HAL RAMMEL – Midwest Disquiet

Penumbra

First solo CD by Rammel, following a 10-inch on Crouton (Like Water Tightly Wound) a few years ago. The instrument is the same: a palette spiked with wooden and metal rods, amplified with a contact microphone, plucked, rubbed or bowed according to the need. The 47 minutes of the program present an ample selection of what the artist is able to achieve acoustically through this means: animal grunts, decomposing clocks, liquid marimbas and a range of harmonically hoarse emanations that my mind instantly connects to Hans Reichel’s daxophone (check his website – one of the overall best places to be on the web – to have some fun and further info in that regard). While it must be stressed that all the pieces are completely improvised, thus resembling more a “collection of possibilities” with several amusing deviations from any theoretical norm of “regular” performance, the truth is that the organic qualities of the sounds are the very reason behind the sensation of “aural health” that accompanies the listener along the whole disc. Leaving the common comparisons aside (yes, I’m talking about Harry Partch yet again) and excluding theorems based on compositional craft, floating amidst these strange gurgles makes us feel nice and easy without clauses and commas.

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