Various Artists

Transforms: The Nerve Events Project

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Doctor Nerve's 1991 CD Beta 14 OK included 44 short sound events (two to six seconds each). They were meant to be programmed by the listener (or played randomly) in order to form interactive songs. Leader Nick Didkovsky asked various composers to write music using any or all of the events. Transforms: The Nerve Events Project presents 25 pieces in this vein. Some use only unaltered events, resequenced and repeated, but others use them as a background or simply as a starting point for something more personal. Contributing composers include various members of Doctor Nerve and related projects (Steve MacLean, Leo Ciesa's Iconoclast, Greg Anderson, Yves Duboin, Dave Douglas, and Mark Wagnon) but also such diverse musicians as warped folk freak Frank Pahl, Fred Frith Guitar Quartet member Mark Howell, sound art master Thomas DiMuzio, guitarist Henry Kaiser, Etron Fou Leloublan's Bruno Meillier, and even Frog Peak Music director Larry Polansky. Some pieces go deep into experimental music and complex algorithms, while others are funny avant rock reworkings that result in an even more deranged version of Doctor Nerve than what the band already is. The CD is well-balanced between variety and cohesion. Of course, this is not a good place for a first contact with the band, but it is candy for the fan.

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