Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith & Suzanne Ciani — FRKWYS Vol. 13 - Sunergy
(RVNG Intl. FRKWYS-13, 2016, CD)
by Jon Davis, Published 2016-09-16
I’ll admit to not having heard much of Suzanne Ciani’s recorded work. Lixiviation is a fascinating glimpse into 70s electronic music, but I’ve not delved into her 80s-and-beyond New Age catalog. Kailtyn Aurelia Smith is a new name to me, though her CV is certainly intriguing. At hand we have the first collaboration between these two artists of different generations, and certainly there’s not a hint of the New Age about it. Sunergy presents three tracks ranging from 12:28 to 23:08 in length, and they are slow-unfolding baths of analog electronic joy. Given the nature of the instruments used, this music is not so much based on fingers playing keyboards, but more knob-twiddling and arpeggiation, and it’s reminiscent of the pre-drum-machine days of electronic music, when filter sweeps and voltage-controlled oscillators ruled the day. This is not to say the music is without pulse — there are some immensely satisfying bubbly rhythmic patterns, though nothing approaching the coordinated sequencing typical of Berlin School EM. It’s more like a shimmering body of water in sunlight, viewed through interlocking diffraction gratings. Sunergy manages to sound both old (for electronic music, at least) and comfortably new at the same time, and works as ambient music even though it does not consist of long tones. For an album consisting of electronic sounds without melodies or beats, the overall impression is very cheerful, sunny even, so I guess the title says it all. This is a real gem for fans of modular synthesis.
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
Jorge Santana RIP – Jorge Santana, noted guitarist, leader of the band Malo and brother to Carlos Santan, died on May 14 at the age of 68. Jorge and Carlos worked together on a number of occasions, though Jorge's career was centered around Malo, solo work, and with Fania All-Stars. » Read more
Shindig Festival Goes Lock-Down – Here's what they're saying: It's A Happening Thing! The Shindig! Magazine Lockdown Festival. In our days of no large gatherings of people, maybe it's still possible to have a music festival. Shindig! Magazine is giving it a go with a multi-artist streaming extravaganza on Saturday April 25. » Read more
Bill Rieflin RIP – The sad news reaches us today of Bill Rieflin's death. Rieflin was best known as a drummer in bands ranging from post-punk to industrial to indie-rock to progressive rock, including work with The Blackouts, Ministry, Nine Inch Nails, Swans, Land, and King Crimson. Rieflin had been battling cancer for several years, and succumbed to it on March 24. He was 59. » Read more