Boris Savoldelli / Elliott Sharp: Protoplasmic (2009)
Boris Savoldelli doesn't even occupy the same rarefied territory as Phil Minton when it comes to free vocalizing. Instead, he carves out his own niche through his use of various electronic manipulations. However, it's guitarist Elliott Sharp's input that makes all the difference on Protoplasmic.
"Prelude To Biocosmo Pt. One" could almost be a comment on these media-saturated days. Savoldelli takes language, and doesn't so much manipulate it as deconstruct it, stretching syllables so they're eventually overcome by the ether. Meanwhile, Sharp offers wry comment on his excesses and apparent self-absorption. The resulting music is thus not so much the product of a duo as it is of two disparate stylists, to whom the notion of accommodation is anathema.
This is only a minor criticism however, especially as the duo entity is not alien to the two musicians' natures. "Reflective Mind" highlights the fact that they can complement each other when they feel so inclined. Sounds small and insignificant take on rhetorical substance, and not by either individual or collective force of will. Instead, the impression stems from the very extra-musical nature of proceedings, with dead sounds brought to life because of the inherent qualities of the fashioned environment.
Overlooking the fact that a title like "Khaotic Life" might be no more than ironic comment, the music takes an otherworldly quality a stage further. Sharp is at his most assertive, but the division between the centre of the music and its peripheries is not worthy of discussion. Savoldelli's voice is lost in a welter of manipulations; language having been abandoned, perhaps, as a result of the very thing the title implies.
Perhaps inevitably, "Prelude To Biocosmo Pt. Two" does not simply offer continuity with the first part. Its reflective impression comes about as a result of the lack of volume and the music's relatively languid air, at least until Sharp begins living up to his surname through shards of sound and string manipulations. His approximation of ultra-rapid rhythm guitar might be an ironic comment on speed-metal, not least because this duo isn't shy of taking things just one stage further.
Sharp is credited with saxophone on "Dig It." If no electronic manipulation was involved, it sounds like he plays the soprano sax, and that he knows the work of Lol Coxhill. It doesn't matter, however, as his input amounts to the only concession to lyricism in a program that's otherwise purged of it. This doesn't matter either, as the duo's remit is that of expanding frontiers at the expense of everything tried and trusted.
Track Listing: A-Quantic; Noises in My Head; Prelude to Biocosmo Pt. One; Black Floyd; Reflective Mind; Nostalghia; A Meeting in a Park; Khaotic Life; Prelude to Biocosmo Pt. Two; Dig It.
Personnel: Boris Savoldelli: vocals, electronics; Elliott Sharp: guitars, saxophone (10), electronics.