Dielectric Minimalist All-Stars

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Spearheaded by Drew Webster, aka Die Elektrischen, this album brings together improvisers and digital composers that hadn't worked together before. At the core of Dielectric Minimalist All-Stars are Die Elektrischen on prepared turntables, improv drummer Jason Levis, and multi-instrumentalist Loren Chasse (of Jewelled Antler Collective and Thuja fame). The three of them improvised in the studio, working out their own conception of "minimalist music," which turns out to be slightly more eventful than the music of the Dielectric Drone All-Stars, released in 2003. Somewhere between the sonic universes of the post-folk (or so-called "New Weird America") underground and European electro-acoustic improv, the music proposes generous amounts of strange,nondescript sounds and disquieting textures. Disc one of this double set features material from this studio session later arranged and mixed by Die Elektrischen. Highlights include "Cocaine Lovin' Orange County Kids" (a very nice use of a ticking alarm clock) and "Cruising Deep Space With Hendrix' Ghost and a Handful of Green Globe Blotter" almost a "new American Minimalist" take on Acid Mothers Temple! Disc two is comprised of pieces composed by Chris Palmatier, the Sonic Death Monkies, Carson Day, Aemen, Arastoo, and Gerritt, using more material from the same recording session. The pieces on disc one sound natural, very close to what went on in the studio. Disc two proudly bears the mark of the composers, the manipulations taking center stage. Do not attempt to draw conclusions on minimalist music from this smorgasbord of approaches. Between Gerritt's digi-noise, the breakcore of Sonic Death Monkies (a duet featuring Dielectric recording artist Sote) and Arastoo's soft-spoken drones, the concept of minimalism goes through several reinterpretations. The common thread is the idea of accomplishing a lot with limited means. And it works. But these two discs form a radical pair and go beyond the beaten format of "session-plus-remixes."