Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Larry Kucharz: Blue Drawings and Text

A new album from Larry Kucharz is always a pleasure: an early supporter of &etc, I had not heard from him for a while so was surprised and pleased when this arrived - and to find that I had only missed one release in the interim.

To recap - Larry is a classical/minimalist musician who found the pleasure of synthsizers and the ability to layer tones, and shifted his interest to electrochoral and then also electrotechno. The albums are either beautiful ambience or a unique take on electro. Blue drawings and text is the latest of at least 15 release on his own International Audiochrome label.

The first six tracks on this one are the Blue Drawings - these are layered ambient pieces (and therefore hard to describe) that demonstrate Larry's ability to select tones that form fascinating and satisfying combinations. There are deeper underlying tones, higher ones that act as highlights or repeated elements. Each track has subtly different timbre, tonal or length qualities to them: for example the first is long steady tones, there are more wooshy elements to 2, while three contains shorter elements that have breath like qualities to their shape. In 5 sounds are more pulsingly pinging while the final drawing is like slow ringing or vibrating strings. The fourth has some of the more vocal sounds that have appeared in some of the choral pieces.

The seventh track is where a work from his pre-electronic days has been transcribed, and 1979 No 03a is another beauty - long tones set layering over each other. Some steady supports, others providing texture, some like the wind passing through this ethereal gallery. A gorgeous piece.

Finally the texts - a section where we get to hear a further side of his artistry. These emerge from another 70s experiment using words - he lists them on the cover - which are used as the units of sound and combined, accentuated. Winterfall is the simplest where the words are multi-layered over a simple ambient texture. The density of words forms a babble out of which some of them are more identifiable, but overall it is a musicality that is pronounced - especially as the words emerge from the ambience, fade back and then recur before the final fade. A computer voice is used on Soundless, and structure is gained by echoing the words - the repeated echoes at times extending into an industrial ambient rumble - and the timing as the pauses shorten or lengthen, to a steady beat at the end.

The final two pieces merge the word poems with some of Larry's joyously forceful techno. A more emotional reading in Bar scene is accompanied by some exciting and lyrical music; while a very tasty percussive work envelops the voice-radio cacophony of City street scenes II. These two provide an extrovert conclusion to the album.

This is an excellent album for the Kucharz-neophyte as it demonstrates the full range of his music, while for those familiar with his work will find much to give them enjoyment as the on-going development of this impressive artist is demonstrated. This is classical, minimal, ambient, techno with a hint of industrial strength: another great album.

contact Larry at intaudiocr@aol.com

No comments: