Friday, October 15, 2010
Mem1 is Mark Cetilia on electronics and Laura Cetilia on cello and electronics (home site here with free downloads). They have an album on Interval which came to me by way of Steve Roden - it is a series of collaborations, one of which is with him.
Overall the album plays with variations of scritchy electronics/processing and cello (plucked, bowed, scratched) and also some dronetones from the instrument, which is also evident from the material on the website. The Cetilia's create delicate and intriguing soundscapes that are attractive and engaging in their own right. Each of the tracks on the album develops from this general mood into distinct pieces but it is the ones which moved in unexpected directions which really caught my attention: but I'll mention each to give you some idea of the collaborators.
Jan Jelinek has some deep long tones which form the bed for shimmering cello: the piece with Ido Govrin is beautiful as delicate long tones are introduced over more processing and microloops. The addition of some field recordings by AreaC is subtly moving.
There is a dark intensity to the brooding track with RS-232, with deep throbbing electronics. Frank Bretschneider adds beats and percussive effects to a ringing exciting piece. Edgy and then bubbly, Kadet Kuhne; long tones under clattery, scraping with Jen Boyd: neither of these two display a distinct personality.
Jeremy Drake has bird like calls in a mysterious work that is threatening and builds quite noisily. And finally a work by Roden which adds a tentative tone to the crackling scrape, a buzz which is quite moanlike and some percussive plucking: and then about half way through a pounding chanting sample which is looped and the whole thing is speeding before easing to a crackling and then a voice-loop that is like a vinyl run off: despite my bias, this struck me as the most interesting track.
When I first got this album I didn't really pay it much attention - but listening through it a few times now I am impressed and attracted to its subtlety and beauty. It is not a disk that throws itself in your face but one which offers a lot of pleasure and depth with repeat listening.