Ariel Kalma — An Evolutionary Music (Original Recordings: 1972 – 1979)
(RVNG Intl. ReRVNG05, 1979/2014, 2CD)
by Jon Davis, Published 2015-03-04Ariel Kalma is a figure of contrasts: a restless spirit in search of calm, a student of tradition prone to tinkering with technology, a deep-space traveler rooted in earthly environments. These contrasts are on display in this collection of recordings from the 70s, only one of which has appeared on public release before. Some of Kalma's early experiments with loops of magnetic tape strung between to reel-to-reel recorders are presented, along with experiments involving the earliest drum machines, field recordings, and all manner of commercial and self-devised electronic gadgets. When instruments are involved, they are generally woodwinds — saxes and various kinds of flute — or keyboards, sometimes percussion or voices. Given the nature of these recordings, details are sparse as to where and when each track was laid down. There are times when it seems there are collaborators present, but even on his own, Kalma is quite a broad talent. Many of the pieces involve drones topped by a wide variety of compositional and improvisational techniques, sometimes involving brief phrases interlocking like something Philip Glass might write, sometimes involving meditative explorations on flute or sax, sometimes featuring the sounds of insects or birds. The liner notes detail Kalma's travels around the world, and how his musical journey parallels his wanderings. He is a singular entity in the evolution of world, ambient, and experimental music, and this collection does much to fill in gaps of his contributions. And it even holds together as a listening experience in its own right. Recommended for cosmic travelers everywhere.
Related artist(s): Ariel Kalma
Larry Coryell RIP – One of the greats of jazz guitar has left us at the age of 73. Larry Coryell was one of the founding figures of jazz fusion, but produced a significant body of work the bridged many styles. His group Eleventh House provided a unique take on the combination of jazz and rock that was distinct from contemporaries such as Mahavishnu Orchestra, Return to Forever, and Weather Report. » Read more
John Wetton RIP – After a long battle with colon cancer, singer and bassist John Wetton has died at the age of 67. As an integral member of such bands as King Crimson, UK, and Asia, his was one of the distinctive voices in progressive rock, lending a human touch to often difficult music. » Read more
Seaprog Announces First Artists for 2017 – The organizers of the Seaprog Festival in Seattle have announced the first set of confirmed performers for the 2017 festival. The best known names are Cabezas de Cera and Jack o' the Clock, but a host of other bands are featured, mostly from the Northwest. The festival will take place June 2-4, 2017. » Read more
Acoustic Festival of Britain 2017 Announces Eclectic Lineup – The Acoustic Festival of Britain has been going since 2006, and this year's event sees a number of outstanding artists on the bill. Fairport Convention, Tir na nOg, and Martin Turner are some of the artists we've covered, and there are many more, including The Men They Couldn't Hang, Howard Jones, Chantel McGregor, and many more. The festival runs June 2-4, 2017 at Uttoxeter Racecourse in Staffordshire. » Read more