Exposé Online banner

Tom Heasley & Toss Panos — Passages
(Full Bleed Music FBM 001, 2007, CD)

by K. Leimer, Published 2008-10-01

Passages Cover artFor those who admire purely timbral musics, Tom Heasley and Toss Panos have put together more than an hour of inventive, often original work based wholly on the tuba and percussion. Original because you will not hear the now familiar distended and looped manipulations of a Jon Hassell, or the extra-musical sonics of a Fred Frith. The remarkable attribute of this collection of five not so easy pieces – which range in duration from less than ten minutes to just longer than 24 – is simply how intensely musical it all remains. The combination of tuba and percussion might seem counter-intuitive: the percussion disturbing what might be imagined as lush strands of clustered drones from the tuba; the tuba in turn being perhaps unable to match the pace of more typical drumming. But most of Panos' time seems to be spent providing markers, giving off short phrases and sounds in expert contrast and shading to the Heasley's tuba. The settings here travel from the often elegiac to a disturbed serenity. Both musicians do an excellent job of welding some long, legato and sustenuto exhalations of the tuba to the clipped and briefer envelopes of percussion. To their credit, the composers / performers never yield to the more obvious temptation of laying down some rhythm patterns and dressing them up with a thousand islands of squawks and drones. Instead, the listener is invited to share an infinitely more thoughtful and nuanced approach to what proves to be a tour de force of concentration and restraint.

Filed under: New releases, Issue 36, 2007 releases

Related artist(s): Tom Heasley, Toss Panos

Latest news

2020-10-14
Audion Is Back in Business – Our esteemed colleague Alan Freeman has restarted Audion Magazine after a seven year hiatus. The new incarnation is available online on their Bandcamp site. Audion's history goes back to 1984, and included 58 issues up to 2013. Issue #59 is available now, and #60 is in the works. » Read more

2020-10-06
Romantic Warriors IV – Krautrock (Part 2) Is in the Works – Zeitgeist Media, the people who have brought us the great series of documentary films chronicling the history of progressive rock, are working on the second installment of their examination of German music. Krautrock 2 will focus on artists from Münich such as Guru Guru, Amon Düül II, Xhol Caravan, Kraan, Witthüser & Westrupp, and Popol Vuh. » Read more

2020-09-09
Simeon Coxe RIP – Simeon Coxe, best known for his experimental electronics in the band Silver Apples, has died at the age of 82. The band's 1968 debut album set the stage for both German electronic music and experimental punk music a decade later. Coxe died on September 8 from pulmonary fibrosis. » Read more

2020-09-05
Gary Peacock RIP – Legendary bassist Gary Peacock, veteran of many recordings and performances with Paul Bley, George Russell, Roland Kirk, Bill Evans, Tony Williams, and many more. » Read more

2020-07-22
Tim Smith RIP – Tim Smith, leader of the eccentric band Cardiacs, has died at the age of 59 after many years of health problems. Cardiacs was known for intense and complicated music that combined punk energy with the rhythmic and harmonic sophistication of progressive rock. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Manticore - Time to Fly – Manticore is a new outfit from Sweden and with that name a heavy Emerson, Lake and Palmer influence is bound to be present. The first track, "New Foundation," ripples with ELP right down to the main...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues