Frkwys Vol. 7
David Borden, Daniel Lopatin, Laurel Halo, Samuel Godin, James Ferraro, synthesizers
The seventh edition of the RVNG’s Frkwys series features intergenerational electroacoustic collaboration. David Borden, one of the pioneers of analog synthesizer performance and founder of Mother Mallard’s Portable Masterpiece, the first all synth ensemble, teams up with some of the young pups of indie electronica, members of bands such as Ford and Lopatin, Oneohtrix Point Never, and the Skaters.
While, traditionally, these two eras’ musicians may not share the same marketing demographics, they do share a love for vintage gear: for the warmth that analog keyboards can impart. Another mutual interest is ensemble improvisation. This common ground was extensively explored in a two-day marathon of recording sessions. On the Frkwys release, listeners are treated to unadulterated cuts, sans overdubs. But Borden and company do fine “without a net,” creating imaginative soundscapes. At times ambient and at others verging into more experimental terrain, the prevailing language here extols a minimal harmonic field, slowly evolving textures, and a plethora of drones.
Apart from the twelve and a half minute long “People of the Wind, Pt. 1,” most of the cuts are under ten minutes in duration. If one had a quibble about the release, it might be that this collective could use more time to stretch out and develop their ideas. Maybe a future meeting will allow side-long compositions to emerge. But in the meantime, there’s some heady music making to be heard from this initial encounter between analog improv’s old school and emerging wing.