Sunday, January 20, 2008

Paul Flaherty/Chris Corsano The Beloved Music CD
King Darves The Only Other CDR
De La Soul 3 Feet High and Rising mp3s
Richard Pinhas Tranzition CD

The Flaherty/Corsano came on the 5-disc changer without me knowing what it was. "Hmm, sax and drums duo," went my thoughts. "Sounds contemporary. Drummer rules." It's interesting to wonder what made it feel contemporary... maybe it was the applause after each of the three pieces, because for various reasons it sounds like a post-punk post-noise type audience and not a jazz audience... but probably it's just the punk/brute spirit of the playing itself, something that David Keenan describes in rather overheated and Coley-indebted cadences in the liner notes. These guys really do bring the noise - Flaherty has always struck me as a real grinder, nuance and airiness and melody are not his strong suits. I think for this reason, I've never really gotten into the recordings - the style is just too physical to be disembodied - but I love the idea of them touring and bringing this stuff to the bars and clubs and galleries... and on that note, Keenan's notes are inspiring and totally accurate here: "Total musical, cultural and spiritual freedom may still be anathema to the fascists-that-be that dominate the upper echelons of the USA but in little enclaves dotted all the way across the country there are pockets of cultural resistance that function as a bulwark against the ever-encroaching standardisation of artistic and spiritual expression, as well as a reliable stop-over and constant source of support for new music and ultimately it's with these people in mind that the CD takes its name." To wit, this disc documents a May 2004 show that went down in the welcoming environs of Louisville, Kentucky, under the auspices of the always-ruling BlackVelvetFuckere crew. (Maybe it's just because I'm going through a bunch of old neglected stacks but it's really starting to feel like 2004 and 2005 was a peak for this decade's underground music activity. It was like those were the key middle years, AFTER the internet had given all it could as far as promotion and networking and distribution, and BEFORE it inevitably started TAKING AWAY, when the proliferation of promotion became oversaturation, and the necessity of physical distribution was fully replaced with rampant file-sharing. 2006 and 2007 seem like wind-down years, like everybody decided to just stop touring and recording and let MySpace and Soulseek (etc) do all the work. I'm not totally serious, just putting the idea out there for discussion, real or theoretical.) This Richard Pinhas album is great! I was always kinda indifferent to his post-Heldon work, not because it wasn't good, but because Heldon was so fantastic and monumental who needed anything else? I remember listening to this album briefly when it came out in 2004 and thinking it sounded like music from The Weather Channel. And I could still see that being true, but it would be the trippiest, dreamiest viewing of The Weather Channel in your entire life. These are big thick sinuous drone fields built up by violin (must be treated), laptop, and Pinhas's "guitar and electronics".... his wailing Frippian leads are downplayed so that the music is allowed to build and develop and amass various currents, just like the weather, but it is wrought with mood and melancholy and a distinct yearning feeling that is very human. And the drummer on the session, Antoine Paganotti, is terrific, coming in at just the right time to move everything along like some kind of calm and invisible but utterly forceful global jet stream. And who is that overlaid voice that appears on track two, "Moumoune girl (a song for)"? Why it's an old tape of Phillip K. Dick speaking - completely uncredited - let the Pinhas sci-fi delirium reign!

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