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.
Larry Coryell RIP – One of the greats of jazz guitar has left us at the age of 73. Larry Coryell was one of the founding figures of jazz fusion, but produced a significant body of work the bridged many styles. His group Eleventh House provided a unique take on the combination of jazz and rock that was distinct from contemporaries such as Mahavishnu Orchestra, Return to Forever, and Weather Report. » Read more
John Wetton RIP – After a long battle with colon cancer, singer and bassist John Wetton has died at the age of 67. As an integral member of such bands as King Crimson, UK, and Asia, his was one of the distinctive voices in progressive rock, lending a human touch to often difficult music. » Read more
Seaprog Announces First Artists for 2017 – The organizers of the Seaprog Festival in Seattle have announced the first set of confirmed performers for the 2017 festival. The best known names are Cabezas de Cera and Jack o' the Clock, but a host of other bands are featured, mostly from the Northwest. The festival will take place June 2-4, 2017. » Read more
Acoustic Festival of Britain 2017 Announces Eclectic Lineup – The Acoustic Festival of Britain has been going since 2006, and this year's event sees a number of outstanding artists on the bill. Fairport Convention, Tir na nOg, and Martin Turner are some of the artists we've covered, and there are many more, including The Men They Couldn't Hang, Howard Jones, Chantel McGregor, and many more. The festival runs June 2-4, 2017 at Uttoxeter Racecourse in Staffordshire. » Read more