Zammuto: S/T LP (Review)

Zammuto S/T LP

Zammuto
Zammuto
Temporary Residence Ltd.

Best known as half of The Books, an indie duo that incorporated both electronica and classical crossover signatures (before the latter was cool!), Nick Zammuto recently released his first solo LP for Temporary Residence.But rather than being a ‘music minus one’ presentation, a recording in which part of a distinctive collaboration is sorely missed, Zammuto has a distinctive sound all its own.

Its leadoff track, “Yay,” underlines that point with an interesting use of vocoder, crafting layers of beat-boxing in counterpoint to skittering live drums and sustained organ lines. Modified vocals are instead employed as longer melodies swaths on “Groan Men, Don’t Cry,” where they are set against syncopated guitar riffs, prog-inflected synth work, and funky percussion fills. “F U C3PO” combines appropriately sci-fi-sounding effects with saucy vocoder singing, taunting the droid mocked in the song’s title.

While this frequent employment of synthetic vocal production could, and, in other settings has, become a gimmick, here Zammuto uses it to provide a distressed, glitchy alternative to the lush sonic palette found on his records as part of the the Books. And don’t assume that the arrangements on Zammuto are only about gadgetry. One need only check out the bass line on “The Shape of Things to Come,” not to mention its varied array of percussion, imaginatively deployed and performed with zesty elan, to belay that notion.

Whether within the Books or as a solo act, one looks forward to many more interesting sounds from Nick Zammuto.

Yay (via Tumblr)

Mountain Goats plus Anonymous 4 on Q2

Offbeat collaborations have become a hallmark programming preference for Merkin Hall’s Ecstatic Music festival. But the combination of a cappella group Anonymous Four with indie rock songwriter Josh Darnielle of the Mountain Goats and multi-instrumentalist/arranger Owen Pallett is a standout even in this season’s diverse set of offerings.

Josh Darnielle (photo: Jeremy Langet)


Our friends at WQXR were kind enough to share the concert on Q2: it’s streamable via the embedded player below.


Program

Transcendental Youth (Darnielle)
Lection: Apocalypse 21:1-5
The Lord’s Prayer (John Tavener)
Motet: Salve virgo regio/Ave goriosa mater/[DOMINO]
Motet: Gaude virgo nobilis/Verbum caro factum/ET VERITATE
Benedicamus domino: Belial vocatur
Conductus: Nicholai presulis
Song: Novus Annus Adiit
Trope: Gratulantes celebremus festum
The Scientist (Richard Einhorn)
Religious Ballad: Wayfaring Stranger

“Aphorism” (Soundcloud demo)




With just a day to spare, I managed to get an entry into Hilary Hahn’s Encore Contest.
Below is a Soundcloud embed of a midi demo of “Aphorism,” a brief duo for violin and piano. I like creating miniatures – and love that Hilary is running this contest – so this was doubly fun to write.


RCRDLBL Shares SXSW: Rock Playlist (stream)


Emily Zemler at RCRDLBL has curated a SXSW Playlist featuring the “can’t miss” rock acts. Thanks for the tunes Emily!


Hubble: “Nude Ghost Remixed” (Soundcloud)

Ben Greenberg

Northern Spy recording artists Hubble, featuring guitarist Ben Greenberg,  has just released a remix of “Nude Ghost” via Soundcloud.

The band’s LP Drums is out now. The band is touring, including an appearance at SXSW (dates below).


\

Hubble Live
3/9 – Savannah Stopover Festival (Telfair Museum) Savannah, GA %
3/14 – Club 1808 – SXSW Party Party Partners Showcase Austin, TX
3/16 – 517 S Lamar Blvd #B – SXSW Terroreyes TV Showcase Austin, TX *
3/17 – The Hideout Official SXSW Showcase Austin, TX
4/15 – Oberlin College Oberlin, OH ^

% = w/ The Men
* = w/ Dustin Wong, Dan Friel
^ = w/ Aaron Dilloway/Chris Corsano Duo

2/1: Beiser and Ziegler Tango at LPR

Cellist Maya Beiser and pianist Pablo Ziegler appear at Le Poisson Rouge on Wednesday, February 1st at 7:30 (doors open at 6:30). They are performing Canyengue, the Soul of Tango, a program that features the works of Astor Piazzolla.

From 1978-’88, Ziegler was a member of Piazzolla’s band. His arrangements for cello and piano translate Piazzolla’s compositions, such as Libertango and Adíos Nonino, to a more intimate medium, but retain the genre’s vibrant spirit. The duo will also perform several pieces by Ziegler, and Beiser will take a solo turn, performing Osvaldo Golijov’s Mariel.

Below, hear a stream from File Under ?’s Tumblr page of the duo playing Fuga Y Misterio, a somewhat lesser known piece by Piazzolla, arranged by Ziegler.

“Fuga Y Misterio”

Le Poisson Rouge is located at 158 Bleecker Street (between Thompson and Sullivan), in the West Village, NYC.  Tickets are $15, available through the club’s website, www.lepoissonrouge.com, or call 212/505-FISH (3474).