One could wonder whether the cultural capitals of the world have been moved to Cracow (Poland), Vilnius (Lithuania) and Lisbon (Portugal). Or let's say that at least of some of the best and daring music nowadays is performed and released out of those cities. Again, the small labels surprise with the least likely of commercial successes: solo percussion albums.Well, not quite solo. The first is accompanied by text, the second is a percussion duet, but the lack of melodic instruments does not mean lack of musicality, as is demonstrated here.
Vladimir Tarasov - Thinking Of Khlebnikov (No Business, 2009) ****
This album is a reflection on a text on the Russion futurist Velimir Khlebnikov, which is joined on the CD as a pdf file. The text is in Russian.
Tarasov's playing is sparse, open, subtle, sometimes adding drama, but more often precise, cautious, gentle, barely disturbing silence, creating an organic harmony with a silent environment. No patterns, no repetition, just the infinite possibilities of sound, brought to such a level of abstraction that any sense of melodic evolution would be a vulgar disturbance of the purity he creates.
Lucas Niggli & Peter Conradin Zumthor - Profos (Not Two, 2010) ***½
Watch a clip from December 2009.
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