All Time Present

Distant Microphones Pick Up Both Direct & Reflected Sound

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The press release claims, "This is what an improvised music gig sounded like in the turn of the 21st century United States." The last track is titled "The True Sound of the Improv Underground." Distant Microphones Pick Up Both Direct & Reflected Sound, All Time Present's third album, is all about authenticity. A collection of spontaneous pieces recorded at various concerts, it aims to put the listener inside a strange art gallery or obscure underground performance space. Well recorded but still a direct-to-DAT take with plenty of amplifier buzzes and the occasional incoming/outgoing audience member, the album strikes an accurate balance between professional intentions and D.I.Y. means, the inherent working conditions of the avant-garde artist. This third CD features the same lineup as on 2001's Good Vibrations/No Expectations: Chris Forsyth, Rich Gross, and Ethan Sklar on electric guitars, Toshi Makihara and David Gould on drums. Their brand of electrified improv has little to do with Sonic Youth or Glenn Branca. No loops or effects are used aside from a distortion pedal. Lively, the music explores silence as much as intense interplay, but never escalates to a wall of noise. The musicians, especially the three guitarists, sound more attuned to each other, pushing the music further into non-idiomatic extremes while keeping better track of a group sound. At a time when guitarists felt the need to turn to technology or, on the contrary, fall back to a neo-naïve instrument-as-resonator approach, these guys proved that there is still some ground to cover in Derek Bailey's pastures. Recommended

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