Daniel Corral – Refractions (CD Review)

Refractions

Daniel Corral

Populist Records CD PR012

Jeremy Kerner, electric guitar; Isaura String Quartet; Corral, music box and laptop

LA-based Populist Records has released another treasure trove of unusual ambience. Daniel Corral’s Refractions, featuring the composer on music box laptop alongside electric guitarist Jeremy Kerner and the Isaura String Quartet, captures a compelling ambient composition. Delicate strains from guitar and strings are offset by bell-like interjections from Corral’s music box and swaths of sustained sounds from his laptop. The piece begins with all of these various textures and gradually is winnowed down to the music box, supplying minimal punctuations and offset repetitions in a slow ritardando until the piece’s delicate denouement and eventual close. Given the deliberate limitation of resources and lassitude of pacing, this slowly evolving piece of music is spellbinding in its execution. Rather than foregrounding the incremental shifts of material, the listener is encouraged to bask in a wash of sounds, varied and lovely timbres that are deployed with enough independence to seem to have minds of their own.

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Thurston Moore and John Moloney: Full Bleed – Caught on Tape

Full Bleed: Caught on Tape

Thurston Moore and John Moloney

Northern Spy

It can be easy to frame an artist based on their most prominent or recent work. But while Thurston Moore has increasingly of late been involved in songwriting and poetry, one shouldn’t forget his roots in avant improv. Full Bleed: Caught on Tape is an excellent reminder of the ferocity of tone and boldness of amplitude Moore can undertake as an improviser.

Drummer John Moloney has in recent years spent much of his time playing with Moore in his Chelsea Light Moving incarnation. As a founding member of Sunburned Hand of the Man, he too has skronk improv cred. He demonstrates it here with thunderous enthusiasm, pushing Moore – and us – past anybody’s comfort zone. Full Bleed displays elements of drone rock and moments of finely layered textural playing. However, it mostly revels in the noise rock end of the spectrum. While that’s a place that Moore hasn’t visited quite as frequently of late as he did during his formative years, he proves here that he still can own it with abandon. Though not for the sonically squeamish, Full Bleed is an impressive, forceful document.