Greg Kelley

If I Never Meet You in This Life, Let Me Feel the Lack

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    9
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AllMusic Review by

The very first couple of seconds of this album are likely to scare the hell out of you. The hyper-amplified sounds of a contact mike being clanked around inside the bell of Greg Kelley's trumpet have the concussive force of a nearby car wreck. One quickly gets the notion: This isn't your father's solo trumpet album. For one thing, there appears to have been a substantial amount of post-production both in the editing and in volume enhancements. But the sound effects are secondary to the overarching conception of this intriguingly titled work, one presented as a kind of sonic diptych, with a zanily active first half and a meditative second. The first section is a stitched-together series of episodes with diverse characters, including roaring breath tones, vaguely trumpet-like smears masquerading as sine waves, and the glitch-filled clatter of plugs being connected and detached and switches turned off and on. The amazing thing is how well it all coheres, as though one is rapidly flipping through a book of old photos, each evoking a specific memory. About midway through the single track, all activity abruptly ceases and a low roar wells into range. For the remainder of the piece, this virtually subsonic drone, vacillating and throbbing from speaker to speaker in an irregular pattern, is all there is. But beneath its surface simplicity, there are all manner of variations, all sorts of complex interrelationships in which to wallow. Kelley succeeds in creating a unique, palpable sound world, all the more impressive for being built from such seemingly spare sources. Admirers of his work in nmperign may be slightly surprised by the sheer intensity and aural richness of this release, but will be thrilled with the daringness, clarity, and pure creativity in evidence. Highly recommended.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1
36:48
blue highlight denotes track pick