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Novak, Ryan: Balloon Proportions (RY/NO Records)

Multi-instrumentalist improviser Novak, who has worked with Tim Daisy and Tatsuya Nakatani, in an eclectic and complex solo release of colliding genres.

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product information:

UPC: 844553009659

Label: RY/NO Records
Catalog ID: RY/NO01
Squidco Product Code: 11761

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2009
Country: USA
Packaging: Jewel Tray


Ryan Novak-guitar, bass, saxophones/reeds, percussion/drums, other instruments, sounds, production

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track listing:

1. Caveman Composer in the 21st Century 2:50

2. Scarecrow Myth 4:38

3. Judgment City 4:26

4. Foaming Pumas 3:38

5. The Inescapable Shocks 3:51

6. Big Primitive 3:05

7. Nothing Impresses You 1:01

8. Skunked 0:56

9. No One Cares About My Indigestion 1:50

10. Failre Is Not an Option 1:02

11. The Bagdasarian String Quartet 10:50

12. Nothing Is Wrong 3:09
Related Categories of Interest:

Improvised Music
Compositional Forms
Rock and Related
Staff Picks & Recommended Items

sample the album:

descriptions, reviews, &c.

"Ryan Novak is a self-taught multi-instrumentalist (primarily guitars and saxophones) and composer currently based in Wisconsin. Initially a home studio hermit recording a catalog of unreleased material in a variety of experimental styles, the later influence of "free-improvisation" inspired an interest in performing. Since then, he has played with unstable free-jazz group, The Bastard Trio (including a short tour to the East Coast), as well as in isolated performances with Tim Daisy (of the Vandermark 5), Tatsuya Nakatani and others.

But, having become quickly frustrated with many aspects of performing improvised music, Ryan returned to solo recording at home to produce an album that better expressed his interests and talents. The debut recording, Balloon Proportions, is the result of years of personal work in the home studio.

As is his foolish wont, all the instruments with the exception of a very few samples are played by Novak. Genres and instruments vary widely (a borrowed cello and violin even inspired a "string quartet"), but a process of making compositions out of more or less randomly collided improvisations is consistent throughout the album. The sometimes heavily edited pieces are both highly structured and spontaneous, painstakingly precise and sloppy as hell, taking on whatever forms they seemed to suggest. Modern "classical," phony ethnic music, and off-kilter rock/blues reminiscent of Captain Beefheart resulted, along with other less easily defined structures."-Novak MySpace Page

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