Daniel Barbiero / Cristiano Bocci — Nostos
(Acustronica, 2015, CD)
by Jon Davis, Published 2015-11-24
For this collaborative outing, Cristiano Bocci, who is a bass player, left the bass playing almost entirely to Daniel Barbiero. Bocci provides all manner of electronic processing to the sounds that Barbiero made, and much of the resulting sound is highly abstract, with bowed tones often recognizable, but often twisted and manipulated into obscure clouds of sound. Barbiero is an experimentalist himself, so he freely elicits all manner of noises from his instrument. Thumps, cracks, bow bouncing on strings, all become fodder for Bocci’s treatments. Sometimes, as on “Contrabbassi in Marcia,” the sounds are edited and looped into a rhythmic backing over which bowed notes float freely and are treated to buzzing distortion. At times, the electronics dominate, presenting misty washes of indistinct origin. Most of the eight tracks tend towards somber atmospheres and low tones, with the rich overtones from the bow providing the full sound we expect from the double bass. As is usually the case with recordings that rely heavily on processing, it’s hard to tell what started where, but we can leave that to the technical notes (if there were such things for Nostos). The set ends with “L'Ultimo Treno per Follonica,” where Bocci gets out his electric bass for a virtual duet with Barbiero’s recorded part, with relatively little electronic processing. It’s a meditative, restful way to end the proceedings after some of the strange noises that came before. Nostos should be of interest both to bass lovers and to listeners curious about the possibilities of processing, provided there’s a tolerance for the abstract.
Jon Christensen RIP – Word reaches us today of the passing of Norwegian drummer Jon Christensen, a musician whose sensitive playing did much to help define the atmospheric sound of ECM jazz recordings. His work with Jan Garbarek, Bobo Stenson, Terje Rypdal, and many more was sensitive and varied, adapting to a wide variety of styles while maintaining a distinct identity of its own. Christensen was 76. » Read more
Gong Announces UK Tour for 2020 – Having spent the last few years touring the world, including dates in Japan with psych legend Steve Hillage, multiple headline European tours and festivals, America’s Cruise to the Edge festival, a South America headline tour, and a headline performance at Tomorrow Festival in China, the band have won the hearts of both traditional and modern Gong fanbases. During this live journey, Gong has delved further into the truly psychedelic, exploratory, and mind-expanding side of the music. » Read more
Wolfgang Dauner RIP – Pianist Wolfgang Dauner, one of the pioneers of both European free jazz and jazz rock, has died at the age of 84. With his own groups and with the United Jazz+Rock Ensemble, his playing and compositions were a prominent presence in European jazz from the mid-60s until just recently. » Read more
Michael Allison RIP – Michael Allison, who since 1997 has been recording as Darshan Ambient, passed away on January 9th after a long and brave battle with cancer. He has been at at the forefront of the new ambient/electronic music scene, with over eighteen releases to his credit. » Read more