DIDKOVSKY: Ice Cream Time. Nick Didkovsky, electric guitar, laptop; Thomas Dimuzio, sampling, live sampling, and processing; ARTE Quartett: Beat Hofstetter, soprano and baritone saxophone; Sascha Armbruster, alto and baritone saxophone; Andrea Formenti, tenor saxophone; Beat Kappeler, baritone saxophone. New World 80667. 57 minutes
Nick Didkovsky’s music, at least the album-length piece Ice Cream Time, is sharp, clever, rigorous, funny, and, at times moving. The influences are numerous, from minimalism, post-minimalism, art rock, Spike Jones, etc., but they are subsumed into a personal, directly expressive whole. Most listeners will find something to like here, but my favorite sections are those, like “Seltzer Session 2″ and the concluding “Rise” whose placid surfaces contain multitudes of expression.
The playing, whether of instruments or laptops or other electronic devices, is first rate, as is New World’s sound, especially some quite vivid stereo effects.
Ice Cream Time is cool and, yes, pretty sweet.