Every Bright Body Gleams Green

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Though he has a prior career as a multi-instrumentalist (concentrating on string instruments) in various folk traditions, including Irish and gypsy music, the Czech-born musician known as Aranos maintains a parallel preoccupation with electro-acoustic sound collages, of which Every Bright Body Gleams Green is a fine example. There is often a loose rhythmic element tying the various taped sounds together, a cyclic rasp or a cloudily throbbing, barely heard pulse, for example. This tends to give what might otherwise be heard as a highly abstract assemblage some amount of cohesion, just enough for the works to convincingly occupy their space and draw the listener along for the ride. The lengthy second cut achieves a nearly ideal balance. Interpolating found sounds, electronic drones, the odd musical sample, and even (one suspects) some of Aranos' violin playing, he achieves a work of cinematic scale that is richly satisfying. The third track, oddly and very successfully, ventures into something approaching song form with strangely chanted vocals and an off-kilter reel-like structure. In "Red Navy Trumpeteers in a Pianola Gale Force 9," a slightly jazzy feel is attained via a jagged piano riff and some plaintive reeds, and this then segues into a keening lament led by microtonally tuned strings. The final piece appears to rather humorously wink out of existence mid-violin stroke after barely a minute, but a close listen uncovers tiny, almost inaudible shards of sound lingering underfoot for a while. After about three minutes of this nearly empty expanse, fluted, breathy tones emerge, painting a hazy, enticing landscape in grays. This enveloping drone continues for the duration of the disc, modulating in intensity like windswept fog. Every Bright Body Gleams Green is a unique, dark, and visionary work, worthy of investigation by adventurous listeners of all stripes.

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