The Event Pavilion

Great to hear another “anti-copyright” record of obscure electronic noise from Hector Rey and his Nueni Recs label from Bilbao in the Basque country. Cassettes and CDRs from this corner of experimento-land are always welcome – Rey seems to seek out the odd and the unclassifiable through his curational skills. Today we have Oxid (NUENI RECS NUENI 010) by EC. EC is Estanis Comella, who was the keyboardist and sampler player in Cooloola Monster, whose gritty raw noise escapades entertained us muchly around 2010-2012. Taking a solo turn on Oxid, he fumbles about with synths, keyboards, drum machines and perhaps some distorting effects, to produce 17 short episodes of demented experimental fun. While you might be misled by the opening cuts to expect some form of crude techno-based malarkey, keep listening all the way through and prepare to have your socks unravelled and your mind turned into a bowl of cocoa-mush…by the illogical and unpredictable swipes and hammers of EC. This globular broadcast from the hunt-and-peck school of programming is about as far away as we could get from the precision and ultra-clean lines of the Raster-Noton school, and instead makes a good case for the aesthetic pleasures of elephant-blare trumpets, ugly fizz vomit, and concreto-mix beats. Stark, spartan, diabolical construction genius at work…a man who, if left in charge of managing a nightclub, would probably follow a house policy that resulted in all trendy 20-somethings bathed head to toe in noxious green slime. Just great! (13/11/2020)

Good trio improv from Gelber Flieder on their album Ölbaumgewächse (CREATIVE SOURCES CS 626 CD). The Portuguese viola player João Camões last played with French pianist Yves Arques in another trio Pareidolia, and they team up again today with the addition of Luise Volkmann, a saxophonist from Cologne. This time Arques is credited with “objects and electronics”, so this single piece titled ‘Auf Der Blauen Donau’ might be a kind of electro-acoustic performance, and although we can detect acoustic overtones and harmonics from the viola and sax which rise to the fore, the emphasis is on a blended, harmonious, and continual performance with much variety. It’s impressive how many different textures and techniques these three players can create, ranging from drone to percussion and melodic interludes, doing so in a very unhurried and quite natural fashion. A live recording made in Paris in late 2016. The unusual cover image is a sculpture by Areski Sediki, photographed by Suzanne Sebo. (16/11/2020)

Eris 136199 is the improvising trio of Han-Earl Park, Catherine Sikora and Nick Didkovsky, last heard by Paul Khimasia Morgan on their 2018 album, and their third album is called Peculiar Velocities (BUSTER AND FRIENDS BAF002). It’s a unique combination for sure, two electric guitars (Han-Earl and Nick) duelling for space in the combat arena, while tenor sax of Sikora blasts in with blurtish free-mode swoops and percussive blasts. I suppose this music does stem from a knowledge and practice of free improvisation, and can fit inside various “art music” categories, but on one level to me it feels as good as any “noise rock” served up by Sonic Youth, The Dead C, or any new-wave influenced beat combo who tend to attract the “angular” adjective. Park, who is deemed the “instigator and mastermind” of this trio project, has I think a taste for complexity and generously-ladled phrases from the honeypot of his Fender, and this does show up at many moments on this exhausting and crowded listen, but then there’s Didkovsky who manages to wrestle the mood back into an honest grungeroo roundabout. ‘Sleeping Dragon’ is especially fine, with much frenetic rubbing and jerking from the two axes circling around a very limited harmonic range, to great effect. (17/11/2020)