Lea Bertucci: Xtended Vox review | John Lewis's contemporary album of the month

5 months ago 51
 Xtended Vox
The medium screen for Lea Bertucci: Xtended Vox

The archetypal clip you witnesser a genuinely experimental vocalist, you could beryllium forgiven for believing that you’re watching Vic Reeves’ absurdist comedy. These performers make creation from each the stray noises – sibilants, clicks, breaths and plosives – that dependable engineers usually effort to disguise. Once you get beyond the archetypal daze and stifled giggles, these performances initiate a profound introspection astir the quality of sound, the inarticulacy of speech, the limitations of philharmonic instruments and the blurring of melody, harmony and bushed arsenic categories.

These are each intelligibly things that involvement the American dependable artist, composer and saxophonist Lea Bertucci. She is champion known for making drone-based, site-specific works that research acoustics, but Xtended Vox is simply a compilation of modern artists who are doing bonzer things with their vocal cords. Bertucci herself contributes to 1 way – a duet with composer Ben Vida, antecedently of New York outfit Town & Country – featuring garbled whispers and stray burbles that person been enactment done assorted FX pedals and chopped and spliced into a shimmering soundscape.

There is besides a three-part suite featuring seasoned British vocalist Phil Minton – possibly the godfather of this schoolhouse of euphony – successful a duet with cellist and composer Audrey Chen. Anyone who has seen Minton unrecorded with assorted avant-jazzers implicit the past 50 years mightiness beryllium acquainted with his sonic arsenal: helium growls, babbles, yelps, yodels and barks similar a dog, often punctuating his outbursts with creaky pharynx effects and an assortment of percussive, plosive sounds.

Most awesome mightiness beryllium a nine-minute portion by Berlin-based Turkish vocalist Cansu Tanrikulu, an orchestrated suite of creaks, gasps and glottal effects, linked with electronics and drones, which yet mutates into a portion of Aphex Twin-like ambient electronica.

Also retired this month

Pieces and Interludes (Infrequent Seams) sees New York pianist Eli Wallace pushing the boundaries of the prepared piano. Amid the creaking, scraping, scratching and muted soft riffs are nods to gamelan percussion and the benignant of bell-like resonant drones that lucifer the enactment of experimental duo Autechre.

The eponymous medium by Suss (Northern Spy Records) is simply a portion of windswept ambient state music, wherever the pedal alloy and e-bowed guitar manages to dependable icy alternatively than sun-bleached. Auteyn is the pseudonym of Normandy-based composer Benoît Lefèvre, whose mini medium Vigiles (Bandcamp) is simply a portion of ghostly, electro-acoustic orchestral music, featuring horror-movie drawstring arrangements, freeform clarinet freakouts and immoderate pleasing resonant drones. Karu is simply a signifier sanction for bassist Alberto Brutti, whose An Imaginary Journey (Beat Machine Records) is simply a compelling psychedelic exploration of accepted music, mixing tract recordings with shards of mutilated conversations, hypnotic percussion and sliced-up sax and bass solos.

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