Paolo Angeli — Plays Frith & Björk - Tessuti
(ReR Megacorp PA3, 2007, CD)
by Jon Davis, Published 2008-10-01To paraphrase Shakespeare, there are more musics in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in your CD collection. Unless you have one of his previous releases, Paolo Angeli is probably an example of the undreamt-of. First he took a little known instrument, the Sardinian folk guitar, and then he modified it almost beyond recognition, turning it into a kind of bizarre hybrid of a guitar and a cello plus electronics. He has developed playing techniques to go along with it, and the result is basically just mind-boggling. He somehow manages to sound like a duet between an acoustic guitar and a cello all at once without resorting (except in a few scrupulously noted cases) to loops, samples, or overdubs – this is a live recording by a solo performer. Sometimes you would swear it’s actually a trio of bass, acoustic guitar, and electric guitar. The subtitle of this recording is “Paolo Angeli Plays Frith & Björk” but there are actually a few Angeli originals tossed in for good measure. The Björk selections avoid her big hits with the exception of the bonus track, “Hyperballad,” and I’m not even sure what would constitute a “hit” from Fred Frith. Listening to this, it’s really hard to imagine how he manages to accomplish it. All of which would be pointless it the result wasn’t listenable, but luckily it’s quite enjoyable, somehow accessible and avant-garde at the same time. But doing more than one thing at a time is what Angeli is all about.
Celebrate 10 Years of Fruits de Mer – As a special celebration for a decade of cool vinyl releases, our friends at Fruits de Mer records have prepared a limited edition reissue of an album by the first band ever to appear on the label: Schizo Fun Addict. The band is known for unusual release strag » Read more
Mega Dodo Presents New Charity Album – Our friends at Mega Dodo have put together a lovely compilation of their artists performing new arrangements of nursery rhymes, and all the profits from sales of the album will benefit Save the Children. It features a number of artists we've covered. » Read more
Phil Miller RIP – Sad word reaches us today of the passing of another of the great musicians of the Canterbury Scene — guitarist Phil Miller. His distinctive sound added greatly to Matching Mole, Hatfield and the North, and National Health, and he also contributed to albums by Caravan, Dave Stewart & Barbara Gaskin, and many others. He was 68. » Read more
Moonjune to Distribute Tony Levin's Back Catalog – It has been announced that Moonjune will now handle distribution for Tony Levin's catalog of releases. These great albums will now be a bit easier to get hold of, so check out the site and see what you're missing. The veteran of King Crimson and Stick Men worked with a host of great players on these albums, and we've reviewed most of them over the course of the years. » Read more
Bandcamp Shines Light on Niches We Like – Bandcamp has developed into one of the best places to discover new music, and even a lot of old music is showing up there. In addition, their staff has been producing periodic articles spotlighting some interesting stylistic areas. On 20 September, they published one called "The New Face of Prog Rock" which bears checking out. » Read more