Barton Rage / Bill Laswell — Realm I
(M.O.D. Technologies , 2015, DL)
by Jon Davis, Published 2015-12-23
Polish-born musician Barton Rage launches his proposed series of collaborative recordings with this digital release on M.O.D. Technologies. This meeting of the generations (Rage was born in the 80s, Laswell in the 50s) is a thoroughly modern construction, full of twitchy percussive sounds, undefinable chords, and deep atmospheres. Most of it is very abstract, lacking melodic themes you can latch onto, but latching onto things is not what this music is about. It’s about closing your eyes and opening your ears and soaking in the imaginary landscape. None of the six tracks lasts over ten minutes, and each has a slightly different palette of sounds. “Waters of Mirage,” for example, features what is almost certainly a guitar with its tone so mutated (or mutilated) as to be nearly anonymous, and there’s a groove on some kind of low instrument (we’ll just assume it’s Laswell’s bass) to go with the loping, spastic drums. At times, the bass is more recognizable, usually a fretless laying down unhurried grooves amidst the whirl of sound. Other aspects that can be found scattered about the surface of this realm resemble vintage analog electronics, with ring-modulated frequency shifts, feedback, and a feeling of randomness. But much of it is clearly digital in nature, jumpy and tweaked. All of which is irrelevant, as it all sounds like it belongs together, and working out the details doesn’t enhance the listening experience. The bottom line is just that it sounds fascinating, and any fan of electronic music should enjoy it (unless they’re stuck in a particular rut like Berlin-school or pure ambient). Future volumes of the Realm series are slated to involve Japanese trumpet player Toshinori Kondo, Norwegian trumpeter Nils Petter Molvaer, and Swiss drummer Alain Ackermann – if they’re as interesting as this one, I’m along for the ride.
The Seventeenth Dream of Dr Sardonicus Festival Tickets Now Available – Fruits de Mer Records and their merry crew of psychedelic explorers are getting set to present the next The Seventeenth Dream of Dr. Sardonicus Festival. The dates are set for August 2-4, 2019 at The Cellar Bar in Cardigan, Wales. They've also announced that the legendary Groundhogs will top the bill. » Read more
Charles O'Meara (C.W. Vrtacek) RIP – A true musical original has left us. Charles O'Meara, who recorded under the name C.W. Vrtacek, was a wild-card musical talent, ranging from complex progressive rock to introspective modern compositions, with stops at many places inbetween. » Read more
Eurock Documentary Seeks Funding – We've been fans and fellow travelers with Archie Patterson and his Eurock project on the journey to discover great music. After many years of promoting and trying to spread the word,a new phase is beginning: a documentary film. Things like this don't just happen, and money does not magically appear to make it happen, so it's up to the fans to get it done. » Read more
Marty Balin RIP – One of the architects of the 60s psychedelic sound of San Francisco has died at the age of 76. Marty Balin was a singer, songwriter, and guitarist who was one of the founders of Jefferson Airplane. After the split of the original Airplane, Balin went on to form the highly successful Jefferson Starship. » Read more