Kendra Steiner Editions (Bill Shute)

June 12, 2013

Massimo Magee’s “SOPRANINO SOLO” (KSE #222) reviewed at Touching Extremes

Filed under: Uncategorized — kendrasteinereditions @ 11:29 am

With THE WIRE becoming weaker and more New Music-celebrity driven with each issue (both in terms of what it covers and who is covering it),  and the new ARTHUR being a massive letdown on almost every level and bordering on self-parody, thankfully there are  STILL some independent, unpurchased, free-thinking New Music writers out there who pay attention to THE WORK and engage in a deep investigation of that work, not worrying about what clique it grew out of or how much money was spent on packaging…who have not forgotten the DIY/outsider roots of the music and who realize that when New Music becomes the established norm, then it’s become part of the problem, not part of the solution…and one of those rare few who, fortunately for us, continues to write regularly and explore new and little-discussed work is Italy’s Massimo Ricci, at his Touching Extreme blog, which you should bookmark immediately:

KSE is honored that he discussed our latest Massimo Magee release, SOPRANINO SOLO (KSE #222), in a recent entry. Here is that review:

MASSIMO MAGEE – Sopranino Solo


Kendra Steiner

Massimo Magee: sopranino saxophone (either regular or with pickled reed, tabletop-style, electronics, radio or on a VCR tape)

Only 123 copies of this, one of the finest albums enjoyed in a good while. And, aside from a typically shallow writeup elsewhere, not a line found to praise the contents of such an intense record. But who am I to talk, after all? Before yesterday, this writer had read Magee’s name dozens of times, never attempting to venture beyond the “namesake empathy” level. More fool me. The guy is a serious, serious artist – just look at what he writes to explain his views on free music, then resume reading this review.

See what I mean? Immediate affection over here. Then again, you may hit upon Magee’s photo from 2007, playing the sopranino while bent on a rock somewhere in the open country, the wind blowing through long black hair under the blue sky. The image of an individual interiorly, and consciously, allied to the cosmos as everybody should ideally be. No time or place, no mundane bullshit to take care of. The “now”, the sound and the reaction to it, stillness in between – the real silence, not that enforced by the necessities of fashionable vainness. (Hell, I’ll even forgive the painted nails spotted in a much noisier context on Vimeo).

A similar sense of connectedness is elicited by these four tracks, all of them communicating severe urgency, raw beauty and utter intelligence at once. Not a note wasted in the “regular” solos (“Instant” and “Pickled”): off-center melodies and multiphonic adventurousness cutting our watchful approach to shreds, the caustic chirping of über-evolved birds meshed with the strained cries of a tormented soul. Then a mini-treatise on how rendering Xenakis-like scrambled massiveness as the most logical of proposals (“Confusion”), and – to end the whole with additional acridness – “Post-Instrumentalism”, namely a VCR tape containing the corrupted relics of another solo, a distressed griminess characterizing the purest intents.

Make no mistake, Magee might blow your socks off if he chose to. However, this is not mere skronk-and-scream rubbish; Sopranino Solo truly can stand, and proudly, with the milestones of current improvisation. And if you are smart as I have become in the last 24 hours, do yourselves a favor and download – gratis! – this 26-disc set . Don’t forget to get a copy of this CDR first, though. Trust the antipodean Massimos.

sopranino solo

SOPRANINO SOLO (KSE #222) is still available, though we are down to our last few dozen copies…$8 ppd. in the US, $11 postpaid elsewhere…payable via paypal, to django5722(at)yahoo(dot)com

why not pick up some of our other CDR albums of contemporary, forward-thinking music, all in small handmade numbered editions…each is $8, if included in the same order as SOPRANINO SOLO…otherwise, the first cdr sent outside the US is $11, after that, $8 each…any quantity in the US is $8 each…

KSE #243 (CDR), VENISON WHIRLED (aka Lisa Cameron), “The Many Moods of Venison Whirled”

KSE #254 (cdr), DJIN AQUARIAN (of Ya Ho Wha 13)/SIR PLASTIC CRIMEWAVE & THE EVERAFTER, Live in San Francisco 10/2011


KSE #239, (CDR) FOSSILS, “Bells and Gulls”

KSE #251, (CDR) FORBES GRAHAM, “Return: The Journey”

KSE #247 (CDR), MARCUS RUBIO & BILL SHUTE, “Only The Imprint Of An Echo Remains”

KSE #237 (CDR),  MICHAEL BARRETT  (Belltonesuicide) & MIKE GRIFFIN (Parashi), “Birtual Seme-Alabak”

KSE #235 (CDR), BOOK OF SHADOWS, “Chimaera”

KSE #228 (CDR), UNMOOR, “Night Driver”

KSE #207 (CDR), ALFRED 23 HARTH & CARL STONE, “Gift Fig”



KSE #222 (CDR), MASSIMO MAGEE, “Sopranino Solo, “ cover art by MP Landis.

KSE #220 (CDR),  MATT KREFTING, “Sweet Days of Discipline”

KSE #226 (CDR), DEREK ROGERS, “Born Into Systems”


and pre-release versions of these three forthcoming albums can be purchased NOW for immediate delivery:

KSE #260 (CDR) TOM CREAN, “Wired Love” (solo guitar and banjo explorations)


KSE #257 (CDR),  ALFRED 23 HARTH, “Micro-Saxo-Phone, Edition  IV.”

Thanks for your support of independent non-aligned DIY arts organizations that circumvent the established “underground” hierarchy and connect person-to-person…

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