Edward Capel

Mixed Frequencies

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This CD-ROM presents the results of a one-year residency hosted by Muzieklab Brabant, during which composers Edward Capel and Raimond Gesthuizen, the filmmakers collective Job, Joris en Marieke, and artists Jos van der Sommen and Simon Benson worked together. The eight-part "Mixed Frequencies" suite is the soundtrack to the film, while the remaining seven pieces serve as a soundtrack to the drawings and paintings. Both film and artwork are included on the CD-ROM portion of the disc. The film is a jerky collage of treated footage portraying three cyclists on a trek. While resting, one of them steps into quicksand. One of the other cyclists fleas cowardly while the other one watches as his friend sinks to his death, remembering how this same friend had once humiliated him as a child. The music features Capel on saxophone and clarinet and Gesthuizen on turntables, samples, and beatbox, plus trumpeter Bart Maris, bassists Jan van der Lest and Bert Palinckx, and drummer Michael Vatcher. Barry Poetiray adds bleak spoken words loosely relating to the action of the film -- more like a personal variation on the theme. The music oscillates between avant techno, avant jazz, and structured improvisation. "Mixed Frequencies" remains anchored in a beat throughout (be it from the drums or the beatbox) and features twisted melodic lines on sax and trumpet, both acoustic and electronically treated. A dark groove, the strangely compelling narrative, and Gesthuizen's textures keep the suite together, even the closing rap by Dudley Perkins, which bursts in unannounced. The suite as a whole is very effective. The other pieces are looser and quickly become repetitive, especially after "M2," a reprise of the first part of "Mixed Frequencies." They work better as a backdrop to look at the artwork gallery than as stand-alone music.

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