Wednesday, October 31, 2007

2 Days - Bryan Day

Bryan Day/Alex Boardman: One to Seven (public eyesore84). A combination of guitars (from both) and Day on taisho-goto and radio (these two are half of Shelf Life reviewed earlier). This a relaxed and satisfying improv album. The guitars are dominant, being played, strummed, picked, melodic - almost bluegrass, but that feeling is probably reffecting the 'guitar' sound. Some of the strings are loose and woobly: almost like manipulated tapes, adding a variation in sound. There are shorter atmospheric opening and closing parts. The second track is the longest, at about 13 minutes, with some extended tones underneath at times, skittery runs, loose playing and absorbing spaces, drawing you in. Three is a fuller piece, more connected as the strings interweave. The tones in the second return as big humming in Four - probably the radio, I decided now - in a piece that is rapid and playful. Five starts a little harsher before an interchange between melodic runs and strumming. Darker feedback in Six introduces the most scrapey 'difficult' piece before the aforementioned melodic short final section. This is a very nice release - the two players working nicely off each other, combining the tighter and looser string components.

There is a
youtube taishogoto ensemble video for those who, like most of us, don't know what it is

Nagaoag is Bryan Day and Luke Polipsick and Yama Labam A is a release on Eh? (28), a Public Eyesore off shoot. The two play guitar and drums respectively, and the music on this is an avalanche of percussive energetics across the whole armoury of drums cymbals and other banging pieces and complex guitars (electric and acoustic) that all at the same level in the mix: you can either focus on the clattering fast-forward momentum or the intricate and at time surprisingly melodic guitar: or even let them both wash over you. But then there is the third element - vocals by one of the two which swings between Waits-ian growls, Japanese noise squeels, high singing. Generally not-English (my guess is created noises [yaps, squeeks, expostulations, Dada poetry] but possibly other languages) it occasionally emerges with words and phrases. On the whole it works well, it is equal in the mix with the other components. The level of activity changes, but there is always a strange swampy feeling to this, probably from the Dr John vocal-phrasing and sound which seems to pervade it (alabamy could be somewhere in the title). More unsettling than Day/Boardman this would have benefited from perhaps a little more variation (the last track is more relaxed) as it becomes harder to take over the full 50 minutes - but is enjoyable in smaller doses.

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