New York City, despite its current malaise, will always be the mecca of music in the United States. There is no popular genre of music that didn’t explode there at one time or another. Surprisingly, it took a Swiss record label, Rocafort Records, to document the boogaloo, guaguancó and salsa scene in such a concise way. The company specializes in Latin music, and this disc features acts like Orquesta Olivieri, Ozzie Torrens and the Brooklyn Sound. Each track makes you want to raid the dance floor.
Lawrence English of Room40 Records has never, not once, disappointed me in showcasing a magnificent new release. This one is a collaboration between Ellen Fullman and her long string instrument collaborating with Theresa Wong, who adds a warm layer with her cello.
From the Bandcamp website:
Harbors is a collaboration of composers Ellen Fullman (Long String Instrument) and Theresa Wong (cello), which draws inspiration from the soundscapes, stories and atmospheres that manifest around bodies of water that propagate exchange. Structured around the extended harmonics of the open strings of the cello, Wong and Fullman utilize subsets of these tonal areas to create distinct sonic environments within the piece.
Fullman’s Long String Instrument, a stunning installation of over forty strings spanning seventy feet in length, places the performers and audience inside the actual resonating body, transforming the architecture itself into the musical instrument. Wong has developed techniques that take the cello beyond tradition into a vocabulary more closely rooted in the sounds of the natural world. She captures material electronically, layering textures amplified throughout the space which form an immersive field where figure and ground are in constant flux.
The piece reveals an orchestration of shifting drones, aberrant melodies and glistening atmospheres. Harbors has reverberated many spaces around the world, including: Click Festival, Helsingør, Denmark; Transformer Station, Cleveland; MONA FOMA, Tasmania; Centennial Hall, Sydney Festival; The Lab, San Francisco; and Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit.https://room40.bandcamp.com/album/harbors
As I am now settled in Brno, Czech Republic, these reviews will start making a comeback, and there are plans for new projects afoot. More on that later.
This is perhaps the most enlightening article I’ve ever read relating to reggae which doesn’t immediately start with Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry or Bob Marley, both of whom did wonders introducing both reggae and dub to the broader world. Chinese immigrants played a massive role in recording, promoting and playing reggae of an exceptional quality, and all respect is due to Jared Proudfoot of Bandcamp for his engaging history lesson, complete with music samples.
Read the article here. It’s worth your time.