Contributor Archives: The Cookshop

Reines d’Angleterre – Les Comores

Trio Reines d’Angleterre, made up of noise pioneer and veteran Ghédalia Tazartès teaming with younger deconstructionists él-g & Jo, have released a singularly ethnic album. Not that ‘ethnic’ by itself means anything: is it an offensive term for something Other? Does it refer to a specific place, a specific people, a specific style? A specific language even? No, to all accounts (except, perhaps, the offensive question). On Les Comores, Reines d’Angleterre tightly restrain the free noise and industrial leanings of each member, and the result is an album that bounces and smashes influences and cultures, ethnicities and languages – even/especially Tazartès’ … Continue reading

The Element Choir – At Rosedale United

This Element Choir sounded ambitious and fun, but I was certain I knew what to expect from it. You’ve got Canadian vocalist extraordinaire, Christine Duncan conducting a 51 piece improvised vocal choir with the backing of Jim Lewis on trumpet, Jean Martin on drums and trumaphone, Eric Robertson behind the Cassavant pipe organ, and Jesse Zubot on violin and viola. I mean it would certainly be hard to top some of the great impov vocal ensembles like Phil Minton’s Feral Choir, right? She employs conduction techniques to guide the choir through their improvisational twists and turns. That is certainly no new … Continue reading

Horacio Pollard – Gas Giant

A native of Ibiza, Spain, regarded as “one of the most exciting artists to emerge out of London recently”, who issues his album on a Norwegian imprint is a sum of curious elements per se; the fact that Gas Giant is a CD-R assembled in a DVD-case, featuring a generous piece of cardboard with bubble-wrap glued to it but no sign of liner notes – only track titles – has, I guess, a whole other inner logic. No frills indeed, no useless implications: these 30-something minutes of “Euler language, deep sea monsters, and almost melodies” are effective, acute and intoxicating, … Continue reading

Jeremiah Cymerman – Fire Sign

This album grabs you by the back of the neck and drags you through a series of furious musical maneuvers. Built upon the performances of some of the top improvisers of today’s free jazz scene, Fire Sign becomes its own unique animal that is impossible to nail down to any genre or movement. Jeremiah Cymerman has masterfully edited and crafted his own unique creation from the recordings of his colleagues. Each track here is a celebration of the musicians sampled within it. They are more than mere source material to Cymerman, they are the inspiration and launching pad for this … Continue reading