © 2005. Cover design Carlos Santos

Hans Tammen plays “endangered guitar”. After a while you figure out the reasons of this definition, as he literally tortures his instrument, the resulting timbres consequently mashed and mangled in further unpredictable sequences. Christoph Irmer is a “sui generis”, large-minded violinist who applies pigments of irretentive timbres in which wood particles and arcoed strings sound like an excuse to rebel against any kind of formal constriction. “Oxide” is one of the noisiest releases by Creative Sources: a post-progressive apology of belligerency between unfriendly emissions, a simulacrum of dialogue turning into a hard-fought tussle in many exciting sections. “Desultory” is all Fred Frith on acid and happy-go-lucky manipulation of dissipated violin in crumbling decomposition. “Breach” mixes interference and bird-in-a-rusty-cage desperation, a duet that could bring Paul Giger to tear all his hair up. “Fracture”, strangely enough, despite its name reminds yours truly of another King Crimson improvisation (“Providence”, from the “Red” album), if only for a general suspended atmosphere which later in the track becomes almost a trance, broken at last by toothsome exchanges of string contortions. If a hundred crackpot 4-track cassettes met in the eye of a cyclone, the result could near what’s heard in “Oxide”.– Massimo Ricci (Touching Extremes)

CD version (incl. shipment cost world-wide)

Price: €16.00
 

cs061b.jpg50 ballets | cs061

Nicolas Field/drums, percussion. Alexandre Babel/drums, percussion.

Recorded, mixed & mastered at Borde Basse by Bob Drake with soft assistance of Hank & Olly. © 2005. Cover design Carlos Santos

Drums
and percussion plus drums and percussion equals…a percussive recording and you don’t have to be a genius to imagine the result, but wait, it’s hard to believe how good this record sounds if you haven’t given it the careful listening it requires. I’ve no doubt this’ one of the best Creative Sources releases I’ve heard so far: I love rhythm session but I’m also aware of the fact many percussive duos coming from the impro-jazz area are boring as fuck, well this pair is beautifully assorted and I really enjoyed their way of improvising, the how they play the waiting game and how they go straight to the next intersection. I’ve several “solo percussion” releases in my collection and have heard some more, this one is more “old school” if compared to the free-rock style of drummers like David Shea, but it’s also considerably different from that of Han Bennik, I think this drumming duo has its strong personality and that’s the most fascinating part of it. When dealing with an all percussive recording the risk is to get bored in a split second but Field’s and Babel’s journey bring them through many changes of intensity, dynamics and timber. Their approach to drumming tecniques is elegant but what makes this release more interesting then many other similar works is the attention the duo pays to the track construction: they pass from quiet parts or smoothly played solutions to “free-jazz-rock” eruptions but they work in a really complementary way so to avoid sounding simply chaotic. The recording and the spatialization of the drums helps a lot since as I’ve said they’re able to produce an incredible variety of sounds and sometimes you really feel like you’re standing in the middle of the room where the improvisative dialogue happened. Nice. — Andrea Ferraris (Chain DLK)

CD version (incl. shipment cost world-wide)

Price: €16.00
 

cs062b.jpglight and roundchair | cs062

Grundik Kasyansky / electronics

Recorded in Inwood, New York City on October 9, 2005, August, 5 2005, December 18, 2005 and December 29, 2005. © 2006. Cover design Carlos Santos

Of much more interest is the disc by one Grundik Kasyansky, which sounds Russian, but the four pieces were recorded in New York City. Kasyansky uses a feedback synthesizer, computer, small theremin and radios, to create one very long piece, and the three others last from four to nineteen minutes. This is quite a minimal sound that is going on, of indeed mainly feedback sounds. It’s quite ‘soft’ music, despite the input being feedback. The sounds move around, apparently going nowhere, just circling about like a flock of birds in the air. The best pieces are the two that also include radio, which add an extra layer of hiss and static. Quite mysterious music altogether and it’s quite alright. Microsound music at its best, but Kasyansky adds his own voice to the genre. — Frans de Waard (Vital Weekly)

CD version (incl. shipment cost world-wide)

Price: €16.00
 

cs063b.jpglooking in my ear | cs063

Lars Scherzberg /alto saxophone Hughes /double bass. Jeff Arnal /drums, percussion.

Recorded November 13 & 14, 2004. Christianskirche Hamburg, Germany. Total Time 46:24 © 2006. Cover design Carlos Santos

Recording imperturbable instrumental manifestations in a church – in this case, Hamburg’s Christianskirche – has lately become a pretty common habit in the improvised music collectivity. “Looking in my ear” is a fine example of sensitive exploration of silence by three respectful players. Lars Scherzberg’s sax rides waves of disguised significance by demolishing pre-conceived structures, extrapolating twists and turns from the straight lines of thoughtlessness. John Hughes, on bass, is capable of titillating every spot of his instrument to form logical constructions with clattering apprehensiveness and breathtaking emotion – check his splendid plangent glissandos on the magical “Irradiate”, my favourite track of the album. Jeff Arnal is a sweet-talking, attentively listening man on a percussion set which is transformed in a polychromatic palette where the terms of the conversation change a little bit, getting that necessary spark of contradiction able to transform sonic byproducts into lenitive massages for an ever-too-distrustful nervous system. — Massimo Ricci (Touching Extremes)

CD version (incl. shipment cost world-wide)

Price: €16.00
 

cs064b.jpgetau | cs064

Benjamin Duboc /double bass. Edward Perraud /drums.

© 2006. Cover design Edward Perraud

Finally (for now), we have Etau (CS 064). It’s a lovely, soft incantation from Benjamin Duboc (b) and Edward Perraud (d, perc). Muted thuds, groaning arco, rubbed toms and cymbals: these are long plangent sounds, which, on occasions, seem to clatter and fall apart. Somehow, there are times, during these two lengthy tracks, when the music seems to erupt and spill over its confines, when I’m reminded of AMM (albeit with a quite different instrumentation). It’s really about the spaces opening up, about sounds flaring and then fizzling out. At times, it seems that the pieces are perhaps a bit too similar, with a few too many sepulchral groans and so forth. But there’s an incandescent charm to this one. — Jason Bivins (Bagatellen)

CD version
(incl. shipment cost world-wide)

Price: €16.00
 

cs066b.jpglack of conversation | cs066

Heddy Boubaker / alto saxophone

© 2006 Cover design Carlos Santos

This is far from music, this is technico/poetic sound work, kind of ; this is far far from telling stuff or stories, no pictures, no landscape, no visions, this is a travel to anyone’s imagination ; this is improvised but this is not ; this is a deep exploration of the nonsense, this is not a catalog of any, so called, advanced technique with the instrument – at least this should not be ; this is unformatted, this is indeed not formatted ; this is not a saxophone record, this is a record of inside – or maybe around too – the saxophone ; this is me, my body, the saxophone, cans of beer and a pair of pretty good mics ; this is my gift to your ears and I hope they will enjoy it, this is it whatever it is ! A print of spacial breath into organic wet cavities … — Heddy Boubaker, August 2005

CD version (incl. shipment cost world-wide)

Price: €16.00
 

cs067b.jpgthe tone gardens | cs067

Sei Miguel /pocket trumpet. Fala Mariam /alto trombone. Rafael Toral /electronics. César Burago /percussion.

Recorded in Lisbon, Funchal and Guimarães. Total Time 52:44 © 2006. Cover design Carlos Santos

Although Sei Miguel is shown on the cover, and he is probably the composer of the three pieces on ‘The Tone Gardens’, the pieces are performed by four persons: Sei Miguel on pocket trumpet, Fala Mariam on alto trombone, Rafael Toral on computer sinewaves, portable amplifier feedback and modulated white noise system (one instrument per track) and César Burago on small percussion. All three pieces are played live, one in the studio. Long sustained tones by Toral and shorter sounds on the two wind instruments and percussion, this is highly improvised music of the kind that makes me very nervous. Traditional playing, tone bending […] — Frans de Waard (Vital Weekly)

CD version
(incl. shipment cost world-wide)

Price: €16.00
 

cs068b.jpgoranges | cs068

Ernesto Rodrigues /viola. Guilherme Rodrigues /cello. Wade Matthews /alto flute, bass clarinet, electronics. Bechir Saade /bass clarinet, nay. Recorded 19 January 2006 at Tcha Tcha Tcha Studios, Lisbon, Portugal. Total Time 42:58 © 2006. Cover design Carlos Santos

Another electro acoustic display from the outer space, this time the matter is more and more fragmented thus don’t expect it to be a continuum ambient-style where instrumental sounds are assembled so to have a layering ambient style. Certainly in these nine tracks there’s a lot of interaction but is way more fragmented and many times you have every member of this quartet waiting for his turn in order to emit a the beloved sounds/noises. The electro-acoustic pastiches is the usual work you think of when pondering on the label’s catalogue and yes, it has its moments like in the fifth track where they move around a quasi modal type of improvisation and I can’t say I didn’t appreciate when they’ve molded something you could even recognize the shape of. “The shape of electro-acoustic nowadays” has a lot to share with the quality of the recording and this one is well done, consequently everything is located in a specifical context/space and can also be identified for it’s real essence. The last sentence means thanks to the recording every “sshhh””, “sdeeng”, “tuuud” is clearly identifiable and don’t think it happens quite often. — Andrea Ferraris Chain DLK)

CD version (incl. shipment cost world-wide)

Price: €16.00
 

cs069b.jpgintersecting a cone with a plane | cs069

Hans Tammen /endangered guitar. Ricardo Arias /bass balloon kit. Günter Müller /selected percussion, mds, ipod, electronics , processing. Recorded in 26 March 2003, New York. © 2006. Cover design Carlos Santos

On this excellent release Ricardo Arias plays a bass-balloon kit (“a number of rubber balloons attached to a suitable structure and played with the hands and a set of accessories, including various kinds of sponges, pieces of Styrofoam, rubber bands, etc”), Günter Müller is featured on his customary selected percussion, mds, iPod, electronics and processing and Hans Tammen mangles his “endangered” guitar. You’ll search in vain for a wall to bash your head against, blood pummelling your temples into a dull ache, as huge rumbling bubbles host a gathering of a million squeaking mice against a backdrop of earthquake and thunder. Cybertermites munch their way through your floorboards over a Jackmanesque wave of harmonics and low-frequency interference, irregular convulsions perched nervously above Tammen’s extra-terrestrial tampoura, and the music crumbles and splinters into a cauldron of earth loop and suffocated volume swells. Your padded cell has been invaded by a battery of radioactive rats, tiny irregular heartbeats amplified in sickening, Chernobyl-like oppression. Don’t try to understand. — Massimo Ricci (Paris Transatlantic)

CD version (incl. shipment cost world-wide)

Price: €16.00
 

cs070b.jpgalud | cs070

Pablo Rega /home made electronic devices. Alfredo Costa Monteiro /pick-ups on turntable.

Recorded in June 2005, Barcelona. © 2006. Cover design Alfredo Costa Monteiro

Neumatica is Pablo Rega (homemade electronic devices) and Alfredo Costa Monteiro (pick-ups on turntable). One of the aspects of Costa Monteiro’s work I’ve always enjoyed is how he somehow brings an inherent sense of musicality to almost anything he does, no matter how superficially abstract; there’s a sense of body, an organic feel to the music. It comes across here as well, though I assume Rega (a new name to me) is at least equally responsible. In some respects, “Alud” reminded me of the better work from the late, lamented Voice Crack, a similar hardscrabble veneer, but without the overt rhythmic elements that duo tended to fall back on. Here, all the harshness, the static, the bumps cohere into wonderfully imagistic soundscapes, the type of music that has me constantly listening around corners, seeking, and usually finding, more. A beautifully realized recording. — Brian Olewnick (Bagatellen)

CD version (incl. shipment cost world-wide)

Price: €16.00
 

cs071b.jpgolatuetan | cs071

Joseba Irazoki /lap steel, nylon strings, electric guitar, banjo

Recorded at Home, winter and spring 2006. © 2006. Cover design Carlos Santos

Unlike the inputless mixing boards, empty samplers, customised FX pedals and the whole arsenal of amplified bits and pieces in use these days, the guitar comes with a whole lot of cultural baggage, from classical to free via flamenco, country, jazz and rock. A lot of guitarists today go out of their way to avoid any reference to existing styles, but Joseba Irazoki positively revels in the sonorities of the venerable instrument, from the scrabble of “Behin Baileyrekin Olatuetan” (my Basque is pretty rusty but I take it that’s a reference to the dear departed Derek, even if there’s a good dose of Sonny Sharrock in there) to the delicate arpeggios of “Behin Bashorekin Olatuetan” (Basho as in Robbie that is). Irazoki also plays lap steel and banjo – not surprisingly, he’s performed with Eugene Chadbourne – and the seven tracks wander delightfully like an ant threading its way through the blades of grass that adorn the album cover. Lovingly played and well recorded, Olatuetan is another fine addition to the solo guitar outings that grace Creative Sources’ ever-expanding catalogue. — Dan Warburton (Paris Transatlantic)

CD version
(incl. shipment cost world-wide)

Price: €16.00
 

cs072b.jpgundecided (a family affair) | cs072

Ernesto Rodrigues /viola. Sharif Sehnaoui /electric guitar. Christine Sehnaoui /alto saxophone. Guilherme Rodrigues /cello.

Recorded 18 November 2004 at Tcha Tcha Tcha Studios, Lisbon, Portugal. Total Time 55:10 © 2006. Cover design Carlos Santos

A black and white portrait where timbres play the leading roles of an exchange in which fricative textures tend to predominate. Extended techniques presented from two contrasting angles, two different linguistically akin traditions. Silence, visited time and again by way of fade-outs regulates the density of long, breaking waves. — Pedro Lopez (Modisti)

CD version
(incl. shipment cost world-wide)

Price: €16.00
 

cs073b.jpgaus dem fotoalbum eines pinguins – cs073

Sabine Vogel / flutes, electronics, field recordings.

Recorded on 14 April 2004 in Stockholm. © 2006. Cover design Carlos Santos

If Beside The Cage brings forward some typical elements of impro-combos, Sabine Vogel can be better qualified as many solo performers on Creative Sources and on similar labels. Does what I wrote stands for “here’s you have you’re average anonymous release”? Absolutely no, with those words I simply meant if there’s a modus operandi with which you can distinguish the work of a band as much as that of a soloist like in this case. But given that the world is full of contradictions, let’s say if we’d not consider this one as an only acoustic/instrument cd, this should be a big mistake since the fifty percent of this whole effort is made out of field recordings. Believe it or not, the fact is that miss Vogel mixed really well some solo performances with some silent/non intrusive field soundscapes and I dare you to recognize the different sections without the liner-notes accompanying every track. The recording is superb and Sabine mixed the different elements so well it all sounds as a unique continuative trip that passes from a soft half choked blowing to a silent audio-scape. This minimal work is brilliantly engineered and conceived well enough to offer a enjoyable listening even in terms of time length. — Andrea Ferraris (Chain DLK)

CD version (incl. shipment cost world-wide)

Price: €16.00
 

cs074b.jpggrain | cs074

Neil Davidson / acoustic guitar

Recorded on March 2006 in Glasgow. © 2006. Cover design Carlos Santos

If Phill Niblock’s ever up in Glasgow and stuck for a guitarist to perform Guitar Too, For Four he could always give Neil Davidson a call, because there’s some serious eBow droning going on here, and very pleasant it is too, if that’s your cup of tea (i.e. if your collection already includes several Ambarchis, Lichts and Torals). It’s not all stasis though – not that the drones Davidson lays down on tracks like “Incidence” and “Across” are ever really static: there’s a lot happening on the micro-level if you take the time to listen carefully – on “Cast” his playing is as fragile and spiky as Tetuzi Akiyama. That said, the attention sometimes wanders, if you let it. Maybe that’s part of the plan.. For myself, I have a slight preference for Davidson’s earlier duo outing Flapjack on FMR with Raymond MacDonald. But judge for yourself. — Dan Warburton (Paris Transatlantic)

CD version (incl. shipment cost world-wide)

Price: €16.00
 

cs075b.jpgdrain | cs075

Ernesto Rodrigues /viola. Mathieu Werchowski /violin. Guilherme Rodrigues /cello.

Recorded in 30 March 2006 at Tcha Tcha Tcha Studios, Lisbon, Portugal. Total Time 52:12 © 2006. Cover design Carlos Santos

Despite the standard string trio line-up (Mathieu Werchowski on violin, Ernesto Rodrigues on viola and his son Guilherme on cello) this is a sweetly uncommon outing. On “Graduation” conventional string playing is shredded into a swarm of disemboweled, frictional harmonics, with continuous ghostly bowed whistling counterpointed by wooden encounters of the nth kind, extracurricular spring boinging and all manner of percussive clatter. It’s a sort of tiny superdense instant revolution destined to fail within minutes, a DIY deconstruction of polyphony disguised as small-scale industrial clangour. After the stop-start charges, scrambled Morse code and queasy glissando traffic jams of “Light”, “Metaphor” begins with icy scraping – sort of Hans Reichel meets Radu Malfatti – then walks on a bounce-and-resonate tightrope, saturating the acoustic space with throbbing hums, hyperactive chattering and spicy dissonant pizzicati. A truly orchestral hysteria sets in, the players totally possessed by a Webernesque St.Vitus’ Dance before they return to picking, plucking and bumping. I’m wondering if I should have this played at my funeral, especially that fabulous concluding descending cascade. “Solitude” mixes Hitchcock and Jon Rose, shining like bleached bones in the desert, forcing the attention on substances that are barely perceivable on first listening, but in fact form the very skeleton of these awkward miniatures. Everything is just perfect. – Massimo Ricci (Paris Transatlantic)

CD version (incl. shipment cost world-wide)

Price: €16.00
 

cs076b.jpgbeside the cage | cs076

Oliver Demand /trombone. Sascha Demand /electric guitar. Rolf Kleinemas /percussion. Thomas Winger /percussion. Moritz von Woellwarth /trombone.

© 2006. Cover design Carlos Santos

With a new bunch of releases coming out, here we’ve a five piece collective on Creative Sources that includes Oliver Demand and Moritz von Woellwarth on trombone, Sascha Demand on guitars and Thomas Winger plus Ralf Kleinemas on drums. While may expect some explosive noise caustic combo Beside The Cage is really held back in the way the players wait to push their singles notes around in an harmonic manner. Differently form many other releases on the same label they have some sketches of eruption but being just sketched and not shaped “figures” it all sounds as it’s disappearing right when you look ahead to see it gets a distinct shape. Believe it or not sometimes it recalled an old band on Ecstatic Peace called Thela (it featured Dean Roberts) as if it would have been more electro-acoustical/improvised. As I told despite the improvisational essence of the work there’s a chocked attempt to reach for a “melody ” sometimes and that’s what makes the whole effort interesting together with its “soloista vs collective” duality or at least that’s my opinion. Differently from many others Beside The Cage accomplish the interesting result to sound varied but not confused, the only possible remark is that like many other releases of the sort is a bit too long. Who knows why many artists want to taste the patience of their listeners, but it doesn’t change the fact this’ record is still interesting. — Andrea Ferraris (Chain DLK)

CD version (incl. shipment cost world-wide)

Price: €16.00
 

cs078b.jpgbszent hun | cs078

Andrew Drury /floor tom, objects. Wade Matthews /electronics. Sébastien Cirotteau /trumpet.

Recorded on 22 November 2005, Brooklin, USA. Total Time 48:56 © 2006. Cover design Carlos Santos

This trio’s language is that spoken by many actual electro-acoustic musicians, they use it really well without leaving every possible “verbal” solution unexplored. Weapons this time are floor tom, objects, trumpet, electronics and yes, as you could have guessed yourself it’s really abstract, above all if you consider also the trumpet is not involved in the emission of what you usually may consider a “normal” note, but this’ not a peculiarity of this work since it’s the lowest common denominator of the most of the releases of the genre. This cd starts really softly and grows (in every sense) with the passing of tracks, and it grows for good infact the fourteen minutes circa of Kyeur see the trio involved in taming what becomes one of the most expressive combination of Bszent Hun. Talking about a general change of dynamics of the release is pertinent if we focus on the whole central part, by the way don ‘t consider it just a dynamic progression for it would be a big mistake, infact they’ve been smart to put together a tracklist where they quiet down the atmosphere right when you need it. In general we can say the unvoiced playing of the first half of the cd is left for an electro-acoustic selection of jams that have a louder/stronger voice. In general the selection of sounds the play is quite sharp and low frequencies are less present but don’t expect it to be a collection of sharp sounds as if Pan Sonic were involved into electro-acoustic impros. – Andrea Ferraris (Chain DLK)

CD version (incl. shipment cost world-wide)

Price: €16.00
 

cs079b.jpga constant migration (between reality and fiction) | cs079

Adrianno Zanni / laptop, field recordings, found sound and sampling

Recorded on Winter © 2006. Cover design Carlos Santos

This reminds me of the strange French habit of spelling “steak” with an extra “c”: “steack” (they do the same with Franck, don’t ask me why). There’s nothing punk about Adriano Zanni’s music though; instead of taking out that “c” you might want to remove the “n”: this is more Puck, Midsummer Night’s Dream rather than Never Mind The Bollocks, evocative and superbly crafted music for laptop and field recordings. It’s also, unless I’m very much mistaken, pretty much composed – if Zanni can produce this kind of stuff live I want to see him – which I suppose also raises the question as to why it’s on an improv label like Creative Sources (wouldn’t it attract a little more attention if it were on Bowindo, I wonder?). The six tracks follow each other without a break, from the cavernous slightly disturbing percussive rattles of the two opening tracks to the strange atmospherics of “44°25’37N 12°34’28 E” (that had me looking for a Fennesz connection, but a Google search for the precise co-ordinates only got me as far as an Italian astrology website, but I think it’s somewhere in or near Genoa.. maybe someone will enlighten me) to the distant police cars and barking dogs in “From Belleville to Ravenna” and the exquisite chill of the closing “Hagakure (II, 105)”. Wherever and whatever it is, A Constant Migration is worth checking out. — Dan Warburton (Paris Transatlantic)

CD version (incl. shipment cost world-wide)

Price: €16.00
 

cs081b.jpgregen | cs081

Harald Kimmig /violin. Christoph Schiller /spinet.

Recorded in July 3rd 2006, Freiburg. © 2006. Cover design Carlos Santos

Harald Kimmig plays violin and Christoph Schiller plays spinet (go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spinet for enlightenment). Funnily enough, this arrived in my mailbox on the same day as Hidden Fresco (Nemu) which features the medieval flutes of Norbert Rodenkirchen and the gothic fiddle of Albrecht Maurer. But while their playing is solidly rooted in the idioms of Baroque music, Schiller’s concept of the spinet is aggressively 21st century; the venerable instrument is prepared with a variety of objects and ends up sounding like a cross between an acoustic guitar (imagine one played by Keith Rowe) and a toy piano. The music is, for the most part, nervy, twitchy stuff, trading twangs, snaps and scratches, but on “streifen” Schiller combats his instrument’s natural lack of sustain by using what sounds like an Ebow to produce some eerie theremin-like wailing, whose sustained pitches Kimmig skilfully picks out with artificial harmonics. It’s serious and careful, but often feels like it doesn’t quite know where it’s going. Which is fine if you subscribe to the in-the-moment aesthetic of improvised music (as elegantly expounded by Malcolm Goldstein, whose playing Kimmig’s often recalls), but the tracks that work best are those – “code”, “regen” – which explore the micro-world of delicate shudders and tiny pizzicati interspersed with silence. — Dan Warburton (Paris Transatlantic)

CD version (incl. shipment cost world-wide)

Price: €16.00
 

cs083b.jpgsurgo | cs083

Nusch Werchowska / piano, electronics

Recorded April 2006 in Rennes, France. © 2006. Cover design Simon Poligné

Scored (if we can say that) for piano and electronics, Surgo is an important statement by Werchowska, who works in a territory bordering on Joachim Kühn’s solo properties under the surveillance of a Conlon Nancarrow/Keith Tippett siamese couple. “Passing-Shot” also nods to Cecil Taylor in pretty disordered fashion. Electric crackle and dramatic chords punctuate “Selim Tenamor”, a great track that had me recollecting about those vintage silent movies (thinking particularly of Eisenstein) that many artists love to revisit and score anew. The resonant tollings and preparations of “Welche” seal the sentence: this is serious stuff. Werchowska’s versatility is indeed what sustains the weight of a record full of different ideas and solutions from piece to piece and never attempting shortcuts to thoughtlessness. Obscurity and gloom, alternated with sapient choice of harmonic (a/di)ssociations, are the basis of a music that furnishes us with glimpses and reflections, the recipe for over 41 minutes of uncontaminated beauty in an album that almost deserves to be rated up there with the Crispells and the Schweizers. Mixing technical dexterity and EAI scents, it is, to my mind, probably the first release on Creative Sources that could be defined a “classic”. — Massimo Ricci (Paris Transatlantic)

CD version (incl. shipment cost world-wide)

Price: €16.00
 

cs084masul – arousal city | cs084

Paul Giallorenzo – piano, synthesizer Thomas
Mejer – bass saxophone

Recorded 2004/05 in Chicago | © 2007 | Cover design Carlos Santos

Keyboardist Paul Giallorenzo is probably best known around town as one of the driving forces behind the eclectic performance space Elastic Arts (formerly known as 3030 when it occupied an old Humboldt Park church), but he’s also an active presence on the local free jazz and experimental music scene. Along with saxophonist Dave Rempis, cornetist Josh Berman, bassist Anton Hatwich, and drummer Frank Rosaly, he’s a member of the group Get In to Go Out, which has a forthcoming album due on 482 Music. But it’s with his duo, Masul, which recently released its debut, The Arousal City (Creative Sources), that he’s captured in a much more abstract light.
A collaboration with Swiss reedist Thomas Mejer (who enjoyed a fruitful Chicago residency a few years back as part of the Sister Cities program with Lucerne) Masul crafts subdued yet colorful electro-acoustic meditations, shuffling cycled melodic snippets, hovering drones, gently rippling noise, and all manner of sibilant breathiness (courtesy of Mejer’s whispery, unpitched columns of air). Giallorenzo is credited with piano, synthesizer, found samples, and computer, and it’s to Masul’s credit that the genesis of any given sound often remains hazy, both musicians managing to forge a rich entwined sound stream where the subtle interactions are clearly audible. — Peter Margasak (Chicago Reader)

CD version (incl. shipment cost world-wide)

Price: €16.00
 

pollen | cs085

Ute Wassermann – voice Richard Barrett – electronics

Total time 57:30. Recorded 20 & 21 December 2006, Berlin, Germany | © 2007. Cover design Carlos Santos

Interesting duo of voice (Wassermann) and electronics (Barrett), from the Creative Sources legion. The fact the voice is really central in most of the drafts drives the whole music into a specific direction, it’s quite funny how they work on it outlining every track around it. The style of Wassemann is apparently close to that of his label mate Jean-Michael van Shouwburg but a thoughtful ear will immediately notice this one is less throaty/baritonal and above all their improvisational approach is really different. This’ not exactly electro-acoustic music, the sound matter here is to be located in the improvisational/experimental area, above all when it involved some enlightened vocalists of the seventies or some present sound artist like Cristophe Migone. Just less ambient and above all less oriented toward sound-art. As you should have already understood by what we said so far, if you were thinking to Meredith Monk, Cathy Barbarian or that style of vocalization just forget it, for while as I’ve said the sound of the voice has a primary function, the use of electronics in this case is mimetic, sure, but at the same time is really important. Abstraction and improvisation play a big role in the composition of these tracks, some short sound rides, fast and slow vocalizations face some similar non intrusive intervention of the laptop, it’s really hard to detect who’s doing what. The final result as I’ve said at the beginning of the review is interesting. — Andrea Ferraris (Chain DLK)

CD version (incl. shipment cost world-wide)

Price: €16.00
 

music of wheel | cs086

ENSEMBLE 0 – Joël Merah – piano, toy, composer. Sylvain Chauveau – electric guitar, toy. Maitane Sebastian – cello, toy. Stéphane Garin – trombone, glockenspiel, cymbal, toy. Recorded Aril 2006 in France | © 2007. Cover design Carlos Santos

“Music of wheel” is a composition by Joël Merah, in which the performers should follow “a course generated and determined by the tossing of the dice which decide and direct the musician towards the action of silence or the action of sound”. Thus, different interpretations yield music completely new each time in a style that, generally speaking, should remain “soft” according to the author. The quartet is formed by Merah (piano, toy), Sylvain Chauveau (electric guitar, toy), Maitane Sebastian (cello, toy) and Stéphane Garin (trombone, glockenspiel, cymbal, toy). It goes without saying that there is an obvious point of reference in this kind of approach to chance composition, and I won’t even name it; on the other hand, a distinct Feldmanesque trait is clearly audible throughout the disc, which presents six extracts from the three versions that Ensemble 0 recorded in the studio. Given the above mentioned conditions, the sounds seem to respect silence all the way; after the rolling of the dice, clearly audible at various times during the piece, we get long pauses, rarefied shadows and elongated tones whose frailty is much more than a sheer nod to that kind of meditative concentration that this music requires and quite often generates. Every gesture seems to imply something deeply necessary, but we can’t really understand what it is. Nevertheless, the picture of seriousness resulting from these tracks remains bright and pretty easy to decode, making this album one of the most accessible releases by the Portuguese label. — Massimo Ricci (Touching Extremes)

CD version (incl. shipment cost world-wide)

Price: €16.00
 

the duchess of oysterville | cs087

Chris Forsyth – guitar Nate Wooley – trumpet

Total time 24:46. Recorded June 28, 2005 in New York -© 2007. Cover design Maria Dumlao

Chris Forsyth plays guitar and Nate Wooley plays trumpet, but neither play the respective instruments in the “normal” way. Both are gifted improvisers who play in a variety of odd situations. Chris can be heard with All Time Present, in duos with Ernesto Diaz-Infante and with PSI. Nate Wooley is certainly one of the most diverse and in-demand players in NYC and has worked with Blue Collar (w/ Steve Swell), Evil Eye and Silo, as well as with Daniel Levin’s and Reuben Radding’s Quartets. Both of these musicians thrive on different and challenging situations. “The Duchess of Oysterville” is a one-track 25-minute piece that develops very slowly. It begins with a long stretch of layered breath-like sounds. Not unlike my old radiator in the winter. Are we in a windstorm in the desert? The wind textures build and expand with fragments of those extended trumpet sounds. Chris’ feedback slowly enters and adds to the already tense situation, eventually dropping down to a minimum of sound. Hushed guitar sounds and scrapes float in the space left open as trumpet flutters are carefully tapped out. The mysterious hum and drone of soft fractured electric guitar sonics and occasional mouthpiece sounds litter the spacious soundscape. Slowly building things up once more as the density increases and the sounds eventually fade away. — (BLG)

CD version (incl. shipment cost world-wide)

Price: €16.00
 

faint | cs088

Pedro Rebelo – piano, instrumental parasites Franziska Schroeder – saxophones Steven Davis – drums

Recorded in 2006, Belfast | © 2007. Cover design Carlos Santos

Born out of what the liner notes call an “impromptu” meeting at the Sonic Arts Research Center in Belfast, Ireland, Faint brings together three composer/improvisers who seek to find a chance commonality in their respective approaches. All three bring much to the table: Rebelo and Schroeder are the stauncher “academicians’ in the group, both having studied, taught, and conducted much in the way of electroacoustic research at various international universities and symposiums; Davis, despite an educational background as sound as his colleagues, spent much time accruing street smarts touring with the European Jazz Orchestra, and playing with such luminaries as Joe Morris, Django Bates, Paul Dunmall, and Marc Ribot amongst others. On this two-disc outing, Rebelo is credited with piano and “instrumental parasites”, while Schroeder plays sax and Davis sits behind the traps. Considering the trio’s collective resumés and reasonably traditional nature of their sonic palette, first glances might discern nothing terribly out of the ordinary, but decked out across two lengthy sides, it’s clear that they have other things than hoary tradition on their minds.

Had they altered this project name by but one letter — nicking it Feint instead of Faint¬ — most ears would have pricked up and taken notice, as all three players seem to thrust and parry at will, ducking each other’s punches, recalibrating their equilibrium on a dime. Nevertheless, their vain search for an electroacoustic sweet spot eludes them despite their best efforts. Track titles prove more evocative than the actual sounds and voices: “A Wall of Sound: Or At Least a Wall with Some Sonic Bricks In It” is perhaps too site-specific for its own good, Davis’ skittery cymbal accents and drum-edge rolls inciting Rebelo’s chaotic rivulets of piano to riot, Schroeder piping her way into the melee towards the piece’s conclusion, and then only when necessary. A piece such as “Toward Less Probable States of Concentration” seems to exist in an electroacoustic vacuum, enjoying the great tracts of silence arising between Davis’ flurry of activity, Rebelo peppering away at will, but there remains so little collective spark, let alone psychic simpatico, between the trio that the trebly sonic eruptions are barely set alight, brief flare-ups that just as quickly dissipate.

The second disc’s reconstructivistics at least provide some artistic ballast to the project’s modus operandi, displaying characterizations worthy of onkyo traditions as well as the micro-tonality exploits of progenitors such as AMM. “Summit of Agony” explores notational space thanks to Davis’ ratcheting up the tension via his corralling of metals, underscoring the second disc’s experimentalist ying to the first’s more “traditionalist” jazzier yang, but the overabundance of R&D so enervates the trio’s designs that whatever recombinant energy is left comes to a screeching halt. More textural gunplay and less lab time next time could well discourage both player and participant from Faint-ing away. — Darren Bergstein (The Squid’s Ear)

CD version (incl. shipment cost world-wide)

Price: €24.00
 

alle neune: rheinländer partie | cs089

Wolfgang Schliemann - asorted percussion and found objects hit, bowed, scratched and thrown.  Michael Vorveld – percussion and stringed instruments hit, bowed, scratched and plugged. Recorded in Berlin on March 31 and April 1, 2005 | © 2007. Cover design Carlos Santos

It takes a solid effort these days to raise attention with a record where “percussion, found objects and stringed instruments” are “hit, bowed, scratched, thrown and plugged”. Vorfeld is a master at this game and there’s no doubt about his sincerity, while I don’t remember having had the pleasure of meeting Schliemann’s expression before. Whatever; the first advice that must be thrown is “let the amplifier gain its salary”, as the overall level of the album is strangely tending to low (probably to avoid distortion, given the complexity of the harmonics involved and the potentially destroying peaks?). The music is exactly as described: precarious structures and semi-destructive traumas are made acceptable by otherworldly resonances, bumps and feedback-alimented drones. Not that the latter imply some sort of regularity, mind you: the occasional static segment is often immediately incinerated by overactive cymbal-ism and thudding indetermination. Yet, not once the improvisations get stray or trespass the limits of a tolerable freedom (how many people feed us garbage in name of that concept?). It’s a pretty interesting document of raw percussive maturity: the artists know what they are doing, and it shows. Not really a masterpiece, but it does contain a few memorable spots for tickling neighbours’ nerves. On the contrary, if played as an “ambient background presence” it’s going to be quite annoying. Pump up the volume, and the dynamics at work will be revealed. — Massimo Ricci (Touching Extremes)

CD version (incl. shipment cost world-wide)

Price: €16.00
 

meta | cs090

Gunnar Geisse – electric guitar

Recorded 2000-2005 | © 2007 |

Cover design Gunnar Geisse

From what I can argue from the booklet coming with the cd the majority of the sounds featured on this cd are coming out from voices, so what? a Bobby MacFarrin like cd? Of course no. “Meta atem” is divided in four long tracks and a conclusive one were electronic sounds, guitars and voice treatments are well melted together for a cocktail that as a weird contemporary aftertaste. Behind the majority of the sound sources and of author of the field recordings is Gunnar Geisse himself , but I see other names like Ernesto Rdrigues, Ishani and Mercan Arda, Hamid Khezdi, Thomas Mahr just to name a few. While some tracks like the opening and the third one are quite dense, some other play with sounds and stops and goes, and the last kind of tracks reminds me much more of early quasi industrial sound designer a la Asmus Tietchens instead of contemporary music, even thought as many of you can guess there’s a thin line separating the two afore mentioned categories. There’s a dead serious atmosphere haunting the majority of these compositions, just take the third one and you see the guitar sounds are not exactly softening the result. This interesting collection of compositions reminds us the incredible importance of avant garde composers like Bruno Maderna and the influence they had on contemporary music. — Andrea Ferraris (Chain DLK)

CD version (incl. shipment cost world-wide)

Price: €16.00
 


the long and the short of it | cs091

Stefan Keune – sopranino, alto saxophone.  Hans Schneider – double bass. Achim Krämer – drums, percussion. Recorded on February 16, 2007 | © 2007. Cover design Carlos Santos

Free improvisations that range from rapidly quirky, busy improvisations to somber and mysterious moods in acoustic lowercase. All three are strong players with great ideas using extensive and extreme language on their instruments. They present a diverse set of creative concepts over which they improvise, from lyrical work to frantic and skronky material. Captivating, energetic and unexpected. — Phil Zampino (The Squid’s Ear)

CD version (incl. shipment cost world-wide)

Price: €16.00
 

superimpose | cs092

Matthias Müller – trombone Christian Marien – drums

Total Time 42:45 – Recorded on November 16, 2006 in Berlin | © 2007. Cover design Carlos Santos

Put aside any conventional concept of sonic beauty when listening to this provocative horn-plus-percussion CD. As a matter of fact, tolerance for sonic brutality might be a quality to bring to the disc – along with an appreciation for the unexpected.

Noisy, clamorous and blaring are the adjectives that are best attributed to this dual German duet, although just like no two snowflakes are the same, no two harsh noises are indistinguishable either. On Superimpose the players are trombonist Matthias Müller and drummer Christian Marien on a diabolical busman’s holiday from their regular gigs. Both are members of the jokey and jolly Olaf Ton band; the drummer also collaborates with dancers, hip-hoppers and performance artists; the trombonist is also involved with avant-garde theatre and dance groups and teaches trombone in Dresden.

[…] Only slightly less clangorous, Superimpose’s six tracks may sound the way they do because Müller’s subterranean plunger work, braying tones and throat rumbles can’t replicate the continuous piercing shrillness of a reed. But that’s not for lack of trying. Still in mid-range his wide bell space and tongue manipulation allows the absolute sound of air currents and chromatic note clusters to be heard.

For his part, Marien doesn’t take a back seat to Schliemann when it comes to cacophony. Little ruffling or nerve beats are on display when the percussionist can repeatedly rattle what seems to be an aluminum pie plate; trigger the equivalent of single revolver blasts with a pointed drumstick; or produce seamless, reverberations to break up the beat from floor toms and snare; plus create sputtering and hissing decorations from the cymbals.

Tightrope walking on the divide between noise and non-noise, this duo create notable provocative sounds. The point where they can be admired as much as accepted depends on the listeners’ adventurousness. — Ken Waxman (JazzWord)

CD version (incl. shipment cost world-wide)

Price: €16.00
 

(hail satan) | cs093

Carlos Galvez Taroncher – bassclarinet Magda Mayas – piano Koen Nutters – acoustic bass Morten J. Olsen – percussion

Recorded on 28 August 2006, Berlin | © 2007. Cover design www.orig.ch

Good, there’s no trace of Satanism here thus if you were wishing to hear this portuguese label deranging toward dark ambient, black metal or esoterism…well you’d better leave your expectations back home. Much more than to pentagrams and upside down crosses these musicians are probably devoted to irony and in someway this could be reflected by their music too, infact if you give a listen to nine tracks of this work you’ll notice while their music is dead serious the atmosphere is never too heavy immersed in that hyper-intellectualizations that makes half of the work coming out from this circuit heavier than death. To clear up your doubts I’ll say immediately the scenario is that of electro-acoustic improvisation in someway it’s quite similar to many works from the same area, but the recording is damn good and they apply an interesting use of some sounds like hisses or percussive part. From their improvisational style I’d say they have a foot in the grave of jazz and thumbs up for it but also to the fact they’ve been alternating tracks quite smartly so you won’t get bored by this or that silence for they play, for jazz’ sake!. It’s good to hear they kept fun not just in the title but also in the way they interact and that’s why their music is not the heir of a frigid idea above all in the most animated tracks. But before closing this review I wonna show you what an unreliable reviewer I’m (c’mon who can you trust nowadays?…“disappointed a few people” like John Lydon…you can bet it!) the best song of the record is “pitch IV” which is the result of two dark minutes deeply immersed into contemporary classic music that creates an intense odd atmosphere that builds up some anxiety. — Andrea Ferraris (Chain DLK)

CD version (incl. shipment cost world-wide)

Price: €16.00
 

renditions | cs094

Andrew Drury – percussion

Recorded in Brooklin 2004-2007 

© 2007

Cover design Carlos Santos

CD version (incl. shipment cost world-wide)

Price: €16.00
 

skyshifter | cs095

Mark O’Leary – electric guitar, electronics Günter Müller – electronics, percussion

Recorded on July 2003 |© 2007

Cover design Carlos Santos

The opening piece is a bit reminiscent of Müller’s own landmark solo recording Eight Landscapes, as the duo weave a shimmering tapestry of alien drone, scattering bits of harddrive flotsam across squalls of ringing jetsam. “Improvisational” this recording might be, but aesthetically more than a few chronologically cultural links are forged with pioneer soundscapers of yesteryear (Xenakis, Stockhausen, Babbitt, Subotnick) more so than any straightforward diagrammatical connection with post-jazz avant-gardists. On the bravura second piece, the duo delight in erecting a quakebasket quiverfest of extraordinarily well-articulated electronic music: gently warbling pulses course and murmur as they feint between preening tone clusters and software backwash, a bubbling cauldron of intense sonic energy that is factory resistant to pigeonholing. More telling, when O’Leary later smelts some burning “metal” guitar upon Müller’s taut plasma coils, its appearance is hardly incongruous; rather, the smell of singed steel merely adds another olfactorous dimension to an already pungent stew. — Darren Bergstein (The Squid’s Ear)

CD version (incl. shipment cost world-wide)

Price: €16.00
 

racing the sun chasing the sun | cs096

Thollem McDonas – piano

Recorded in Italy and USA | © 2007. Cover design Carlos Santos

I had the feeling of listening simultaneously to two differentconcerts, both following their own intentionality. This experience never fades but on the other hand both recordings start to ‘talk’ to each other very soon and many meeting points occur. With a very limited set of manipulating techniques McDonas succeeds in superimposing an intented structure. And the whole becomes more then the sum of its parts. It is not that McDonas is interested in reaching some effect, just for it’s own sake. The CD reflects some internal schizophrenic battle through which he maximizes and intensifies his own voice. A dazzling experience. In listening intensively it is possible to identify both threads from which this tapestry is woven. But the real joy is to discover the patterns, the possibilities of relating both voices. Sometimes both voices make a contrast, at other moments they come close. Great exuberant crescendos are followed by more intimate passages. Themes and other ideas we know from earlier recordings make a new appearance. At moments I’m reminded of the universe of Nancarrow. Also, like in track ten, he makes use of extended techniques. Well, I find it hard to say what border McDonas is crossing here. But I can live without an answer. In fact, these and other questions that are evoked by these recordings are part of the fun. An astounding and intriguing musical experience. — Dolf Mulder (VitalWeekly)

CD version (incl. shipment cost world-wide)

Price: €16.00
 

refrain | cs097

Gust Burns – piano Ernesto Rodrigues – viola
Vic Rawlings – cello, surface electronics, loudspeakers David Hirvonen – electric guitar, electronics

Recorded in Seattle, 8th February 2006 | © 2007. Cover design Carlos Santos

Another brief set (less than 27 minutes), from 2006, finds Rodrigues in the company of Gust Burns (piano), Vic Rawlings (Cello, electronics, loudspeakers) and David Hirvonen (electric guitar, electronics). Through most of the performnce, we’re in scratchy drone territory, pretty restrained though somehow I feel it’s less focused than I’d like to hear. Several minutes from the end, the music takes an abrupt turn into a harsher area, a nice tonic for what transpired earlier. In this instance, I may have liked to have heard more, further development, although that “coda” can also be understood as a tantalizing path, trod on for a little bit, opening to some glimpsed landscape but closed for now. — Brian Olewnick (Just Outside)

CD version (incl. shipment cost world-wide)

Price: €16.00
 

light in dark corners | cs098

Markus Heinze – saxophones Christoph Reiserer – saxophones Raymond MacDonald - saxophones Graeme Wilson – saxophones. Recorded in Glasgow, 2005 | © 2007. Cover design Carlos Santos

Music by Raymond MacDonald, Graeme Wilson, Christoph Reiserer and Markus Henze: a group of four improvising saxophonists. There’s something about the sound of this quartet which is quite baroque at times. Although there are totally free pieces, others were inspired by texts or images and they lock into underpinning patterns which sound quite arranged rather than being a free for all. To add to the enjoyable sounds there’s a graphic score reproduced in the cd insert, which informs us that one piece was developed from an idea supplied by Fred Frith. Oh – also worth a mention – the first track, Tchai-Ovna, is a titular homage to one of our favourite small venues in Glasgow, where you can also (as the name suggests) get a super selection of teas! — JC (Boa Melody Bar)

CD version (incl. shipment cost world-wide)

Price: €16.00
 

25.11 | cs099

Gloria Damijan piano Bernd Klug double bass Meike Melinz flute Bernhard Schoeberl guitar Gabi Teufner flute

Recorded at Amann-Studios, Vienna, Austria on 25.11.2006 | © 2007. Cover design Carlos Santos

Even if during the last year Creative Sources has exponentially augmented the number of its electronic oriented releases it’s still a label mostly renowned for its electro-acoustic/improvisative rooster. This cd is exactly located there in the free republic of improvisers: piano guitar, double bass a pair of flutes involved into the creation of nine sketches of extemporary composition. This ensemble from Vienna works in a quite traditional way even thought the ability of the players demonstrates they’re really able to work together. Considering the kind of ensemble and the way the play together it also reminded me of Civil War. If you imagine one of those recording where you have an over abundance of silence you’re on the wrong lane, they cross the field of improvisation with no hesitation and that without wasting time in notes and extreme loudness, Interesting. — Andrea Ferraris (Chain DLK)

CD version (incl. shipment cost world-wide)

Price: €16.00
 

stills | cs100

VARIABLE GEOMETRY ORCHESTRA | 3 CD

CD1 #1 The Morning walk after the O’ of the Clock | CD2 #2 Just as You were able to talk about nothing #3 Suddenly the dream became a promise of White | CD3 #4 Loosing the place where Someone never watched over Me #5 We almost turned around and headed Home

Ernesto Rodrigues – conduction (1, 2, 3, 4, 5), viola (1, 2, 3, 5), violin (4) Sílvia Freitas – violin (3) Kátia Santandreu – viola (3) Guilherme Rodrigues – cello (1, 2, 3, 4, 5) Miguel Pereira – contrabass (3) Sei Miguel – pocket trumpet (1, 4, 5) Pedro Portugal – trumpet (1, 2) Marcello Maggi – trumpet (1, 3) Jean-Marc Charmier – trumpet, flugelhorn, euphonium (2) Fala Mariam – alto trombone (1, 5) Eduardo Lála – trombone (2) Eduardo Chagas – trombone (1, 2, 3, 4) Johannes Krieger – trumpet (3), french horn (2, 5) Gil Gonçalves – tuba (1, 2), euphonium (1) Miguel Bernardo – clarinet (1, 2, 3, 4) Bruno Parrinha – clarinet (2), alto clarinet (1, 3), alto saxophone (1), harmonica (2) João Viegas – bass clarinet (1, 3) Jorge Lampreia – flute, soprano saxophone (1, 3, 4) Nuno Torres – alto saxophone (1, 2, 3, 4) Lizuarte Borges - alto saxophone (3) Peter Bastiaan – alto saxophone (1), melodica (1), drums (2, 3) Alípio C Neto – alto saxophone (2), tenor saxophone (2, 4, 5) Abdul Moimême – tenor saxophone (1, 3, 5) electric guitar (4) Ivan Fontes – didgeridoo (2, 3) Olympia Boule – voice (1, 5) Rodrigo Pinheiro – piano (3) Etsuko Kimura – electric organ (3) Armando Pereira – accordion (1, 2, 3, 4, 5) António Chaparreiro – electric guitar (1, 2, 3, 5) Nuno Rebelo – amplified objects (3) Carlos Santos – computer (1, 2, 3, 5) Travassos – tapes, circuit bending (1, 2, 3, 4, 5) João Pinto – computer (1, 2, 3, 5) Nuno Moita – sampler (1, 3, 5), turntables (3) João Silva – field recordings, crackle box, tibetan bell (3) André Gonçalves – modular analog synthesizer (1, 3) Adriana Sá – digital synthesizer (1, 2, 3, 4) Rafael Toral – modified mt10 amp (1, 4) Plan – turntables (1) Hernâni Faustino – double bass (1, 2, 3, 4, 5) Rachiim Sahu – double bass (1) Pedro Castello-Lopes – percussion (1, 3, 5) Jorge Oliveira – african percussion (3) César Burago – cowbell (1, 4, 5) Monsieur Trinité – selected objects (2, 3, 4) José Oliveira – drums (1, 4, 5)

Recorded 2006-07, Lisbon | © 2007 Cover design Carlos Santos

The music produced by the Variable Geometry Orchestra (VGO) results from layers of acoustic and electronic sound matter that constantly searches for detail and meaning. Its sounds contain subliminal as well as psycho-acoustic characteristics and include the possibility of complete silence. The music emerges as if from nothingness only to disappear once again back into it. Thus chaos is formally organized with the use of new concepts of indeterminism, instantaneous composition, as well as through the asymmetrical eruption of alternated moments of sound and silence (the absence of identifiable sound).

Nevertheless, sound prevails. The conduction is operated by balancing the sound masses that travel in the acoustic space, dictating the construction of the real-time composition, and thus revealing the organized juxtaposition of specific instruments as mobile sound groups.

This leaves space for the musicians to regain their natural rhythm and breathing, as well as their sense of random pulsation. It also allows them to listen to all the sound events that are happening at any given moment and thus to act accordingly. On the contrary, they can simply listen to what another musician has just begun. The musical space is thus filled only with the intrinsically essential elements.

Another of the outstanding aspects of the orchestra is how open it is to new participants. That is one reason why it is called ‘variable’. The influx of new creative power is tempered only with a truly democratic spirit where hierarchy is reduced to a bare minimum, also permitting a very large number of combinations and permutations of smaller ensembles to be arranged on-the-spur-of-the-moment.

Last but not least, the orchestra encompasses three generations of musicians who have set age aside to pursue a common contemporary language. — Ernesto Rodrigues, director, Lisbon, 2000

Triple CD version (incl. shipment cost world-wide)

Price: €35.00
Out of Stock

aquarian drum song | cs101

Björn Lücker – drums, cymblas, tympany, percussion, piano

Total Time 49:37 – Recorded in Hamburg, 2007 | © 2007. Cover design Carlos Santos

An academically trained percussionist and composer, Lücker is a free-lance artist who has collaborated in the most disparate settings – jazz to rock, improvisation to fully fledged orchestras. His knowledge is well perceivable throughout “Aquarian drum song”, a three-movement composition which, apart from very few piano notes, was completely performed on drums, cymbals, timpani and percussion. I don’t possess the technical expertise needed to read a drum score (assuming that this piece was scored) or understand how many hours of practice or what level of skill development is necessary to execute this work. I can only suggest that it does sound composed, not improvised, and pretty linear in its components – even in the most agitated intersections, which do not abound. What’s also to be said is that listening to a long piece of similarly conceived and arranged music is demanding in terms of patience, especially because of a timbral palette which can’t certainly be defined as “wide”. Lücker seems rather interested in the structure of the “song”, not too much in colour (which is visible, but not as prominent as its rhythmical essence). Therefore, at times one is left with an impression of having witnessed the unfolding of a refined exercise more than a proper creation. Of course this is not the case, and the seriousness of the effort is not in discussion. Let’s just say that a bit of additional complexity and a little less duration would have helped to avoid the sense of flatness creeping out here and there. — Massimo Ricci (Aquarian Drum Song)

CD version (incl. shipment cost world-wide)

Price: €16.00
 

doppelgänger | cs103

Birgit Ulher – trumpet Ernesto Rodrigues – viola Carlos Santos – live sampling

Recorded in Lisbon, 2007 | © 2007

Cover design Carlos Santos

The sounds on Doppelganger (Creative Sources 103, 50:17) ***1/2 churn through a mixture of breathing and scraping, as a variety of steady drones or cumulous tones are punctured by more concrete utterances. German trumpeter Birgit Ulher drops in ultra-puckered brass smacks while Portuguese violist Ernesto Rodrigues saws away at his strings. Both deliver expressions that eschew the traditional palette of their instruments. Carlos Santos, also from Portugal, holds it all together, sampling the live output of his partners into an airy canvas and providing the perfect backdrop. — Peter Margasak (Down Beat)

CD version (incl. shipment cost world-wide)

Price: €16.00
 

quick-drop | cs104

Andrea Parkins – electric accordion, fx, samples, live electronic procesing Laurent Bruttin – clarinet, bass clarinet, contrabass clarinet Dragos Tara – double bass Wanda Obertova - voice (#3, #7). Recorded in Lausanne on February 12, 2006 | © 2007. Cover design Carlos Santos

From the opening moments of this trio meeting, the intent is clear: a quick fade into a noise thicket of sound indicates strongly that this is not going to be a walk in the park. Even before the disc spins, in fact, the feeling is there. The title, quick-drop, suggests risk, free-fall, a one-time adventure in unknown territory. The cover image, as attractive as it is incomprehensible, turns out to be an assemblage photograph taken by Andrea Parkins, seemingly constructed at a hotel. Transience. a bit of alienation, new rules for familiar tasks. Parkins met up with clarinetist Laurent Bruttin and bassist Dragos Tara in Switzerland in 2006, and quick-drop is the result. With electric accordion, sampler, effects and live processing, she is the only non-acoustic performer here. The session starts with a dizzying track, but then some familiar signposts begin to appear. Clarinet and double bass slowly etch a triangle into the slate wall. Vocalist Wanda Obertova appears on the third cut (then disappears until the seventh of the eleven tracks), serving as a guide, if without familiar language. In the end, quick-drop comes off as a travelogue, a diary written by a stranger with an aversion to nouns. Fellow journeyers are advised to set their concerns aside and enjoy the surroundings. — Kurt Gottschalk (The Squid’s Ear)

CD version (incl. shipment cost world-wide)

Price: €16.00
 

un geco nella mia casa | cs107

Roberto Fega – electronics

Recorded between 2002 – 2004 in Italy | © 2007. Cover design Alessandra Angell

Un Geco Nella Mia Casa augurs some of the social and philosophical implications of the aestheticizing of viral breakdown and digital distress. Any sort of magnetic distance between elements is depolarized and a grand liquidity, strangeness, and unreality abounds, sparkling in its venality. There is a frisson of excitement evident in the playing with of all these hieroglyphs of digital dysfunction. This is reflected sonically, in the scrapes, pointillist percussion, disjointed metal, dulled, toxic drones, metamorphoses, and small moments of prolapse. At first blush, the music seems shaggy and boneless, as randomly distributed as bits of rubbish thrown together, only accidentally cohering here and there. Indeed, a certain pleasure is taken in the accidental, in a cruel, arbitrary order, but further investigation affords an appreciation for the sheer audacity of this seeming indifference and self-denial, which better enables things to hang together so loosely, and thus making these recordings feel foreign, as though constructed in accordance to some other, less discernible order. The aestheticizing in question also turns these sparsely rhythmic and textural palette’s toward ends of a more traditional sort. During tracks such as “La storia rubata” and “Quando la cadillac si fermera” Fega and the other players tend toward a dense and cerebral complexity, with electronic patina’s wrinkled with squiggles of lightning finger dexterity and string curlicues, painted with a subtle control of volume, timbre, and delay. This approach enables Fega to map correlations and significant divergences between these two realms, the end result being a supreme equilibrium fraught with spasms and convulsions. It’s broken only by the odd piece, specifically “Insurgente”, which includes a spoken word gambit, rubbing desperately up alongside sustained grainy multiphonics and some pensive grinding on cello. Here the album betrays its own principles, allowing them to be buried beneath a veneer of idiomatic pastiche. Other pieces exceed their own basic forms, generally by scraping and ebbing sparely, rising periodically to high tides of irate (musical) disagreement, then waning into near silent probing, and they are all a good deal more successful for it. Such pieces generally being the rule, Un Geco Nella Mia Casa shows that sound, virtuosity, and concept are now in the ascendant. — Max Schefer (The Squid’s Ear)

CD version (incl. shipment cost world-wide)

Price: €16.00
 

clair obscur | cs108

Jacques Foschia – bass & eb clarinets

Recorded in 2006 and 2007 in Brussels and London | © 2008

Cover design Carlos Santos

The artist’s family name is an Italian word that translates “haze” or “mist”, yet there’s nothing in the music of this clarinettist that could even tenuously make us believe about a lack of clear-mindedness. Using three different clarinets – bass, Eb and a homemade – the man interprets a cycle of ideas that straddle the majority of the existing techniques, more or less extended. Contrarily to many colleagues in this copiously inhabited area of improvisation, Foschia is not averse to letting the voice of the instruments go: the listeners are in fact treated with an assortment of sounds that come across either as weird or purely striking for the density of their harmonic constituents, at times substantiated by the principal’s uttered grunts. We perceive the vibration of the reed and the hot dampness in the pipe, and it’s just great. Two are the discs comprised by the set: one realized in the studio and dedicated by Jacques to his mother, the other a live recording. In “Puff pull”, on the first half, we’re given a display of exceptional bravura, nervy phrasing and broken scales interchanging with airy disappearances of tone. Then Foschia switches to distressing gradations, halfway through a cello and a throat cancer, in the subsequent “Phoenix”. Listening to the beautiful timbre of the bass clarinet in “Noodly way” is untainted delight instead, a prosperity of emissions liable to persuade both experts and non. Equally demanding for the player – and rewarding for the audience – the live improvisations introduce a larger quantity of sweat and blood, so to speak, but the value of these instant designs remains unhurt. — Massimo Ricci (Touching Extremes)

Double CD version (incl. shipment cost world-wide)

Price: €24.00
 

sator-rotas | cs109

Matthias Muche – trombone Philip Zoubek – piano Achim Tang - double bass Markus Schmickler – composition

Recorded at The Loft in Köln, Germany | © 2007. Cover design Carlos Santos

“Sator-Rotas” is an electronic composition by Marcus Schmickler, from which the trio of Muche, Zoubek and Tang took inspiration for a total reworking of the concept. The new “score”, or interpretation if you prefer, is for trombone, piano and double bass played by the artists according to the order in which they’re quoted above. Lasting about 37 minutes, this is an excellent, concise work that exploits dynamics and colours beautifully, to the point of finding its niche both in the realms of the most advanced new music and in the kind of contemporary jazz explorations of which Creative Sources has presented several examples in recent times. The musicians show composure, self-reliance and inquisitive minds in abundant doses, their reciprocal attentiveness commendable since the very beginning. Mental fixedness and feverish states alternate in a succession of scenarios, the attention to the sonic details reaching points of tension at the drop of a needle, such is the responsiveness of the players to the single event. In the final section of the piece a hellish clangour is progressively raised, our ears completely invaded by the thunderous power of the instruments nearing breakup. But, all of a sudden, everything ceases – the menace rapidly becomes vapour, the venom is dispersed, the noise mutated into near-silence. The music returns to the initial state of ambivalent quietness from where it started and, when the CD is over, a strange mix of satisfaction and unexpressed rage permeates the surrounding air. Is this version better than the original? Maybe so. It sure sounds like an original itself. — Massimo Ricci (Touching Extremes)

CD version (incl. shipment cost world-wide)

Price: €16.00
 

3:1 | cs110

Birgit Ulher - trumpet Mazen Kerbaj - trumpet Sharif Sehnaoui – guitar

Recorded in Hamburg, Germany ,9 June 2006 | © 2008

Cover design Mazen Kerbaj

An interesting disc of all-acoustic improvisation utilizing two trumpets and a guitar, recorded in Ulher’s flat in Hamburg. Not that any of that is apparent while listening… Beginning with what sounds like a marble rolling around a metal bowl, which gradually mutates into rising and falling wind. Bumping and crackling sounds gather momentum and are joined by strangulated vocalizing, buzzing and what sounds like magnetic tape being dragged back and forth across a playback head. Everything comes to a dead stop and then several seconds later starts again with clattering metal moving back and forth in the stereo picture, as if the player was rocking toward and then away from the microphone. Whistling, like seagulls, some gritty friction, note smears and more insistent whistling. Some of the sonics seem lo-fi, as if pre-recorded and played back on a cheap cassette player. New sounds enter often and always catch the ear. The second piece, “1:0″ goes from drones to percussive sounds and tin-plate rattling to a bit of quick-quick, like the handful-of-sounds-a-second British style. “2:0″ has high thin shifting frequencies, taps and low-lowing, smacked notes and what sounds like a reed instrument. “Half-time” sounds like huge flapping metal plates with motors and serrated winds or maybe a duet of jackhammers with fairly solid imitations of shortwave sounds. And on it goes, rarely repeating an idea until it all comes to an abrupt end. I listened to this disc many times and was always engaged and surprised by the playing. — Jeph Jerman (The Squid’s Ear)

CD version (incl. shipment cost world-wide)

 

fury | cs111

Robert van Heumen – electronics

Recorded in the Netherlands| © 2008

Cover design Robert van Heumen

“Fury (after Anger)” is a new project by Robert von Heumen made up of two recordings: the title track, split in four different tracks, and “They Would Get Angry Sometimes”. The former has been commissioned by the Sonic Circuit Festival in Washington and the latter has been composed from a performance at Rhode Island’s Brown University. Both the works show their “in progress” structure and a strong conceptual approach, in part because of the sound forms riskiness, really suggestive, impalpable, ultimate, but somehow subject to the textual dynamics: recordings dating back to 1940-41 concerning the immigrants’ life in the California’s Farm Security Administration camps. Van Heumen’s thesis is that “Fury” is functional to a specific investigation on the human beings primitive dynamics, our inner part that we feel very hard to eradicate or control. The author perfectly succeeded in emanating a sense of disquietude, even avoiding to decipher all the included texts. The texts are then suspended among drones, hums and buzz’n’crackles: muffled rustlings and dissonant glitches, wonderfully acted in a vibrant music crescendo but also still ambiguous, harsh and unstable. — Aurelio Cianciotta (Neural)

CD version (incl. shipment cost world-wide)

Price: €16.00
 

the wheel | cs113

Fhievel - electronics Luca Sigurtà – electronics

 

© 2008 | Recorded in Italy

This duo from Novara joins a couple of complementary musicians involved in sound art and experimental music, as you can easily guess from the inside notes of this cd, they’re also involved in sonorizations. You may remember them for their past participation to the Pocket Progressive experience where Claudio Rocchetti was the third part of the triumvirate, you will find some similarities but in general the project is a little bit different. While generally Sigurtà tends to be more rough and Fhievel is probably the one of the few purest “minimal electronics” exponents hailing from Italy, during the composition of this work they converged trying to resuscitate the voice of the old machines they found inside the factory “Fabbrica della ruota” of Prey and simultaneously they accomplished the result to give it all an oniric dimension. The target has been hit and the outcome is brilliant since for the whole recording you’ve the impression the audio work is part of a soundtrack and in some way their modus operandi related to the process of sonirization is quite classic. The sound definition is wonderful and natural reverbs paint the audio trip of a spectral atmosphere, the sharpness of some sounds (Fhievel?) ties the knot with some grey, dronical cluds (Sigurtà?), they didn’t pierce silence but they’ve been flirting with it constantly which means there’s no “tension building” or “waiting game”, but it’s enveloped all around most of the sounds “happening” during the trip. Considering this whole recording concerns “the factory and its voice – sounds and textures of the textile industry” it’s not heavy at all, it has been probably designed to be accessible to a big range of people therefore forget those hyper-intellectualized works by this or that “sound artist wonna be”. “Simple” doesn’t mean “naïve” and I’m still quite surprised by the great sound effect they managed to create for what concerns sound definition, sure you’ve to considered you won’t hear all the machine “speaking” at the same time as an Orchestra (Russolo can feel safe wherever he rests) but every ghost is there to remember when the worker will die we’ll hear his voice thru that of the machine he’s been working with for a whole life…”part animal, part machine” for the last time..forever. — Andrea Ferraris (Chain DLK)

CD version
(incl. shipment cost world-wide)

Price: €16.00
 

architect of adversity | cs117

Stephen Flinn – drums, percussion, voice

Recorded October 20th, 2007 in California, USA | © 2008. Cover design Carlos Santos

One looks at the photo adorning the cover of this CD and sees a real lot of things: every conceivable object is there to be hit, scraped or somehow made appropriate for appearing in what we still persevere in defining a “solo percussion” record. But Stephen Flinn is among those artists for which the medium really doesn’t count. He makes music whose staying power in the brain is straight away evident, constructing entire soundscapes on a lone recurrence or circle – like, say, a rolling ball in a jar – or merely mangling and jumbling a thick layering of materials that may be born from direct gestures applied on wood or plastic yet sound, in truth, akin to collaged tapes containing disjointed mayhem left to putrefy in a soggy room then retrieved and put in a garden to dry under the summer sun, together with underpants and socks. In a word, amasses of distorted, transfigured colours and bitter dissonances whose inherent musicality might be unearthed through the listener’s facility to decipher their cloaked harmonic content. The equilibrium between the mechanisms looks nearly ideal, in that both the relatively short extent of the disc and the composer’s will not to surpass certain parameters of noise encrustation assure that illusionism and resourcefulness live in the same street. — Massimo Ricci (Touching Extremes)

CD version (incl. shipment cost world-wide)

Price: €16.00
 

sparks | cs119

Peter Evans - piccolo trumpet Tom Blancarte – double bass

Recorded in New York, Usa, Summer 2006 | © 2008

Cover design Carlos Santos

Peter Evans is something of a trumpet wunderkind. His first solo CD was released on Evan Parker’s PSI label. He has played with Peter Broetzman, Han Bennink and John Zorn, and is a member of the brilliant, deconstructivist hard-bop band Mostly Other People Do the Killing. He seems to have internalized the various languages of the trumpet’s last half century – from extended and minimalist improvisation to purer jazz forms – and is able to recall them with an ease that saves him from sounding merely referential. His duo with double bassist Tom Blancarte (who cites as influences Black Sabbath and Metallica, Albert Ayler and Anthony Braxton) falls in the tradition of European free improvisation, which is to say no sounds are forbidden and no genre rules applied. (That process being a genre in itself is another matter.) The seven tracks on [sparks] fly in fast circles, jumping registers as quickly as they abandon linearity. What makes this disc stand out – apart from the technique displayed – is how closely the two very different instruments (piccolo trumpet and upright bass) move together. Blancarte seems poised to fly up the neck at any moment to reinforce a clipped statement by Evans, then to drop back down to where he was. Evans is ready not to mimic but to complement as soon as Blancarte grabs his bow. Extended improvisation, at its best, involves elements of surprise and illusion. Evans and Blancarte use just the right sleight of hand.– Kurt Gottschalk (The Squid’s Ear)

CD version (incl. shipment cost world-wide)

Price: €16.00
 

sirenen & blüten | cs125

Sascha Demand – electric guitar Hannes Wienert – trumpet, soprano saxophone, trumpsaz, sheng, tubes. Recorded in Hamburg,Germany 2006 | © 2008. Cover design Carlos Santos

Eighteen epigrammatic sketches by a pair of German improvisers gifted with quite interesting curricula, accurately reported in the CD leaflet. Demand is a guitarist who exalts the inspiring side of string resonance, the sound of his prepared machine at times analogous to the reverberation of Asian gongs, elsewhere focusing on the hardly edible core of the matter with shrieking secretions whose acridness is on a par with the effluences of an infecting industrial unit. Wienert plays a number of instruments, at this juncture including soprano sax, trumpet, trumpsax, sheng and tubes. The option of keeping things short and sweet, so to speak, is a winning choice: one catches glimpses of abnormal attractiveness underlying metallic energies, rhythmic out-of-shape-ness, emotionless pulses and weirdly resonating parabolas of didjeridoo-like insufflations, yet we can’t actually get used to anything as the pieces end almost instantly, all too quickly in a coitus interruptus of sorts. A cross between the sonic snapshots of two researchers at work in their laboratory and the commentary for a modern theatre act, “Sirenen & Bluten” is positively a good outing – and the evidence that half a hour is an adequate amount of time when ideas abound. When the disc’s over we would love to go on and find out if there’s more in the artists’ vault. — Massimo Ricci (Touching Extremes)

CD version (incl. shipment cost world-wide)

Price: €16.00
 

Leave a Review