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Peter Strieff:
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Natural Information Society w/ Evan Parker:
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Roberto Miranda Home Music Ensemble (Bradford / Carter / Newton / Tapscott / &c):
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Gerard Grisey / Iancu Dumitrescu / Niels Christian Rasmussen / Thanos Chrysakis / Salvatore Sciarrino / Lori Freedman / Tim Hodgkinson:
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Various Artists (curated by Nick Vander):
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Chris Abrahams / Mark Wastell:
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Bob Drake:
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Bob Drake continues to tug on the heart-strings of prog in short but smart songs that reference the best of the last few decades of prog/psych/avant rock forms, Drake as always handling all parts in a great balance of guitar, electronic & acoustic instruments, including some newly invented instruments; includes a fold-out poster in Bob Drake style from Joe Mruk. ... Click to View


Axel Dorner / Toshimaru Nakamura:
In Cotton and Wool (Ftarri)

Meeting in sound artist and vocalist Yan Jun's studio in Berlin in 2017, trumpeter Axel Dörner and no-input mixer artist Toshimaru Nakamura recorded these four active and bristling improvisations, Dörner using every inch of his instrument and treating it with electronics to create the controlled chaos and richly jarring recordings that make up this, their 2nd album together. ... Click to View


Greg Davis:
Throughline (Autumn Records)

Taking modular synths into unusual territory, Autumn Records label leader and relentless audio explorer Greg Davis spent years using a computer controlled modular synthesizer system to generate an obsessive set of synthetic and electronic sounds -- swooping, burbling, chattering, &c. -- assembled into this quick witted and energetic set of compositions. ... Click to View


Microfiche (Alduca / Calligeros / Conner / Gill / Manojlovic / Murphy-Haste / Schack-Arnott):
Everything and Other Infinities (Creative Sources)

The 2nd release from this Sydney, Austrlian acoustic sextet, creating subtle yet dynamic improvisations influenced by the musical concepts of John Cage and Morton Feldman, balancing contemplative sections with building surges, these works developed on their 2019 Europe tour, which included performances at Copenhagen Jazz Festival as well as shows in Berlin and Stockholm. ... Click to View



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  Christopher Fox 
  Music for Piano  
  (ezz-thetics by Hat Hut Records Ltd) 


  
   review by Brian Olewnick
  2021-01-28
Christopher Fox: Music for Piano (ezz-thetics by Hat Hut Records Ltd)

This collection brings together six compositions for solo piano, beautifully played by John Snijders, written by Fox over a period of some thirty years. Three pieces date from 1988-1992, one from 2004 and two from 2015-2018.

Of the three earlier works, two are quite short. "Worthless Leather" is very charming, apparently based on a Mendelssohn song, retaining a dreamy, dancelike quality, very simple and direct, similar in aspect, perhaps, to some of Howard Skempton's music. "You, Me, Us (Habaņera)", is somewhat more aggressive, with a high, steady rhythmic spine that tilts toward a Latin flavor (per Andy Hamilton's excellent notes, drawing from Bizet and Cole Porter). The 24-minute "More Light" is akin to the other, more recent compositions. That forward propulsion glimpsed in the prior piece is brought to the fore in a manner that recalls, to this listener, the motoric compositions of Louis Andriessen, certain traits of classic minimalism, as well as the kind of relentless drive heard in music like Fredric Rzewski's "Winnsboro Cotton Mill Blues". Fox (and Snijders) evince greater delicacy; as tumultuous and surging as the music becomes, the rhythms never outweigh the interest in complex overlays of melodic lines, consistently entwining themselves around one another. It shifts density throughout, always maintaining at least strands of melodic content and pausing for some rather dramatic low chords now and then. The whole thing has a kind of epic quality, very impressive.

The two newest pieces continue, to a degree, the explorations of "More Light". "The Red Studio" begins in a hesitant and questioning manner before resolutely entering a machine-like cadence. However, a lengthy, spacious section intervenes, quite lovely, small clusters allowed to hang, before, once again, the harsh, insistent rhythms reappear. The implacableness of this surging wall might be off-putting to some, but so much is going on within it, variations that are extremely rich and fascinating. It ends with a kind of additive/subtractive sequence that implies some sort of system, perhaps reminiscent of Tom Johnson, but less regular, more surprising. Belying its title a bit, "The Calm of Mountains" maintains a more or less steady pulse, never faltering but constantly in a state of tumbling apart and renewing itself. A mountain ridge? As prior, the chords allow no easy harmonies, no unearned solace but are replete with chewy nuggets of sound, always morphing in tonality and pace, always engrossing (and brilliantly played).

The disc concludes with "Boat Song" (2004), a dreamy song, almost a lullaby, like a late 19th century tune that somehow has seen a few decades into the future; a lovely, ghostly piece.

Excellent, imaginative music overall from a too-little known composer.



Christopher Fox: Music for Piano
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