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Monday, January 7, 2013

Frank Rosaly - Centering And Displacement (Utech, 2012)****

By Paolo Casertano

What a drummer left alone can do God only knows! Nobody can prevent him or her from hurling a washing machine outside the window on a car’s hood (well, maybe the police, but please in case be clement to him/her!) and recording the resulting sonic emission to be then used as a rhythmic or melodic sample in a composition. But if you’re against overdubbing and post-production, you can go for a live execution of a suite for broken engines (in this case you need a lot of washing machines, enough cars and be sure the police is not around).

From the magmatic distortion opening “Centering A” crops out a dusky pulsation. That’s the prelude to the entrance of an aseptic, mechanical rhythmic pattern. Variations steps in in the intersection of the looped element through falls of toms and bells. We have then a sudden bend of the composition in a more calm, minimalistic scenario of tiny electronics and acoustic noises. The gamelan introduction allows a completely new atmosphere in the track, where undulating electronic beats match with far metal scrapes and wooden substratum. The dialogue between the two aspects is restless even if not spasmodic, perfectly fitting to the dark iconography of the vortex on the cover.

“Centering B” mixes even more completely the electronics element with blend dilated drones, eerie metal shrieking and mesmerizing pealing. After six minutes the composition starts anew, with layers of organ-like pulses and soft hammerings on vibrating metal slabs surrounded by clinking empty cans. When “the orthodox occidental drum kit” - if you may say so - comes back, it has to reinstate in this timeless and no borders milieu. Nothing better than doing it accompanied by a flute that seems to arrive straight from a Kabuki theatre scene.

Exactly this atemporal atmosphere and it being devoid of stylistic recognizable traits make this album such captivating and enveloping.

You can listen and buy it from the label.

© stef


Martin Schray said...

What is it with the drummers lately? There are so many creative and innovative ones around, just think of Eli Keszler or Harris Eisenstadt. This is a marvelous album, there is a coherent line to the PoTorch records by Lytton/Lovens in the 1970s but the audibility has increased here mainly due to the electronic parts. As usual a nice and funny, yet profound review, Paolo.