POGUS POGUS Is Watching You!
Noah Creshevsky / If,Bwana - Favorite Encores ::

Noah Creshevsky / If,Bwana - Favorite EncoresI’ve not happened that many times to review a split record that puts together two contemporary composers and I still find it quite unusual, but maybe it’s just a side effect of my infinite ignorance and it’s not that unordinary, by the way it’s interesting: maybe the contemporary music pushed so far that in someway it has become some sort of “punk thing” and for it may sound like a joke, attitudinally this could be truer than true. Forgive my stupid introduction and let’s see what Creshevsky and Al Margolis (If, Bwana) have to offer, I’ll start with Margolis/If, Bwana that here proposes three gloomy tracks dealing with contemporary classic music deeply immerged in electronics. Despite the fact that it could be ambiguous I’ll start by saying say this composer if compared to some European masters of the genre is less glacial while creating something that most of the times really reminded me of a new millennium answer to Bruno Maderna and that alone could be a great point of interest. If, Bwana use of electronics is really appealing since aesthetically it could be much closer to some unlearned electronic experimental artists than to a conservatory trained composer, for example he’s really into filling the sound scenario and differently from many contemporary musician he’s not that fixated on the use of silence/pauses. When Margolis adds Lisa Barnard’s voice in “Cicada #4” is brilliant: can you imagine a Meredith Monk-alike vocals electronically stretched and floating on a pulsing electronic loop?...here’s something quite close to that idea. Creshevsky studied composition both with Nadia Boulanger and Luciano Berio and leaves us four interesting tracks where he shows us his passion for defragmenting and reconstructing pre-existing materials, in the first track he plays with some violin samples creating a bizarre psychotic composition and even if I’ve had the impression Creshevsky likes really much the sound of this instruments, the rest of his works on this split are quite varied. In “Shadow of a doubt” you have what sounds as a complex orchestral collage where the composition comes out of an interesting cut and paste, as Margolis Creshevsky gives us an interesting display of vocal reworking (the singer is Chris Mann) and if you ever heard David Moss, I’m sure you’re able to imagine the kind of singing (electronically obtained) that dialogues with a violin. While both using electronic music, here we have a good example of two intriguing and really different approach to contemporary electronic music, both composers have some interesting points even if according to my personal opinion If, Bwana’s tracks could be more accessible to an “abstract electronic oriented crowd”. - Andrea Ferraris, Chain DL

On paper this could appear as an improbable coupling: the meticulously detailed, painstakingly assembled 'hyper-realist symphonies' of seamed-and-altered samples of Noah Creshevsky versus the ostensibly low-budget, ceaseless search for the 'previously unheard disconcerting differentiation from the canons' of Al Margolis/If, Bwana. Yet in the tangibility of this album - which basically alternates pieces from the two composers without joint efforts - everything works. The four tracks by Creshevsky are pure stimulus for the brain, representations of frames of minds bathed in semi-liberal compositional smartness. Cloned violins get transformed into spills of mocked commonplaces and joyously rapturous apartness, while the combination of a chuckling woman and bionic orchestral cadenzas (such as the exceptional 'Shadow Of A Doubt') is the means to enjoy the best of both worlds, prickly paradoxical irony in a polymorphic gatecrash of academic sterility's forbidden rooms. Margolis, on the contrary, appears as the 'restrained constituent' of the record - but only on a superficial listen. His radiation is evolutionally cancerous, in that it seems to implant cells of awareness in the psyche of a listener who's ready to absorb the expected but really can't handle the different reactions derived from a confrontation with the bitterness of uninviting, if meaningful secretions. In those hands, a piano becomes a small factory emanating fumes of metallic poisons, an improvising voice looks like an element of disturbance rather than a coherent presence - yet that very incidence is exactly what defines the memorisable meaning of that context. What remains at the end is the broken-frame portrait of two atypical musicians, unclassifiable experimenters whose sonic art refuses that sugar coat of certainty which prevents progress from following its apparently illogical itinerary. - Massimo Ricci, Touching Extremes

Past Feature Article: If, Bwana / Al Margolis featured in UK's Wire Magazine
CAUTION: Listening to POGUS CD's may cause you to become one with the universe (or at least your immediate environment)
Unless otherwise noted, all content © 2000 - 2005 Pogus Productions  ::  Design by Family Design Group