The CD accompanying issue 82 of the Canadian avant-garde music magazine Musicworks suffers from a topic that's too generic: "Instruments and Influences." It means the pieces don't relate to each other; actually, they create some very harsh contrasts and can be difficult to stomach in one gulp. A six-minute excerpt from an on-air performance from July 2001 reveals a more ambient and gentle Kim Cascone, on top of his glitchy art but transcending the style's rules. After this overture listeners are presented with eight musique concrète pieces by Alcides Lanza and Andrés Lewin-Richter. They all date from the 1960s, when both composers were studying under Vladimir Ussachevsky (the subject of their article). The pieces have historical value, but none match the playful intensity of the master's works. A special note goes to Lanza's "Plectros II," not much for the tape part other than the piano part convincingly executed by Stephen B. Clarke (a recording from 1994). Shar is Judy Dunaway's balloon-led power trio, and the two tracks presented here (taken from the group's debut album) are exciting avant-rock numbers in the Ruins/Ne Zhdali spectrum; the fact that the lead instrument is a balloon only comes as an afterthought. Any ears upset by Shar will be soothed by the deep-breathing composition by John Luther Adams, "The Light That Fills the World." It is not his best (its contemporary, "Dark Wind," from Adams, Cox, Fink, Fox, is more enrapturing), but it remains a good example of his work. The CD ends with two short pieces by sound artist Francisco López, minor works but puzzling nonetheless ("Untitled #97" is not only silence; listen more closely).
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AllMusic Review by François Couture