Exposé Online banner

Emily Bezar — Angels' Abacus
(DemiVox DVX899, 2004, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2005-03-01

Angels' Abacus Cover artBack in Exposé #20 I gushed about Emily Bezar’s first three albums, and honestly the only negative I can come up with for her new release is the fact that it took so long to arrive. The changes from 1999’s Four Walls Bending are incremental rather than fundamental, but why mess with such a good thing? The two basic ingredients of the music are her powerful voice and piano, and all the embellishments serve as seasonings to those. She has the good sense not to ignore her years of voice training, the good taste to make that impressive technique subservient to her musical vision, and the courage to use her crisp enunciation and warm vibrato regardless of contemporary trends. There is a bit less of her classical-meets-jazz piano here, due to the frequent denseness of the arrangements; there are still moments reserved for piano and voice alone, or nearly alone, as intriguing electronic sounds creep into the interstices of every track. On a few tracks, the electronics condense into rhythmic loops, but this is no knuckling-under to modern fashion — the music is above all uncompromising, relentlessly following an educated, capricious muse to such lengths that Bezar is a genre unto herself. In lesser hands, all this would come off as pretentious, but every note is filled with such honesty that you can’t question her motives. She is not showing off, she is manifesting the music in her head, and it’s a thing of beauty.

Filed under: New releases, Issue 31, 2004 releases

Related artist(s): Emily Bezar

Latest news

2019-04-10
The Pineapple Thief to Tour North America – November and December of 2019 will see The Pineapple Thief bringing their music to Canada, Mexico, and the US, and famed drummer Gavin Harrison will be on board. The band has been touring extensively in Europe, but North America will be new territory for them. » Read more

2019-03-25
Scott Walker RIP – Noel Scott Engel, better known as Scott Walker, was one of the most intriguing and enigmatic musical figures in the second half of the 20th Century. His strange career started with The Walker Brothers, an American pop group that featured no one named Walker and no brothers. After moving to England in 1965, they had a series of hit singles. Scott's solo work started with Scott in 1967. Starting in the 80s, his work took an increasingly avant-garde turn. » Read more

2019-03-20
Freedom to Spend Unearths June Chikuma's Archives – Jun (June) Chikuma is well known for her video game and anime soundtracks, but she also released an album of experimental electronic music back in 1986 called Divertimento where she indulged the kind of spontaneity that wouldn't work in a soundtrack. RVNG Int'l label Freedom to Spend is bringing this overlooked item to broader attention with a deluxe reissue. » Read more

2019-03-03
Seaprog 2019 Lineup Almost Complete – The Seaprog festival in Seattle is scheduled for June 7-9 this year, and they've announced their lineup of performers. The revitalized Trettioåriga Kriget will cap Friday night, perennial favorites Marbin are on Saturday, and District 97 will finish off the fest on Sunday night. In support, they've booked a stellar variety of artists from the Northwest and around the world, including EchoTest, Markus Reuter and Trey Gunn, and the live debut of the amazing Troot project. » Read more

2019-02-21
You Can Be Part of an Ambient Electronic Project – The Gesture of History is a new electronic project put together by Sam Rosenthal of Black Tape for a Blue Girl, Steve Roach, and violist Sam Shadow. The music started as an instrumental track Rosenthal was working on for a Black Tape album, but took on a life of its own and demanded further enhancements. The majority of the funds raised will go to manufacturing costs for LP and CD editions, as well as other items as detailed on the Kickstarter page. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Hermes Orchestra - Live – Dan Hermes is a jack-of-all-trades and music is just one of his passions. On this album professionally trained musicians play the compositions of Dan Hermes. All this was performed live at the Tremont...  (2007) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues