Kendra Steiner Editions (Bill Shute)

June 18, 2013

THE EXPATS—-Harth/Stone/Bennett/Uchihashi (KSE #233) reviewed at Touching Extremes

Filed under: Uncategorized — kendrasteinereditions @ 4:40 pm

Thanks to Italy’s Massimo Ricci (of Touching Extremes) for his insightful review of KSE #233, THE EXPATS: ALFRED 23 HARTH, CARL STONE, SAMM BENNETT, and KAZUHISA UCHIHASHI. We still have some copies available, though they are going fast.

You should be a regular reader of Touching Extremes. You can access it here:

$8 US postpaid/$11 elsewhere postpaid, payment via paypal to django5722(at)yahoo(dot)com

(include a note w/ your paypal order explaining what item you are ordering)

THE EXPATS is a special and unique album. Not only does it bring together four incredible talents in the free-music world, not only were they totally ON the night of this performance, but each brings to the performance the unseen yet felt 98% of the iceberg that kicks the performance into the transcendent sphere: ALFRED 23 HARTH, a man who has blazed his own trail since the late 1960’s, who has absorbed many musical traditions worldwide while totally re-inventing himself with each release (so many of his contemporaries have mastered a certain routine and simply repeat the same shtick with different players and in different contexts), for me the most interesting and most essential player in the international free-improv, post-free-jazz world; CARL STONE, pioneer in electronic composition and sampling, and one of the few out there who is a great composer AND a great improviser, and one whose “improvisations” use as their raw material the spontaneous creations of his fellow players; SAMM BENNETT, not just a heavy-hitter in the free-improv field, but an instrument maker and someone who has totally redefined the concept of the “song”; and KAZUHISA UCHIHASHI, totally original guitarist and daxophonist, a man with a great sensitivity in his playing who always pulls in the listeners. It was an honor to release this album…and we’ll let Mr. Ricci take it from there:

expats front





Kendra Steiner

Alfred 23 Harth: reeds, kaoss pad, dojirak, samples, voice; Carl Stone: computer, Max/MSP, voice, samples; Kazuhisa Uchihashi: electric guitar, daxophone; Samm Bennett: diddley bow, mouth bow, voice, gadgets

The highest value of this live set from 2010 in Tokyo derives from the feel of collective connection that it transmits. Purposeful sonic motility born from different experiences and backgrounds, materially explicated by each artist’s insightful levelheadedness. A 160-copy limited edition is the tangible evidence of a special night lighted up by a supergroup of sorts.

“Unboxing” starts with a rather imperturbable mood spotted by undecomposable shapes – petite noises, clean-cut guitar and sax notes, well-distributed percussive touches – leading the listener step by step towards a perception-deceiving sphere where the aggregation of antithetical dynamics and tensions flourishes into a beautifully morphing varicolored lattice, a general awareness of inherent fluidity defining the whole track even when sourer samples attempt to prevail in the mix. We could call this a somewhat melodic expansion of collateral fluxes of consciousness.

“Eschew Obfuscation, Espouse Elucidation” comprises several degrees of incandescent noise-making; the utilization of more complex deformations of the original sources encompasses clearly visible bodily aspects. There is less room for relief in this potential chaos, but what ultimately wins – here like everywhere else – is a sense of organization holding all the components nicely pasted together, including the seemingly illogical ones. In that regard, the positioning of uncrystallized vocalizations, burbling entities, groaning impressions and scratchy rhythms in parallel with the episodic “aligned” phrase or semi-twisted arpeggio works wonders in generating psychedelic scents of the finest brand.

“It’s Also The Things We Choose Not To Put In” is initiated by an implausible “gamelan-in-a-music-box-meets-Jon Hassell” mishmash, from the insides of which additional shots of perspicuous lunacy come forth to uproot the audience. The “acoustic soul” seems to dominate at one point, yet there is enough content of electronic instability; a timbral malleability characterized by aesthetic permeableness (now and then with pseudo-minimalist condiments) is the core of the matter in this circumstance. Actually, the main trait of this quartet corresponds to their ability of rendering unlikely ideas “interiorly toothsome”, stimulating our private focus and adapting capabilities without the need of overwhelming (although a section starting around the eight minute, defined by what sounds as a cross of misshapen ringing alarms and oriental martial art ceremonials would surely be sufficient for many people to get brain-sick).

“Alien” – a word this writer is growingly becoming fond of these days, for various reasons – coincides with the occult (in a way) side of the foursome’s action. Deprived of any sign of over-indulgence, this piece’s textural essence transports a willing participant inside the realm of genuine sensual disengagement, not necessarily warranting a quietening welcome to heavenly composure. On the contrary, some of the frequencies can enhance a given state of mind – say, dejection or worrisomeness – up to points of displacement that hyper-sensitive individuals may find hard to be at, if caught in a “down” moment. As always with musicians at this level, being pushed right in front of what the self understands as unendurable is the method for receiving otherwise unachievable explanations.               (by Massimo Ricci, 2013)



THE EXPATS (KSE #233) is still available, though copies are going fast…$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 THE EXPATS…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 #222, (CDR) MASSIMO MAGEE, “Sopranino Solo” cover art by MP Landis

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 #240 (CDR)   SPRILLS OF ORE (Eva Kelly), “Time Mirrors”

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


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

KSE #262 (CDR), BELLTONESUICIDE, ” NON-CONFORMIST SESSIONS” (this is an extended reissue of the 3″ mini-cdr KSE #185, with the full contents of the recording sessions)

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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