The Helen Scarsdale Agency

Son Of Rose: All In

All In, the fourth full-length CD release from Son of Rose (sound and video artist Kamran Sadeghi) comprises recordings made between 2004 and 2009. As he did on his previous, 2007 release Divisions In Parallel, Sadeghi combines real-time digital signal processing and prepared piano (the album lists piano, ebow, drums, electronic treatments as instrumentation) in eight pieces that were recorded live and in which post-production alterations are kept to a minimum. Though organ isn't listed as one of the instruments, an organ-like sound functions as the nucleus in many tracks and as a result a subtly transcendent aura pervades the release. That organ emphasis also imbues the music with an Eastern and psychedelic aura, perhaps most clearly felt during “All In,” for example, where one can easily imagine a singing group sitting in a circle within a temple chanting along to the organ drone while it glistens and smolders. Elsewhere, Sadeghi wraps lulling ambient drones such as “Row” and “Toward Sensation” in billowing layers of reverberant hiss and disrupts their quietude with percussive ruptures. Static and synthetic sounds constellate around flowing tendrils of shimmering wave-like tones in “Falling Forward” while loud fluttering flourishes persist with indomitable force in “Radii” and then morph into interlocking patterns of staccato chords. Only “Movement Transposed” brings the piano to stage center when its inner strings are dragged across to produce shimmering strums.

A rather different creature, Kreiselwelle by irr. app. (ext.) (Californian M.S. Waldron) makes All In almost resemble a pop album by comparison. That's because Kreiselwelle emphasizes field recordings above all else during its single-track, forty-six-minute running time. Waldron alchemizes a large collection of recorded materials into a consistently engrossing mosaic of familiar and alien sounds where one bleeds into another, and all of it unfolding according to a sonically unpredictable yet organic design. The release is actually the third installment in a trilogy (Ozeanische Gefühle and Cosmic Superimposition the others) that Waldron has composed under the influence of Wilhelm Reich, a 20th -century psychologist who promoted the idea of interconnectivity between energy, organisms, and the entire cosmos. In keeping with the title—Kreiselwelle translates as “spiral wave”—Waldron restricts himself to sounds that possess a spiral dimension: a lamp-shade spinning in place, beach pebbles being churned by the ocean, the wafting of air around various objects, and so on. Like All In, Kreiselwelle anchors itself using a nucleus around which field sounds such as the crunch of footsteps, waves crashing ashore, and motorized rhythms of mechanical toys gather. An organ-like electrical vibration drones at the music's center overtop of which Waldron layers all manner of creaking, fluttering, whirring, warbling, and shuddering noises and percussive sounds too. The music flows through multiple transformations, at times spiraling downwards until it's little more than a faint, glassy tone and then escalating upwards, even at one point reaching into the sci-fi stratosphere where warbling electronic tones commune. Eventually the two realms unite with space transmissions joined by waves gently lapping ashore before the soft crunch of footsteps brings the piece full circle.

June 2009