Robert Rich & Ian Boddy — React
(DiN DiN29, 2008, CD)
by K. Leimer, Published 2008-10-01
Space is the place for this live set – marking the 30th anniversary of Chuck van Zyl’s Star’s End. Synthesized voices overlap lap steel guitar phrases that sometimes float, sometimes charge in with pleasing levels of feedback. Synths, flute, processed laptop, and plenty of swept and stepped filters join closely-tooled sub and sonic metallic percussion. Once assembled, the pieces straddle the gulf between analog and digital styles. Sound like early Kraftwerk? Nope. But React does look both forward and back, showing off a wealth of highly polished technical skills illuminated by an aura of days-gone-by compositional largess based on the formlessness so central to the formation of space music. The eleven pieces slip and stream together, shifting in texture and mood with a conscious sense of pace and contrast, dropping hints here and there until we reach the tenth and title track. “React” is the summa, aggregating the preceding elements into a more deliberate whole. Here, darker hued nervous energy and a thicket of beats are layered with sampled or synthesized female voice and gouts of guitar all interacting with each other rather than remaining satisfied with the mere coexistence within the preceding pieces. Stopping short of Tangerine Dream’s formulaic “Stratosfear” – emulation of rock without rock insight – React is mostly brushed washes of stream-of-consciousness entrances and exits either hard or soft, fast or not fast, sheer or opaque, resulting in restless, layered music more intent on gaining your attention than holding it.
Ennio Morricone RIP – Famed composer Ennio Morricone has died at the age of 91. The creator of scores for more than 500 movies, some of his works have become the most recognizable sounds in the history of cinema. His soundtracks for Sergio Leone's Westerns made from 1964 to 1971, are iconic landmarks in film music, but he also composed for dramas, comedies, and other genres. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Score in 2016 for The Hateful Eight. » Read more
Keith Tippett RIP – One of the giants of British jazz has left us. Keith Graham Tippetts, known professionally as Keith Tippett, died today at the age of 72. His work from the late 60s into the 70s and beyond includes some of the greatest jazz produced in the UK, and stands as an impressive oevre to this day. » Read more
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