POGUS POGUS Is Watching You!
Feature ArticleAl Margolis/If,Bwana - An Innocent, Abroad (Touching Extremes)

Al Margolis/If,Bwana - An Innocent AbroadIdiosyncratic as hell, Al Margolis' music must have told something strange to the mind of some director at WDR Köln Radio, commissioners of the American composer in 2006. Upon hearing the material, the liners explain, they stated that it sounded too "new music-y", deciding against broadcasting it. Did these people really believe that If, Bwana would supply them with a neo-classic score? As Mr. Wilson said, god only knows. The CD features two compositions, both based on Lisa Barnard's utterances. The title track, subdivided in four movements, was generated by a 16-minute improvisation that AM/IB "duplicated and extended"; then he gave different tracks to
flutists Jacqueline Martelle and Jane Rigler to interact with, assembling all the parts in a nightmarish patchwork complete with electronic treatments of Lisa's vocal trips. The result is a mix of XX century avant-gardism and lysergic atmospheres, a dissonant sinuousness that could be difficult to digest for newcomers, certainly not for those in the know of the author's artistic consistency throughout an unlikely career. It works even better at whisper volume, functioning as a series of ghostly presences that seem to come out of the remote corners of a room accompanied by delirious tweets and gurgling moans. The final and shorter selection "Issue" sees Barnard and Margolis alone - voice cum electronics and processing. It's a gorgeous piece, halfway through the lamentation of my cat Jerry when his stomach suffers after eating a rat (I'm not kidding: he emits a modulated "oyoyoyoy" that verily recalls fragments of this work) and a drugged meeting of
yodelling muezzins about to fall into convulsions. What I love most in this man's oeuvre is exactly the eternal suspension between intense experimentation and the will of trying solutions that no academic institution will ever accept as "serious". Needless to say, for this reviewer "academia delenda est". - Massimo Ricci

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