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Alan Licht & Aki Onda, "Everydays"

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Exploring the limitations of an instrument can be more enlightening than obsessing about perfect tone or versatility. On Everydays, Onda and Licht use the button noise and trashcan fidelity of cassettes as a tool rather than a handicap. The results range from bucolic chatter to full on noise assault.


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Some music doesn't benefit from quality recording. I doubt the crashing piano on the opener "Tick Tock" would be as abrupt and nauseating had it been pristinely sampled. The overdriven roar and whir of the tape spools is what really puts the ears off-ease. Not all the tracks are that spastic. The squeals and chirps on "Tip Toe" seem lifted straight from some interstellar aviary. Oscilators join the birdsong, undualting like a North Sea swell. 

I could have listened to "Tip Toe" for the duration of the album, but Onda and Licht had different ideas. Everydays has a unity of approach, not mood. The closer, "Be Bop", tears the mellow vibes asunder, cassettes all spewing raw static and hissing shrieks. Squalls of feedback rear up and then disintegrate in coughing spasms. This CD does not die gently.

The main appeal of Everydays is the diversity. Onda and Licht tease out every disposition they can from their instruments. No small feat. When using tapes, noiseniks often shovel out an undifferentiated muck, without peaks or valleys to challenge the listener. Onda and Licht opt for a more surprising, anarchic experience. Everydays is definitely not for the fastidious, but there's something in there for just about every other taste.


Last Updated on Sunday, 13 April 2008 17:27  


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