The split LP may seem like a format more common to post-punk and hardcore music than experimental improvisation. During the '80s it seemed a very popular format to put two different groups on a side each. Also, with classical music, it was commonplace to exhibit two compositions by different composers, and with the LP format surviving well past its expiration date, who would have thought it would still be thriving in 2001 in underground experimental music? Here the Italian Fringes label has put together two of Americas most minimalist post-improv musicians, saxophonist Bhob Rainey and guitarist Kevin Drumm, each with 23 minutes to display their stuff. Drumm's guitar transformations are far removed from the string abstractions of his early work, here going deep into processing and transformations, some of which are computer effected. Piercing high pitches make the recording bounce around the room, all gritty texture and piercing tones that bring to mind Ryoji Ikeda. While on the flip, Bhob Rainey splits more ear drums in a solo abstraction in the spirit of Joe McPhee, John Zorn, andEvan Parker, and, like his forbearers, goes right to the limits of the instrument, utilizing the extraneous noise of the saxophones keys to percussive effect.
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