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Keith Fullerton Whitman/Greg Davis, "Yearlong"

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Recorded on the road between December of 2001 and November 2002, these thirteen tracks prove that it's never impossible to continue exploring new musical palettes. Each track is, as far as I can tell, the combined effort of both Keith Whitman and Greg Davis and the music is markedly different from anything they've released by themselves.

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Far more glitchy and filled with non-linear messes of static and random noise, the majority of Yearlong has a less polished and more improvised structure than what I am accustomed to from either composer and so, upon first listen, I was a bit shocked by what I was hearing. The first Knitting Factory track is basically a series of highly edited pulses forced into envelopes of echo, reverb, sudden decompression, and 90 degree turns. There's very little room for continuity. Similarly, the recording from the Bottom of the Hill in San Francisco comes off as a noise performance edited and disjointed on the spot; gone are the smooth curves that populated both Davis' and Whitman's releases from last year. On the other hand, the two WFMU Radio pieces and the Kontor Gallery recording in Köln, Germany fit together quite well: the bells, whistles, reversed signal hums and guitar samples all flow in and out seamlessly, as though they were meant to sit side by side on a disc. The La Casa performance in Washington is a beautiful mix of kitchen sink percussion and simple, spacious piano bits and the massive WNYU-FM track from New York (recorded on the same day as the Washington performance) is a blissful mix of contemplative bells and shuffling utensils. These two tracks, in particular, are amazing because of how different they are. Recorded on the same day, they're indicative of how diverse both composers are and just how willing they are to try new ideas. The Impakt Festival recording, the last track on the disc, is particularly fun, too, and seals my feelings on this album up. A combination of crackling hiss and marching band samples, it lights up the end of an album that, at first, can be a little daunting, but ends up being excellently diverse and addictive in all its playfulness. - Lucas Schleicher

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Last Updated on Thursday, 14 July 2005 10:35  


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