» Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]


 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]


 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
[11.04.2010 by Cory Tendering]

Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
Halcyon Digest
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Fat Possum
Jeff Kaiser & Andrew Pask
The Choir Boys

Rating: 7.5/10 ?

June 10, 2005
This work is a violent yoking together of diverse traditions. With woodwinds and horns, Kaiser and Pask negotiate their way through a chamber of crackles, squeals and raw noise, offsetting rigorous compositional schemata with cogently placed pockets of improvisation.

At first, the sound is orchestral in its well-turned intonation and clarity, but then Kaiser provokes a telling counterpoint through the craggy confrontation of mutilated trumpet and saxophone that pockmarks "Dim Effigies". The piece has a dark, clanking momentum, rich in traces of Xenakis and the sourer moments of Morton Feldman's orchestrations.

Kaiser and Pask attack their instruments with relish, working up a real head of psychedelic steam and achieving a plateau of whirling dervish ecstasy. After the fog lifts, bass clarinet, trumpet and saxophone pit themselves against the abrasive atmosphere of the piece, plunging deep below the surface of the atonal patterns and emerging with rich, melodic ideas of their own. All of this denotes a wonderfully disciplined and cohesive recording that accumulates considerable architectural impact as it progresses through its seventy-three minutes.

In addition to their loose-limbed propulsive force, there's a wealth of textural detail in their unobtrusive use of electronics, while the ever present electro-acoustic burr of scraping, rustling instrumentation lends the whole a deliciously organic appeal. Each musician listens and responds naturally; pieces never feel unfinished and flow into one another, making the effort seamless and concise, but never terse. This duo finds pleasure in the sound and shape of skewed identities, and their rhythmic combinations ooze generously form these pieces. Their focused symbiosis of breath and circuitry strives toward the deep fusion of instrumental resources that collaborators like Supersilent occasionally accomplish.

Meanwhile, "The Vulnerability of Stammering Arrows" is a creepy froth of industrial grinding, buzzes and rasping flugelhorn that mutate into a soundscape of overlapping drones and looping tones. Simultaneously wound up and precise, the nearly unrecognizable, sustained notes of a trumpet are interspersed with brief interludes of silence. The unfolding feels improvised, but the resultant piece has layered depth and strange sonorities that suggest careful arrangement and calculated effect. Woodwinds are shrouded in booming feedback-like resonance, timbres suggesting electronics and the audible beating of clustered overtones.

Throughout, Kaiser and Pask engage in the notion of a dialectical unity of opposites: Kaiser crafts open-ended textures and drones while Pask brings firm forms by way of his robust and decisive playing, and the two opposites cue each other in an ever-ongoing project. Such an issue also works to imbue the proceedings with the presence of absence, of a separation that must be maintained in each engagement in order that something might be disclosed. That being said, as perhaps evidenced by the generally melancholy disposition of the textures, there remains a desire to overcome this tension and risk. With their continued choice to not merely sustain, but also surpass, themselves into surprising modulations of sound and structure, this pair seems to side with laceration, and has crafted an enthralling album as a result.

Reviewed by Max Schaefer
Nocturnal qualms and eyes that brim like lamps betoken slender sketches, poetry and short stories strewn alongside piano playing, a fiddling of knobs and murmured dialogue with a medley of electronic gizmo\'s. A twenty-one year old person lodged within the University of Victoria, Max harvests organic sounds on a sullen sampler, watching water unwind like two broad lengths of ribbon and nursing a book below the canopy of a cheery-tree. Max believes that the world is made present by people\'s presence in it and that art is one such way in which a distinctive disclosure might be crafted.

See other reviews by Max Schaefer



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