Radian Verses Howe Gelb
"A seemingly curious collaboration. A wrangling and grappling, a confrontation, a quarrel. A checking-out, a weighing of compromises. The Viennese trio Radian has recorded an album with songwriter Howe Gelb from Tucson, Arizona. Here the situation is different: Radian Verses Howe Gelb is primarily a Radian release. In four sessions that were rather freely dispersed over time, Howe Gelb, usually devoting himself to a cosmopolitan rethinking of Americana and desert country in his day job, fed acoustic contributions into the microphone for Radian: piano, guitar, above all: voice -- sometimes as a reaction to material prepared by Radian, sometimes pulled liberally and unexpectedly from his own vast and tangled pool of ideas. The tones of Howe Gelb provided further material for Radian: They were dissected, dissolved, reoriented, mutated and made to fit into their own world. Radian Verses Howe Gelb is the first Radian release with guitarist Martin Siewert, who joined the band in 2011 and here also is responsible for processing and sound treatment. As usual, drummer Martin Brandlmayr was in charge of the selection and arrangement of sounds, and John Norman of the bass. As always with Radian, this record resembles a particularly carefully and cautiously-assembled collage: sounds, tones, noises -- the tracks are busy. They are teeming, quavering, vibrating. As before, the kinds of things that Brandlmayr, Norman and Siewert scrape and tease out of their machines and instruments make up an exuberant buffet of ideas and strangeness. The way the sounds are arranged here however creates an aura of fragility, a lean design. The tones appear to be artfully suspended in space, and you can feel the air flowing between them. You can hear Howe Gelb croaking and whining in the process of disintegration, and the entanglement and fusion with this highly-focused free music. The categories and genres crumble away ? whether it's exploring jazz, intricate tinker-electronics, dub, growling, hissing, bubbling, rock, a lot of things wondrously permeate this music, one that is indeed rather post-everything." --Philipp L'Heritier; Howe Gelb (voice, guitars, piano); Martin Brandlmayr (drums, vibraphone, electronics, synths, editing and arrangement); Martin Siewert (guitars, lap-, and pedal steel, electronics, synths, processings); John Norman (bass).