3

Latest Releases of Aural Terrains Label

Eyal Hareuveni By

Sign in to view read count
The British label Aural Terrains continues to explore the extreme sonic terrains of electro-acoustic spontaneous improvisations, each different in its vivid atmosphere and suggestive sounds. The label's recent pair of releases feature two distinct outfits that present the arresting results of a careful, balanced mix of acoustics and electronics.

Thanos Chrysakis / Ken Slaven / James O'Sullivan / Jerry Wigens
Zafiros en el Barro
Aural Terrains
2013

Zafiros en el Barro ("Sapphires in the Mud" in Spanish) was recorded in Madrid, Spain and features founder Thanos Chrysakis on laptop and synthesizer with musicians who play acoustic instruments—Ken Slaven on assorted percussion instruments and violin, James O’Sullivan on guitar and Jerry Wigens on clarinet and guitar. All have collaborated before on other Aural Terrains releases as Instant-Cascade-Distant and Magnetic River.

The seven untitled improvisations here, surprisingly, avoid textures that do not rely on minimalist static improvisations, and each is busy and lively. All investigate and experiment patiently on the sonic options of spontaneous, yet carefully balanced group improvisation. In all exercises, the musicians apply extended techniques on the acoustic instruments that blur the boundaries between the electronic sounds and the acoustic ones to add distinct, focused character to each selection. The longer efforts, the second and the fourth, even have a subtle dramatic narrative enhanced with brief, nuanced excerpts of Spanish radio voices on the second one and exotic Brazilian berimbau percussive sounds and the gentle violin playing on the fourth. Other improvisations even set a suggestive, lyrical atmosphere. The fifth cut challenges Chrysakis to follow fast, chaotic acoustic interplay.

Thanos Chrysakis / Wade Matthews / Javier Pedreira
Garnet Skein
Aural Terrains
2013

This is a trio featuring Chrysakis on laptop and synthesizer, Wade Matthews, a former New York-based reed player now based in Madrid (a close collaborator of Chrysakis and recording engineer of Zafiros en el Barro) on digital synthesis and field recordings, with Javier Pederira, who also collaborated with Matthews before, on accoustic guitar.

The six improvisations were,again, recorded in Madrid. The sonic merging of electro-acoustic sounds with the revolutionary, extended techniques applied to the guitar create enigmatic, nuanced textures characterized with a rapid, organic flow of new, otherworldly sounds and dense interplay. As on Zafiros en el Barro the longer improvisations(third and the sixth) manage to structure more abstract narratives, less dramatic in progression but still restless and voluminous, even climaxing in threatening, electric storms of tight trio interaction. The fourth and fifth improvisations feature gentle electronic drones, obscured occasionally with noisy, percussive interference, suggesting an eerie, cinematic soundscape.


Tracks and Personnel

Zafiros en el Barro

Tracks: I; II; III; IV; V; VI; VII..

Personnel: Thanos Chrysakis: laptop computer, synthesizer, radio; Ken Slaven: berimbau (1, 4), breadknife (2), autoharp (2, 3, 4, 7), violin (2, 5, 6, 7), mbira (3); James O'Sullivan: guitar; Jerry Wigens: clarinet, mandolin (1, 2, 7).

Garnet Skein

Tracks: I; II; III; IV; V; VI.

Personnel: Thanos Chrysakis: laptop computer, synthesizer, radio, gongs; Wade Matthews: digital synthesis & field recordings; Javier Pedreira: guitar.



Shop

More Articles

Read Duke Ellington on Storyville Records Multiple Reviews Duke Ellington on Storyville Records
by Chris Mosey
Published: March 20, 2017
Read Lee Morgan On Music Matters Multiple Reviews Lee Morgan On Music Matters
by Greg Simmons
Published: March 6, 2017
Read Dan Phillips Returns To Chicago Multiple Reviews Dan Phillips Returns To Chicago
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 21, 2017
Read New, Notable and Nearly Missed Multiple Reviews New, Notable and Nearly Missed
by Phil Barnes
Published: January 25, 2017
Read Blues Deluxe: Colin James, Matthew Curry and Johnny Nicholas Multiple Reviews Blues Deluxe: Colin James, Matthew Curry and Johnny Nicholas
by Doug Collette
Published: January 14, 2017
Read Weekertoft Hits Its Stride… Multiple Reviews Weekertoft Hits Its Stride…
by John Eyles
Published: January 7, 2017
Read "In Jazz We Trust: On The Politically Inspired Work Of Delfeayo Marsalis and Ted Nash" Multiple Reviews In Jazz We Trust: On The Politically Inspired Work Of...
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: October 2, 2016
Read "NendoDango Records: Reinventing Tradition" Multiple Reviews NendoDango Records: Reinventing Tradition
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: December 6, 2016
Read "Allison Miller & Honey Ear Trio: Lean; Swivel" Multiple Reviews Allison Miller & Honey Ear Trio: Lean; Swivel
by Doug Collette
Published: November 4, 2016
Read "Badbadnotgood Is Truly Goodgoodnotbad" Multiple Reviews Badbadnotgood Is Truly Goodgoodnotbad
by Dave Wayne
Published: December 20, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!