Tuesday, 10 June 2008

REVOLUTION MOON (groundbreaking musick)



Original Issue: 1995 Blast First (BFFP 102 CD)

Reissue: 2002 Experimental Intermedia (XI 121) Buy it here!!!

Margot-meter: 4,5 moons / 5

1-1 Held Tones (22:40)
1-2 Didjeridoos (13:30)
1-3 Ten Auras (21:20)
1-4 Ten Auras Live (21:20)
2-1 A Trombone Piece (22:13)
2-2 A Third Trombone (20:54)
2-3 Unmentionable Piece For Trombone And Sousaphone (18:33)

from Indieville:

Phill Niblock is, without a doubt, one of the most esteemed experimental composers around today. Musically active since the sixties (he was born in 1933), his music has inspired a whole slew of modern avant-garde composers around today.

A Young Person's Guide to Phill Niblock was originally released in 1995 as a co-project between the Blast First label and British publication The Wire. Comprised of recordings from 1978 to 1994, it is largely considered to be the definitive introduction to Niblock's music. 2002 marks Experimental Intermedia's reissue of this album, under the shortened title of YPGPN. The release is contained on two discs, comprising a total of seven long pieces.

It starts off with "Held Tones," a twenty-two minute flute drone piece that is completely mesmerizing. As the flute tone passes by endlessly, you start to notice the minor imperfections in the sound, little drops or waivers that lend the track a sense of depth and personality. This adds much depth to the piece, and enhances the listening experience greatly.

Second on the block is "Didgeridoos and Don'ts," a shorter (thirteen and a half minute) track that features Ulrich Krieger on the didgeridoos. Its dense, dark sound is apocalyptic. The almost industrial shifts in sound are devastating, and though the track is, in a grand sense, merely a minimal drone, it's effects are intensely frightening. One can feel Krieger's breath going into the instrument, and as the track progresses, the sound becomes less and less organic; at the start, you are completely aware of the didgeridoo's presence, but by the end, it's merely a dark, noisy beast - even though nothing has really changed.

After these two pieces come the two performances of "Ten Auras," a live rendition and a studio recording, both performed by Ulrich Kreiger on the tenor saxophone. Both versions are similar, featuring long, held drones that are constantly evolving - they gradually shift in tone and sound intensity, lending the track a sense of grungy depth. Contrasting between the two is difficult, though small differences do appear upon detailed observation. The live rendition ends the first of the two discs.

The second disc houses three more tracks, the first of which is "A Trombone Piece," a twenty-two minute trombone composition played by James Fulkerson. Its lengthy drone is at times mysterious and at other occasions comical, depending on which frame of reference you're listening to it with.

"A Third Trombone," meanwhile, is much lower than "A Trombone Piece." It's sound is so low, in fact, that the recording actually rings from the excess of bass. Performed by Jon English, it is characterized by three trombones, the third of which offers it a more dense, layered sound.

The collection's last track, "Unmentionable Piece for Trombone and Sousaphone," ends things off well. Featuring some of the most subdued drones on the entire album, it is a decidedly challenging listen. The trombones establish a dark, grimy atmosphere, which is then enhanced when the sousaphone comes in. The sousaphone is lifeless, merely a tone, and this nearly mechanical impersonality serves the track well.

YPGPN is valuable to both Niblock devotees and those just discovering his music. The musicians all play their instruments perfectly, and Niblock's multi-channel dubbing is carried out with seamless mastery.

Though definitely not for everyone (one listener I presented this to likened it to the type of droning tones used for torture practices), to those interested in this style of music, YPGPN is a classic.

Matt Shimmer


Margot said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Famous Mortimer said...

Absolutely extraordinary piece of music, one of my ten or so favourite albums ever and a tribute to just how damned good "experimental" music can be.

Anonymous said...

Niblock is timeless. Thanks for sharing this amazing album.

Todlddl said...

this is just about the best album ever

Angie said...

Thanks Margot. I'm not familiar with the music in this cd but I'm loving it and I'm sure to look for more.

Gert said...

After hearing his fine hurdy gurdy album on Touch (2000), I’m really looking forward to hear his earlier works. Thanx!

giu said...

Ciao Margot
anf thank you again for another wonderful post...
There is a plenty of super music here.

Jeroen said...

Sounds great. Downloading now, listening later...

aeon said...

Nice one. Thanks a lot.

Jonathan said...

Many thanks, totally classic

Anonymous said...

This is so freaking awesome it's not even funny. Who would have thought a sousaphone could sound so god damned grim! I want that hurdy gurdy album gert mentions above!!!