Bob Ostertag

Say No More

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With Say No More, Bob Ostertag elevated the sampler to the rank of musical instrument and gained recognition as a true visionary and an avant-garde artist that could not be ignored anymore. This CD is the start of a project in four phases which ended in 1999 with the release of Verbatim, Flesh and Blood. Ostertag asked drummers Joey Baron and Gerry Hemingway, vocalist Phil Minton, and bassist Mark Dresser to record some solo improvisations in studio, without giving them any specifications. He took the tapes, loaded them in a computer, fragmented them, and recombined the fragments into two pieces. His aim was to use the musicians' personal vocabulary but apply his own syntax. In Ostertag's previous albums, his hand could always be seen: he manipulated and transformed. This time, 80 percent of the music feels like it is played by an actual band. Some samples are almost a minute long, others a tenth of a second, and the musicians' playing are put together as if they improvised the same piece. The result is simply incredible. Ostertag did leave some traces of his intervention -- there is a Phil Minton "solo" in the middle of "Tongue-Tied" where the reconstruction is obvious, some percussion parts are humanly impossible, etc. The border between free improvisation and musique concrete will never be the same. Any serious fan of avant-garde music needs to hear this, one of the rare avant-garde albums where the relevance of the artistic argument equals the relevance of the result. A classic.

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