Noah Creshevsky is a man who cares about a correct interpretation, as one can tell even by noticing the refreshing precision of his writing; from the same communicative cloth comes the meticulousness that he applies to the process of creating music. Rounded With A Sleep – first solitary release for Al Margolis’ imprint – transmits a deep sense of attainment through a sequence of refined compositional frameworks. However, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to appreciate the fruits of Creshevsky’s juxtapositions; the most notable quality is a rare ability in turning complexity into glowing crystals of comprehensibility. The package of Hyperrealism – this is how the “genre” is called – incorporates hours, weeks and months of painstaking studio work. Still, our ears perceive an immediate luminousness, a mélange of clever temperament and soulful composure indicating the transition from mere divertissement to fine art.
As always, the starting points are samples of human and instrumental origin. From thousands of snippets, either utilized in their natural range or transposed, Creshevsky constructs pieces that clearly show his classical training as an essential background. In this composite world, where we can barely guess if an harpsichord is really an harpsichord (it might be an altered guitar, but it’s not a problem), sonic instances from diverse eras fuse like in a miracle, and the hyper-poly-a-tonality of several of those designs causes an attentive listener to vacillate across various stages of relative insecurity. We’re prevented from lying down and get comfortable, but – quite preposterously – receive positive stimuli exactly for that reason. There’s no time to ask “what was that?”, yet an omni-comprehensive vision of a whole is achieved at the end of each track. You just need to play the record again to better fix certain spots and glimpses of (presumed) knowledge of the raw material.
Speaking of which, a definite highlight is represented by Tomomi Adachi’s implausibly amusing phonemes: a collage of babbled syllables, strained air intakes and Japanese accents amidst aleatory vibraphone zigzags making “Tomomi Adachi Redux II” a cardinal improver of any intelligent iPod list. Incidentally, I wonder how a collaboration between Creshevsky and scat-machine extraordinaire Lorin Benedict would turn out. Other salient moments are to be found in the magnificent “The Kindness Of Strangers” – a tapestry of modified voice, guitar, bass, lap-steel and banjo that makes those narrow-ranged instruments depict atmospheres of boundlessness – and the conclusive “In Memoriam”, Juho Laitinen’s cello as the basis of a complex type of solemnity replete with glorious resonant shades.
Singling out parts is not an effective option when examining such a kaleidoscopic statement. Go with the flow, letting this combination of unlikely junctures and multifarious timbres inspire your sensation of being, including aspects we’re not ready to immediately grasp.