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BANG ON A CAN: INDUSTRY. “Lick” (Wolfe);...

BANG ON A CAN: INDUSTRY. “Lick” (Wolfe); “Hout”; “Hoketus” (Andriessen); “The Anvil Chorus” (Lang); “Industry” (Gordon). Bang on a Can All-Stars, and guests. Sony Classical SK 66483.

As you might expect, this recording makes use of all manner of instruments (traditional and non-, electric and acoustic, panpipes and brake drums) and concerns itself, more or less, with rhythm. The pieces are written in various post-minimalist styles and can get pretty gnarled in complication, but you can usually pick up on what’s going on: They’re audible games. Louis Andriessen’s “Hoketus” brilliantly combines the medieval technique of “hocket” with minimalism to create a rapid-fire echo between two groups, which slowly evolves, changes shape and shifts gears, moving from two notes to somersaulting boulder HUH? (over 23 minutes). Andriessen’s “Hout” is comet-like--a tenor sax blazing away, then a marimba, electric guitar and piano following in turn, with the same material, as the fading tail. Michael Gordon’s “Industry,” for cello and something called Ibanez “Tube Screamer,” takes a simple chordal sequence and distorts it, fuzz-guitar-like, to epic proportions--making Jimi Hendrix’s “Star-Spangled Banner” sound wimpy in comparison. A fun, innovative, invigorating recording, but not for the squeamish.


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