Knitting by Twilight — Weathering
(rng-7, 2011, CD)
by Paul Hightower, Published 2013-11-14John Orsi is back with another installment in what is becoming one of North America’s best-kept secrets in experimental music. Orsi — primarily a drummer — embraces a DIY creative ethic and a Jamie Muir-ish view toward his craft. He’s happy to whack just about anything he can get near a microphone and rarely do you hear him behind a standard kit. It makes sense then that he’s not a traditional or heavy-handed player in the studio. Instead he builds layers of percussion and keyboard tracks where the rhythms are mostly implied. These then provide a foundation for his percussive explorations or those of chief collaborators Manny Silva’s and Mike Marando’s guitars. The end result, as seen on “A Thousand Islands,” can rise to King Crimson’s level of aggressiveness circa “Larks’ Tongues in Aspic.” But more often his music possesses a minimalist, almost ambient aesthetic that’s closer to Brian Eno, as seen on “Harold’s Budds” or “Rainy Day Trains.” Here the guitars take on a Frippian buzz-saw quality that makes the comparison even more salient. Exotic influences have left a deeper mark on Weathering than past efforts, which Orsi attributes to exposure to Hindi music and is heard on tracks like “Clouds and Stars.” There’s also a meditative quality to songs like “Biddeford Pool,” which floats along on beds of percussion and keys with recorded wave sounds pulsing alongside. It’s fair to say this excellent collection is Orsi’s most accessible effort yet and provides a great jumping off point for the uninitiated.
Related artist(s): Knitting by Twilight
Glenn Branca RIP – Experimental guitarist and composer Glenn Branca has died at the age of 69. He was known for compositions featuring large ensembles of guitars, and for the use of feedback. He founded his band Theoretical Girls in the mid-70s as an art-punk answer to what he saw as the increasing commercialization of punk music. His compositions were highly influential, with such figures as David Bowie, Thurston Moore, and John Lurie among his fans. » Read more
OBEY Convention XI Set for May 24-28 in Halifax – As the 2018 festival season rapidly approaches, we’d like you to be aware of a real treasure of diverse and creative music that’s going to take place in Halifax, Nova Scotia, next month. The OBEY Convention is on its 11th outing, and features a wide range of artists from around the world. From avant-industrial noise to experimental takes on Classical Chinese music, from chamber jazz to doom metal, from ambient soundscapes to Canadian First Nations drumming, you’d be hard pressed to find a festival with more variety in sound anywhere in the world. » Read more
Close to the Rain Festival in Bergen Announces Lineup – Now in its second year, the Close to the Rain Festival of progressive music is scheduled to take place in Bergen, Norway, on June 7 - 9. They've got an amazing slate of bands lined up, including such powerhouses as Anekdoten, Major Parkinson, Arabs in Aspic, Tusmørke, and many more. » Read more
Seaprog 2018 Artist Announcements Raise Festival's Profile – Seattle's Seaprog festival has been going since 2013, and the 2018 edition features a slate of artists that's sure to bring more attention to the event. Cheer-Accident, Bubblemath, and Free Salamander Exhibit are in the first round announcement of performers. In keeping with their tradition of focusing on regional artists, they will also present a number of artists from Washington and Oregon. [Edit: Just added: Inner Ear Brigade] » Read more