Exposé Online banner

Janet Feder / Fred Frith — Ironic Universe
(Ad Hoc AD HOC 19/20, 2006, CD+DVD)

by K. Leimer, Published 2008-01-01

Ironic Universe Cover art

The word “sonorous” seems meant for this recording. In addition to the inherently warm and pliant voicings of the acoustic guitar and the further extension of those voicings by any number of physical and electronic treatments, the music of Ironic Universe incorporates the once highly experimental inflections of treated guitar with the more radiant graces of traditional and non-traditional scales and tunings in nearly perfect balance. For those for whom there always seemed to be some question about treated instruments and whether the resulting sounds were in and of themselves enough to carry interest and attention into the once extra-musical terrain, the profound integration of those two distant poles that play out between the solo and duo pieces here will convert any skeptic. Fluid and shimmering states find resonance with the treated sounds, developing a form of contrast superseding the usual slow/fast, soft/loud, high/low combinations. In Feder’s solo pieces the rhythmic and melodic gestures follow one another in seamless and evolutionary order, extended by the treated instances. The duos take this discretion and combine the elements to display flawless and intertwined music. The contrast of apart / together provides an excellent structural metaphor for the way in which the music itself is built. Throughout the guitars literally glisten and reflect sound and in around a fluid music of reflective and detailed – beautiful without simply being pretty.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 35, 2006 releases

Related artist(s): Janet Feder, Fred Frith

Latest news

2018-11-02
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

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


Previously in Exposé...

G.P. Hall - Marks on the Air – This recording serves two masters. First, it presents soundscape artist G.P. Hall live on stage, and secondly, it demonstrates the binaural recording process. Binaural recording places two small...  (1999) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues