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M, Where’d All My Friends Go?, 28 octobre 2009

I was pleased to find this disc in the pile Montgomery passed off a few days back. In a break from the wash of limp experimentalism that too often clogs the French-Canadian Ambiances Magnétiques label, they put out this collaboration between the Czech/Canadian Ganesh Anandan (formerly of India) and German Hans Reichel, both of whom invented the instruments played here. Reichel has been around since the 70’s, an under-appreciated exponent of free music akin maybe to Keith Rowe/AMM; for Self Made he’s playing his daxophone - the figured wooden board suspended across another smaller, thicker one that is engaged by friction with the dax (bow it, strike it, pluck it). Anandan is perhaps not so well known, but has done interesting work in Karnatic music and Gamelan which inform the instruments he’s created, particularly the metallophone, a percussive set of metal bars tuned (to my ears) a bit like the saron; he’s also trotting out the shruti stick - a sort of prepared electric 12-string zither. What results are 11 dialogs (plus 1 Anandan solo, track 8), all improvised, and all pretty unsettling due mostly to the similarity of a tortured human voice to the daxophone; I’m totally absorbed.

I’m totally absorbed.

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