PAULINE OLIVEROS / FRANCISCO LÓPEZ / DOUG VAN NORT / JONAS BRAASCH – Quartet For The End Of Space

Pogus

This wide-ranging release presents two compositions multiplied for each of the four participants, Oliveros and López being the ones I was already acquainted with; both Van Nort’s electroacoustic researching and Braasch’s experiments with soprano saxophone and ventures in Telematic Music and Intelligent Music Systems were foreign language to date. Straight away, this is difficult-to-swallow food if one gets stuck in the “understand-at-any-cost” mind frame. Deriving from a thorough processing of improvisations over a pair of sessions in 2010, the eight episodes include such an amassment of perturbed ambiences that establishing a clear line of thought while listening to their often nebulous expansion is nearly unfeasible. A vague “spirit” is intermittently discernible by looking at the signatures, though Oliveros’ pieces – for example – are not droning as you could expect but tend instead, to a degree, to a sort of cultured anarchy. The record’s feel at large is that of huge forces at work in a galactic pot: flashes of genuine chaos, echoes of accordion or reeds emerging from magmatic fluids. By the use of headphones the audience can better value the musicians’ craft and the might of frequencies that via speakers appear to merely overwhelm, putting us in front of an intractable mass of hardly graspable events. Ultimately, the CD works in spurts – certain static soundscapes in Van Nort’s tracks are truly imposing – yet, due to a feeling of “distance” from the whole, love at first sight this was not.

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