A trans-national collaboration of superb improvisers working in minimally rugged, pointillist terrain, creating engrossing aural environments fueled by masterful technique and creative drive.
Ulher / Shibolet / Snir / Brenner / Mayer / Smith / Bymel
Label: Balance Point Acoustics
Released in: USA
"From the first meaty whoomph of Damon Smith's arco bass, one is keenly aware of a strong connection to bassists like Peter Kowald and Buschi Niebergall. There's a workman-like physicality of horsehair on strings, as well as a muscular and bodily presence that, despite its massiveness; is almost balletic in its motions.
Oakland-based Smith readily acknowledges the influence of the German bassists; his first audio experience of freely improvised bass was Kowald's FMP LP Duos: Europa. With percussionist Weasel Walter, he's crafted an approach that balances perilously between careening expressiveness and exacting detail. But the "violent rage" that characterizes a Walter disc is only one facet of Damon Smith's work.
Witness Yclept, his latest collaboration with Tel Aviv saxophonist Ariel Shibolet and Hamburg trumpeter Birgit Ulher, herself a master carver of miniscule brassy flutters and gut-wrenching wails. The three are joined across seven improvisations by a group of musicians little known outside Israel: guitarists Roni Brenner and Michel Mayer, percussionist Ofer Bymel and saxophonist Adi Snir.
Groans, flutters and stuttering yelps jab and dive at one another across these sonic canvases, supported by long, crisp howls of bowed harmonics. Smith is the most identifiable colour here, a craggy yet humanistic brown amid the whitish-silver flecks of reed (?) chirps and brassy pops and clucks. The guitars seem to be prepared, contributing feedback and electrified plinks; like Bymel's snare and thick brushes, they fill the soundscape with spiky, pointillist gestures. The sixth section is certainly the most traditional, guitar scrapes and towel-damped toms shadowing urgent long tones.
It's something ineffable that makes an "improv" recording (i.e., not jazz or free-jazz) sing - one just knows when that sweet spot gets hit. Yclept is definitely an example of the indefinable "it."-Clifford Allen, Paris Transatlantic
Related Categories of Interest:
lowercase, micro-improv, sound improv
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Quantity in Basket: None
Label: Balance Point Acoustics
Catalog ID: BPa014
Squidco Product Code: 15200
Packaging: Jewel Tray
Recorded on March 12th, 2008 at HaTeiva, Tel Aviv-Jaffa, Israel by Niv Karasenti.
Birgit Ulher-trumpet, radio, mutes, speaker
Ariel Shibolet-soprano saxophone
Adi Snir-tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone
Damon Smith-double bass, laptop
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1. Yclept 1 6:36
2. Yclept 2 5:54
3. Yclept 3 6:30
4. Yclept 4 6:32
5. Yclept 5 13:31
6. Yclept 6 7:02
7. Yclept 7 8:11