Browsing All posts tagged under »chamber music«

Various Artists – Album Roundup

July 13, 2017

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It has been a long while since I reviewed any music: my life became rather full of obligations, which reduced my output and eventually halted it altogether. Between then and now I have had the chance to reflect on what had become a somewhat procedural activity, and I have reached a few decisions. From now on, I will write about only one record at a time, and I will write about only those submissions that I feel are particularly interesting objects for discussion, rather than prioritising by quality, by aesthetic preference, or by the receipt of a physical submission. However, at the point at which I realised I couldn’t possibly…

Various Artists – Singles and EPs

September 14, 2015

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The Stringers are a four-piece from Ontario, that plays rock music of the old school – which doesn’t mean that it’s ‘old-fashioned’, but that it’s pop music, god dammit! This is entertainment, with no pretensions to any kind of creative territory beyond that compass; all too often that can imply some kind of highly manufactured, overly polished and self-consciously vapid ‘product’, but this is all about melodies, grooves and the raw sound of musicians making it happen together. Crisp, tight performances are represented in an immediate, close-quarters production, through arrangements that evince a good understanding …

Review Of The Year 2013: 12 Albums

December 18, 2013

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This is the fourth consecutive time I’ve written a review of the year’s albums, which is slightly scary, as I’m under the impression that writing about music is something that I’ve only just started doing. Still, as senility begins to work its erosional magic on the brain, the years do slip past without leaving so much cognitive residue, and as long as someone can confirm for me that I’ve been having a nice time, I won’t rail against it too much. At least I can look back through these annual articles, and although I’ll think it was someone else that wrote them and I can’t remember any of the music, I’ll know that a year took …

Rael Jones – Mandrake (post-classical)

November 30, 2013

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The running times of the nine pieces collected on Mandrake fall within the broad compass of the usual song lengths of pop and rock music, and they are gathered into a whole which may fall a little short of the usual length of a contemporary album, but whose duration would once have been a quite respectable proportion of the day to find occupied by the contents of an LP. But not all albums are curated on the same basis, some assembling a disparate selection united only by their ostensible author, some evincing a discernible sense of creative coherence, and others united by an overarching theme, which may …

Karda Estra – Mondo Profondo/ New Worlds (avant-prog)

September 12, 2013

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It’s far from unusual for me to beaten to the scoop on the music I’m sent to review, for various reasons, but not least because I like to spend a good deal of quality listening time trying to get inside the music before I set dactyls to chiclets and start spouting off. Little surprise, then, that Classic Rock Presents: Prog beat me to the punch on the Mondo Profondo review, giving me the opportunity to rip off any pertinent observations they may have shared. ‘Unclassifiable’ isn’t a characterisation with which it’s hard to concur, nor is it news to me (or anyone with a functioning pair of ears) that Richard …

Karda Estra – Weird Tales (chamber prog-psych)

March 14, 2012

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Karda Estra occupies a fairly unique territory, not a million miles from what Gunther Schuller coined the term ‘Third Stream’ to describe, although, notwithstanding some audible nods toward its harmonic verticality, jazz is not the main constituent of its language. It’s rare that I find myself writing about music where the musicianship is as purposely transparent as it is here, but improvisation is not a feature of these sounds either, and the players are at pains to realise the compositions accurately and expressively without drawing attention to themselves. This is of course standard practice in the classical world, or rather, it is the ideology of classical performance …

Karda Estra – New Worlds (psychedelic/ progressive/ chamber music)

June 4, 2011

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This album opens with a strummed guitar chord, and an oboe. The oboe is an instrument not often featured in rock, jazz, popular or folk music, and it signals with its presence that we should prepare ourselves for a variety of 'not often featured' elements. There are some sounds of rock in here, electric bass, distorted guitar, drum sounds and synthesisers: but these elements take their places in a broader soundworld, as seats in the orchestra pit rather than swaggering stage performers.