Monday, February 15, 2010

Jazkamer - Musica Non Grata CD (review)

Label: Pica Disk
Catalog#: PICA015
Format: CD, Album
Country: Norway
Released: Feb 2010

From the website comes this information: "The February edition of Jazkamer's 2010 monthly CD-series. "Musica Non Grata" is a feedback-fest. Armed with guitars and analogue synths and an arsenal of amps, Hegre, Gross and Marhaug locked themselves into Duper Studios in Bergen, exploring how feedback-timbre sounds like when recorded on an analogue 24 track 2" tape-machine. The three long tracks that makes "Musica Non Grata" are slow-moving long-form meditations on feedback that will be bliss for a select few and hell for most listeners. February is not an easy month . CD in digipak cover. Photos by Martín Escalante."

Musica Non Grata is the second release in Jazkamers 2010 monthly series, and the CD has three long tracks. To make it clear and save you wasting time reading further: this is a study in feedback! Those who are still reading might like to know that this full length CD from the trio again being Marhaug, Hegre & Gross, is very much different from last months Solitary Nail. When the latter was one 30 minute track of cut and paste, Musica Non Grata is slowly moving, changing over long periods of time, making the change barely noticable.

The first track “Honda Sound Works” is more than 30 minutes of high pitch guitar, synth and electronic feedback. By insanly slowly altering the sounds, they make the track go on for the full 30+ minutes, and making it sound right. It is not very wide ranging, and the sound stays for most of the trak up in the high frequency range, making it challenging to follow all the way.

Next up is the title track, starting off where the first finished, but here the track is coloured by lower frequency sounds making it very much “easier listening”. Sometimes a mid ranging squeal is mixed in the background. It is however very industrial sounding, and sounds of circular saw and various powertools appear, although I think none of them were ever used.

Last track “Feedback Fans” is a more evident guitar based track, although I suspect other sound sources are used. By pounding, hitting or touching the guitar in some way, a slow rhythm appears from time to time, making the track vary more. The second half of the track is also less full on, and the study of feedback becoms even more evident.

So, was February an easy month? It certainly wasn't bright, but Musica Non Grata has made more turns than normal and made my life brighter and easier in comparison. Musica Non Grata is also worth a try if you think the world of feedback needs further explorations.

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