mardi 25 mai 2010

Tony Conrad - Fantastic Glissando

Reviewby Rolf Semprebon

Along with La Monte Young and others, Tony Conrad was one of the founders of minimalist music in the early '60s in New York. These four pieces from 1969 take that minimalism to new extremes, as the title track consists of a processed tone from a sine-wave oscillator with a slowly raising pitch, and each of the subsequent tracks adds another layer of processing to the previous piece. What listeners get is a slow, devolving tone, with increasing textures caused by the static that surrounds it until by the final fourth track the tone is buried beneath the processing. Even the first track has enough texture to be more than just pure tone, and each layer of effect creates more sounds as well as a more aggressive feel to the piece as the crackle, fuzz, and other imperfections overtake the oscillator-generated tone. Fantastic Glissando is an interesting experiment with interesting results, even if it's not quite up to par with more successful Conrad works like the Early Minimalism box and the album with Faust.


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