Hans Tammen / Denman Maroney: Arson (2013)
How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.
Hyper-pianist Denman Maroney, known for his ongoing collaborations featuring double bass master Mark Dresser with the experimental sound artist and conceptual explorer of the so- called "endangered guitar" Hans Tammen, have been working together since 1998 as a duo and in other formations. Unfortunately, until now the innovative work of this unique duo was documented only on their only album, Billabong (Potlatch, 1999}.
Arson , recorded in Brooklyn during June 2012, features the highly sophisticated musical language of the duo. Maroney's hyper-pianism his own method of playing inside the piano redefines and dramatically expands the piano's sonic vocabulary and offers a new, colorful palette of sororities and timbral options. The surprising orchestrated sounds of the hyper-piano are electronically captured by Tammen then transformed and processed into radically contrasting, noisy textures emanating from his interactive software and the imaginative sound processing of his own endangered guitar.
On eleven varied pieces, Maroney and Tammen weave delicate, nuanced electro-acoustic soundscapes that do not sound even remotely close to the conventional piano and guitar vocabularies. They structure their pieces carefully and patiently as enigmatic puzzles comprised of chaotic, colliding concrete sounds, white noise, atmospheric blips, industrial, resonating pulses, and occasionally light, common touches of the piano keys while still avoiding any form of playing the keyboard in a linear progression until these pieces acquire a distinct and cohesive character.
The thoughtful, immediate process of improvising these fleeting sonic capsules is often more arresting than the end result. Interaction is fast, supportive and dense. Maroney and Tammen are determined to expand any given sonic thread, even the most simple, spare or abstract ones, as both demonstrate on the long pieces "Anemone," "Shaman" and "Ornaments." They transform it into their own language, varying that with unworldly sounds, raw, disturbing noises or silence, and succeed charging these pieces with tension, evocative cinematic qualities and compelling presence.
Challenging and demanding, yet highly unique.
Track Listing: Dynmao Meat; Harmony Dame; Demon stream’ Amnesty Dharma; Mnemosyne;
Anemone; Shaman; Ornamenta; Memory; Arson; Mad Rhyme.
Personnel: Denman Maroney: hyperpiano; Hans Tammen: endangered guitar,
electronics, live processing.
Record Label: OutNow Recordings