Pablo Feldman Sun Riley

[AA/Nosordo, www.nosordo.com]

While trading in some CDs at a Berkeley record store, Robert Horton stumbled upon Dax Pierson. As Horton was sporting Augustus Pablo and Morton Feldman discs, Pierson started to comment on his unusual choice of music. This sparked a conversation when Horton admitted, ""Bizarre as it many seem, I think Morton Feldman and Augustus Pablo have something in common in the way they use space in their music." Pierson was in complete agreement and their collaboration for this CD began. Spanning five years and severe hardship [Pierson was in a tragic car accident a couple of years ago, which left him in a wheelchair]; the record exists on a plane like rarely any other I've recently heard. While Pierson plays everything from melodica, sampler, synth along with a bass melodica, Horton plays everything from boot [home-made 4 string instrument], feedback, computer, tape guitar, delays, loops, and sine waves. Although quite lightly, he also contributes his voice to the mix. What's great about the record is its vast sparseness. Despite the fact these two musicians play such a wealth of instruments, for the most part, you get the feel only a few are played at any given point in time. These sounds are drawn out to infinity. When Pierson plays melodica, he stretches out his motifs for long periods of time, all the while Horton provides some nice atmospherics. The shivering waves of oscillating sine waves permeate most tracks but the overall feel here is dryness and concentration. These two don't fool around. Their four main influences listed in the album's title - Augustus Pablo, Morton Feldman, Sun Ra and Terry Riley - get a fair share of musical thought but more than anyone else, it's Pablo and Feldman that are being romanticized here. Pablo's love for the melodica and his use of studio space comes through on nearly every track, as it echoes back and forth, while Feldman's use of repetition is felt in most places as well. The music is calming, drone-induced and moves at a rather slow pace. Little nuances develop and you must pay attention to these details before they dissipate into thin air. Headphones are useful in catching all of the detailed elements of the duo's music. If I was to call this release by just one name, I would have to simplify everything and state it's quite brilliant. Cross-genre pollination rarely sounded this authentic.

- Tom Sekowski

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