by Nic Jones
Kowald and Golia have been valued players in the realms of the free for long enough to have established their musical identities, but what makes all the difference in this program is the extra-musical knowledge they bring to bear.
Golia brings a veritable arsenal of instruments whilst Kowald employs various techniques. Both of these points lend the music depth as well as the substance that can be taken for granted. As if to emphasize the importance of this, the track ...read more
by Nic Jones
Debate might rage over the suitability of any given instrument to solo performance, but Peter Kowald's Open Secrets presents the sound of a formidable technician without letting that dubious asset get in the way of musical expression. The results are compelling.
Calling Kowald a stalwart of the free music community is both helpful and inadequate. He has committed himself to that means of musical expression for decades, and this recital--the program has all the hallmarks of a recital about it ...read more
by Rex Butters
Peter Kowald's posthumous stock continues to rise with the release of Silence and Files, a live recording from a German village solo concert circa June, 2001. The late, lamented virtuoso takes a steel-nerved tour of the bass as infinite possibility, sweeping the listener along on the promise of unfolding surprise.
Kowald's approach to free playing burned past any possibility of head-trapped intellectual theory thumping into a possessed primal passion. He created obsessively, sculpting space with bass, moving through startling techniques ...read more
by Rex Butters
Duos 2 represents a posthumous sequel to Peter Kowald's 1998 FMP release, Duos. Kowald's missionary zeal spreading the gospel of freedom took him through several countries in old cars. Taped from '85-'90 and formerly available on vinyl, these recordings have Kowald hobnobbing with an elite corp of forward reaching artists from Europe, North America, and Japan, including Julius Hemphill, Jeanne Lee, Derek Bailey, Butch Morris, Toshinori Kondo, Fred Frith, Evan Parker, and Andrew Cyrille. With eighteen radically unique musical visions ...read more
by Andrey Henkin
Japanese art’s most famous series is perhaps its “Views of Mount Fuji” by the woodblock artist Hokusai. In the series, he portrays the mountain from various locations in Japan; in certain cases as the prominent subject of the work; in others a distant point in the background of a teahouse or lake scene. One is swept up the beauty of the composition and the importance of context, even to something as large as a mountain. The international ...read more