Kihlstedt/Robair/Sperry / Sonarchy 1998
Album: Sonarchy 1998   Collection:Jazz
Artist:Kihlstedt/Robair/Sperry   Added:Sep 2008
Label:Majmua Music  

A-File Activity
Add Date: 2008-10-12 Pull Date: 2008-12-14 Charts: Jazz
Week Ending: Dec 14 Dec 7 Nov 16 Nov 9 Nov 2 Oct 26 Oct 19
Airplays: 2 2 1 1 2 1 1

Recent Airplay
1. May 29, 2009: Memory Select
Sonarchy Two
4. Dec 05, 2008: Memory Select
Sonarchy One [excerpt]
2. Dec 12, 2008: Memory Select
After Sonarchy
5. Dec 04, 2008: Baptism of Solitude
After Sonarchy
3. Dec 10, 2008: In a Silent Way
After Sonarchy
6. Nov 14, 2008: Memory Select
Sonarchy Two

Album Review
Craig Matsumoto
Reviewed 2008-10-08
Abstract improv, mostly acoustic but dealing out a rich palette of unconventional sounds. It's violin, drums, and bass, but you'll have trouble telling which instrument is playing: Ringing tones from the percussion (Robair rubbing things on the cymbals) mix with clattery clanks and scrapes from the strings. A great slice of the rich Bay Area improv scene 10 years ago, with a sound that's one step more removed from jazz than even Derek Bailey & Co. were.

Here's what I mean -- let's focus on Matthew Sperry on bass. One of Sperry's favorite tricks was to stick his bow (or similar long object) through the bass strings, then twang the bow, turning the bass into a rattly percussive instrument. That shows up a lot (especially on 2); you'll also hear a lot of string-scraping sounds and some deeply bowed bass so low it sounds like a rattling drum (that's the ultra-low 5th string Sperry outfitted his instrument with.)

Fans of the Derek Bailey or Fred Frith zone of improv will find a lot to like here.

All three musicians here are local treasures:
Carla Kihlstedt (violin)
Gino Robair (drums)
Matthew Sperry (bass; killed in a traffic accident in 2003)

1- (28:18) Small, crunchy, quiet opening. Into slowly ringing and groaning clatter; lots of scraping and twisting sounds on the violin and bass. Peaks after about 9 minutes and gets into a nice rolling clatter, some great percussion by Robair.
Around -9:00, a nicely careful pizzacatto segment opens up, followed by actual violin bowing, small and playfully sad lines, an abstractly chamber-like stretch that gets fast. Winds down to a serene ending.

2- (6:22) Quick-footed attack, lots of rattly percussive sounds. Robust.

3- (26:55) Abstract bowed notes, for an agitated, sour-toned start.
-17:00 -- quieter, some violin swoops, echoey percussion, nice blank spaces
-11:00 -- rises into a quick frenzy into a cool pizzacatto segment for two minutes. Then, slow and quiet drone, into a loud but slow-tilting coda, like a lightly twisting mobile.

Track Listing
1. Sonarchy One   2. After Sonarchy
  3. Sonarchy Two