Friday, January 22, 2016

Sandy Ewen & Henry Kaiser, Lake Monsters

The helter-skelter, considered mayhem of avant electric guitar noise-sound color improvisation is at a premium on the recent album Lake Monsters (Balance Point Acoustics BPALTD 606), a collaboration between Sandy Ewen and Henry Kaiser. Sandy Ewen is a visual artist as well as a guitarist. Henry Kaiser should need no introduction as one of the avant world's and advanced jazz-rock's acclaimed exponents.

Lake Monster gives us a veritable smorgasbord of amplified guitar textures, extended techniques, smears and blots, points and masses of new guitar dueting.

This is music on the edge, the edge as art, art as spontaneous effusions of un-pedestrian or ultra-pedestrian (meaning related to everyday sonic urban space) emanations. It is less of a thing for the totally avant uninitiated as it is for those already immersed in sound art improv, but I imagine a first-comer to this sort of thing might get something out of it with repetition and focused patience. What's nice is the gamut of electric outside stances it takes and its artistic handling of them. Feedback, scronk, swipe and wipe, muted percussive clanks, there are lots of creative ways of sounding, virtually an encyclopedia in sound, and they come off with a two-way fascination and interactive verve.

It goes to many different aural-mood spaces and keeps you interested. All avant guitar fans should hear it, I'd say.

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