The Future of Digital Music: A Preview of CES 2005
Tim Berne at Screwgun Records
Anyone familiar with saxophonist Tim Berne or into avant-garde ECM-like jazz will find this album-size sampler essential, as his playing and compositions from a number of releases are featured. Sidemen include performers like Joey Baron on drums and Hank Roberts on "cello, jazz-a-phone, voice (and) elephant ball."
"Improvised/creative/new music" labels like this are an awesome find when they deliver on their promise, but too many offer mindless soundscapes and electronica that's eclectic only because there's no actual music ability at work. Sachimay is one of the good guys, with a sampler of various artists largely blending elements of ethnic, chamber and jazz influences, with only a few ventures into the excessively bizarre.
OK, for those into the excessively bizarre here's a site that at least does a good job. Among the many recordings and concepts unlikely to be found elsewhere are the four-album "Recordings of Shortwave Numbers Stations" and two-disc "Electric Enigma" consisting of audio generated by a machine scanning the Northern Lights. This kind of stuff defies critical review - how does one give credit or find fault for a nature-generated event?
A few other sites of note yet to be reviewed: European Free Improvisation Home (shef.ac.uk/ misc/rec/ps/efi/), percussionist Le Quan Ninh (lequanninh.net/?voir=mp3〈=en) and Worldwide Internet Music Resources (music.indiana.edu/music_resources).