Friday, 31 March 2017

Iancu Dumitrescu / Ana-Maria Avram - In Tokyo (2003)

Let's have another Avram/Dumitrescu, shall we?  This one, as the title suggests, is centred around two live recordings from an October 2002 concert in Hamarikyu Asahi Hall in Tokyo, the first of which is Iancu's Abysses Latents.  Dark percussive clouds, mostly ominous gongs a la early NWW combine with rock-boring sax and a wordless, free vocal from Japanese avant-garde singer Keiko Hatanaka.  Yoko Ono is a lazy comparison to make, but hey, I'm on a holiday week and engaging my brain as little as possible.

On either side of this piece, Dumitrescu offers some of his trademark "computer-assisted" studio work, in the opener Implosive Eternity and the multi-part Bolids & Contemplations.  Sounding a bit like 90s Whitehouse played underwater in the latter piece and a bit like a less-clinical Autechre on the former, this stuff is the most engaging on the disc for me.

Avram contributes the most substantive work, certainly in numbers of players, with La Légende D'icaire for the full Hyperion Ensemble.  Tim Hodgkinson takes the lead with a nice honking, skronking bass clarinet solo, up against various string and percussion clatter - some of it electronically treated, increasingly so as the track goes on.  And how better to close out this fascinating release than with 11 minutes of solo saxophone?  Dedicated to its player, Turkey-based musicologist Robert Reigle, Penumbra is another great rumble 'n' screech through registers of its instrument that only composers with this strength of vision can go to.

alt. link (zippy)