Ernesto Diaz-Infante


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You will know within the first few seconds of this strange release whether or not it appeals to you. The opening track sets the tone, as it crackles (literally) with scratches and static that in the hands of lesser players might sound like amateurs fiddling with a radio dial and coming up with extremely poor reception. The other tracks are equally bizarre, sounding as though pots and pans are being scraped or dropped, or a guitar is being randomly strummed, or a voice is muttering. Even more outlandish, though, is that this can all somehow be very appealing. It is certainly not easy to explain because on its face this is noise and worse, and yet there is an inner logic to it that simply does not let up. It cannot even be certain, based solely on the evidence of this recording, whether these two performers are accomplished on their instruments. Yet, technical proficiency is not at issue; what is important is the oddly compelling end result. Influences might include John Cage and Derek Bailey, but there is a uniqueness to this duo's work that separates it from any other. Even the periods of extended silence are somehow juxtaposed differently than similar attempts by Cage and others. There are, of course, no melodies or conventional signposts; those found in free jazz or even the "traditional" avant garde are useless as a starting point. There is generally plenty of action despite the interludes of silence and the generally low volume.

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