Thursday, April 1, 2010

Over the Top with Brown Wing Overdrive

Originally posted on January 12, 2009

Enter the world of Brown Wing Overdrive’s CD ESP Organism (Tzadik) and you find yourself on an electro-acoustic planet that transforms the jaw harp, vocal sounds, percussion, kalimba. electronic tones and world noise into a 45 minute collage that is over the top. It’s a trio of electro-acoustic sound weavers. The transformations of the organic sounds can be pretty simple—echoes, loops, filters, distortion, abrupt splices. It is not a virtuostic kind of sound tapestry. It is rather nutty, though, and there seems to be a certain sense of humor involved.

Disks like these are not for those seeking the peace and solace of cosmic tones. It can be jarring and it does not aim to provide a soporific backdrop to a new age cocktail party. Far from it. It’s a kind of “bad boys play with noise” music, and that can have its attractions. In the dismal season of storm and flood their refusal to cover it all up with pleasantries fits in with the harshness of the climate. Well so it is. Try this one if you want something that participates ever so slightly in another mad world, perhaps not this one. Or perhaps it is, if you follow the news (there's never a shortage of issues to cause concern). Perhaps they are a creative transformation of what is insane in the world right now.

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