Daniel Barbiero / Cristiano Bocci — Non-Places
(Acustronica, 2017, DL)
by Jon Davis, Published 2017-11-21
On their last outing together, these two bassists presented a highly abstract, heavily processed set of tracks on Nostos. Non-Places is also abstract and processed, but is very different in flavor. The backdrop and inspiration for the album is a series of field recordings made in various places that aren’t in themselves especially notable (hence the title), but nonetheless provide stepping-off points for these two experimentalists to do their magic. Close your eyes and visit the Berlin Subway, the train station in Brussels, the airport in Rome, 2000 Pennsylvania Avenue, and more. Woven into these soundscapes are a variety of sounds produced mostly by basses, sometimes treated beyond recognition, sometimes palpably present in more or less natural form. Mournful bowing, wandering plucked patterns, indistinct thunderous thumping, and mangled knots of screeching feedback, all come and go like passers-by in the environments. And the odd thing is that it’s remarkably listenable. It in no way resembles traditionally composed music, but there’s an internal logic to it all, a consistent sense of what sounds right, and in spite of the somewhat random nature, there are recurring motifs in each of the pieces. I particularly like the section of “Bruxelles Gare du Midi” where train sounds are looped into a rhythmic pattern and the upright bass plays a plucked improvisation that is thoughtful and expertly constructed. The limited palette of source material does not lead to a limited range of sounds. Obviously, listeners looking for structured compositions will be disappointed, but lovers of electronic experimentation should check this out. It’s fascinating both on a conceptual level and as a listening experience, and full of sounds that you’ve never heard before.
Ennio Morricone RIP – Famed composer Ennio Morricone has died at the age of 91. The creator of scores for more than 500 movies, some of his works have become the most recognizable sounds in the history of cinema. His soundtracks for Sergio Leone's Westerns made from 1964 to 1971, are iconic landmarks in film music, but he also composed for dramas, comedies, and other genres. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Score in 2016 for The Hateful Eight. » Read more
Keith Tippett RIP – One of the giants of British jazz has left us. Keith Graham Tippetts, known professionally as Keith Tippett, died today at the age of 72. His work from the late 60s into the 70s and beyond includes some of the greatest jazz produced in the UK, and stands as an impressive oevre to this day. » Read more
Phil May of The Pretty Things RIP – We were saddened to learn that Phil May, lead singer and founding member of The Pretty Things, has died at the age of 75. The band's 1968 album S.F. Sorrow is one of the enduring classics of the psychedelic era, and the group existed in various forms until finally retiring in 2018. » Read more
Phoenix - Renascent Phenomenon (Archives 4: 1970-1971) – Supposedly this album of songs was written back in the early 70s for the original version of Dutch group Phoenix, which included Jos Hustings who, along with partner in crime Mathilda Roza, is... (2005) » Read more