Exposé Online banner

Charlemagne Palestine — A Sweet Quasimodo between Black Vampire Butterflies for Maybeck
(Cold Blue CB0025, 2006, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2008-01-01

A Sweet Quasimodo between Black Vampire Butterflies for Maybeck Cover artIn the 30 or so years that Charlemagne Palestine has been around, this writer has never heard any of his music until now. It was inevitable that one of his recordings would reach my ears eventually, but the reader needs to keep in mind that this is my first exposure, so I can't offer much in the way of comparisons to any previous recordings. A four-minute intro of spoken anecdotes accompanied by the ringing sound from a brandy snifter leads into the main event: an intense and powerful minimalist piece performed on two grand pianos. A full eight minutes of explorations on a single note go by, with varying accelerations and velocities in seemingly random patterns, one or the other or both sustain pedals in play, researching the minute differences in tuning between the two instruments before finally a second note is introduced one half step away from the first. This adds a entirely new dimension to the proceedings, with a whole universe of harmonics and microtones ringing together as the second note recedes and is eventually replaced by others, some complementing the first playfully, others finding a mildly disturbing dissonance. The piece begins moving into quieter realms, approaching stillness, then evolving back again with an aggressive passion, going through a number of these cycles across its 35 minute duration. While this is probably not for everyone, fans of Steve Reich, Tony Conrad, late 70s Battiato, and even Klaus Schulze should find plenty here to appreciate.

Filed under: New releases, Issue 35, 2006 releases

Related artist(s): Charlemagne Palestine

More info
http://www.coldbluemusic.com

Latest news

2018-10-17
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

2018-09-29
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

2018-09-25
Help the Psychic Equalizer Avoid Extinction – Last year we reviewed the debut album by Psychic Equalizer, a musical project of Hugo Selles. He's now working on the ambitious follow-up to that release, and is seeking funding from listeners around the world. » Read more

2018-09-05
Krautrock Documentary Seeks Funding – The next installment of the Progressive Warriors documentary series will focus on the vast body of music that falls under the banner of "krautrock." As most of our readers will know, previous films have tackled RIO and the Canterbury scene, as well as what we might call "mainstream" prog rock. » Read more

2018-07-31
Tomasz Stańko RIP – Tomasz Stańko, one of the greats of Eastern European jazz, has died at the age of 76. Stańko's career started in Krzysztof Komeda's quintet, where he contributed trumpet from 1963-1967, when he formed his own group. He worked extensively with Edward Vesala, Don Cherry, Zbigniew Seifert, Chico Freeman, Howard Johnson, Cecil Taylor, and many others. Many of his recordings have been released by ECM, an association that began in the mid-70s. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Fromage - Ondine – Fromage. That's French for 'cheese.' This Fromage, however, are not French at all, but rather they are a Japanese five piece (g/k/d/b/v+flute) from the '80's. The keyword here is 80s. A very dated...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues