Steve Dalachinsky

I Thought It Was the End of the World Then the End of the World Happened Again

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This album was recorded live on November 12, 2001. It constitutes New York poet Steve Dalachinsky and Italian-born-turned-New-York-City-resident drummer Frederico Ughi's response to the atmosphere reigning in the city after the terrorist attack that brought the World Trade Center down two months earlier. The press release describes the set as "improvised words and music," but at least some parts had to be planned out or scripted -- the timing in "We Play Just Like Dominoes" is simply too perfect. The short CD (36 minutes) opens with Dalachinsky reciting a cappella a poem titled "The Submarine Kyrsk," this one obviously not improvised (it is also the only text reproduced in the booklet). Then Ughi starts to provide light textures: bowed cymbals, scratched skins, very occasional rumbles on the drums, plus light live sampling. His playing never steps in front of the poet's voice. Tracks two to seven form a cohesive whole. In each one the poet develops new ideas, but a handful of punchy sentences come back regularly, almost insanely, losing power with each iteration, not unlike the images of the plane crashes seen over and over on television. I Thought It Was the End of the World, Then the End of the World Happened Again is captivating but hardly an album you would describe as "pleasing" or would go back to on a regular basis. On a side note, the CD has been mastered at a relatively low level, making it difficult to focus on Dalachinsky's words in some places.

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