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IF, BWANA - Assemble.Age!

Format: CD
Label & Cat.Number: Mutablemusic MUTABLE 17540-2
Release Year: 2010
Note: Five new pieces of "Mutant Chamber Music", a meeting of modern classical music, industrial & musique concrete, by this long active US-American project, as usual always uncategorizable & exciting stuff, using much voice-material !! Featuring LISA BARNARD KELLEY on most recordings
Price (incl. 19% VAT): €13.00

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"Modern classical music meets industrial meets musique concrete.

The music of If, Bwana (Al Margolis) represents a vigorous, original and informed continuation of the experimental traditions of American music, responding as it does to the sounds and materials of late 20th and early 21st century American life with a keenly sensitive ear and a marvelous feeling for form, balance, and texture in music.

The five works on this recording all utilize and reprocess the performances (both studio and live) of the musicians and vocalists. Their work has been processed, edited, selected and assembled into strange and mutated pieces which in many cases are quite some way removed from the realms of the familiar.

Active since 1984 under the If, Bwana name, Al Margolis has been making music that has swung between fairly spontaneous studio constructions and more process-oriented compositions. He ran the cassette label Sound of Pig Music in the 1980s and co-founded and continues to run the experimental music label Pogus. Margolis plays bass guitar in the long-lasting, legendary punk/post-punk band The Styrenes. Recordings of his work have been released on the Tellus, Anckarstrom, Ants, Absurd, GD Stereo, Odradek, Monochrome Vision, and Pogus labels. Recent projects have included a sound art commission by WDR Koln, collaborations with video artist Katherine Liberovskaya on "Take-off", "Rant Dance". and "Frogfield", all of which have been shown internationally, and the premiere of "Three Songs in Search of a Voice", a "nohtopera" with MutaMYTHeatre - music by Margolis and text and voice, Lisa Barnard Kelley." [label info]


"Al Margolis career as If, Bwana has been going strong for more than twenty-five years now and it has making strange turns. Originally, to put it crudely, If, Bwana was an industrial group, using raw sound collage/montage techniques, but it has grown over the years in a way that not many others do. While many of his peers took the route to more musique concrete, Margolis went into the serious avant-garde direction. Working with small ensembles and soloists with various instruments, he now composes that are seriously modern and, at other times, sounding improvised. The role of Margolis is that of the conductor. Not in the traditional sense, raising a baton, but the organizer. He tapes the music and then fiddles it about using the computer. Maybe the 'organizer' is a better word, or 'assembler', to stay in tune with the title of the CD. Sometimes he receives sound material, such as by Trio Scordatura, which he then organizes into a piece of music, such as the nicely woven drone like sounds of 'Ringing The Bell', and sometimes they all team up to play live, as in 'Cicada #1: EHG Version'. Its here that the music sounds more improvised, an 'real' instruments (voice, trombone, flute) collide with a nord modular and computer. In 'Six Minus 6' and 'DTTO' it seems we are dealing with a composed piece of music and its hard to say what the role of Margolis is. His working method seems to differ within each piece he does and that's something that is surely great as it makes a very release. Different approaches to a similar working ground. A fine work, yet again, of various interests (composed music, improvisation, musique concrete techniques) merging together. Quite a unique voice in this music." [FdW/Vital Weekly]