Mike Khoury/Dominic Cramp/Gino Robair/Phillip Greenlief: Compassion & Evidence (Creative Sources, 2020)

October 16, 2020 at 7:02 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Mike Khoury/Dominic Cramp/Gino Robair/Phillip Greenlief: Compassion & Evidence

Detroit-area improv musician Mike Khoury recorded this 2018 session at the Temescal Art Center in Oakland with three West Coast musicians. Khoury plays viola, while Dominic Cramp (of Evangelista) plucks on a lyra and Gino Robair makes a soup of bubbling, spluttering electronics, which Phillip Greenlief threads in and out of with his tenor sax and Bb clarinet. It can get pretty messy (mostly in a fun way), but Khoury’s viola playing seems to elevate the mood into something more enlightened in the middle of the 13-minute “Nature Is the Objective Reality”. This is interrupted with bursts of radio dial-spinning, with waves of static eventually incorporated into the mix as an instrument before they float away. “The Universe Was Not Created” is a nearly half-hour vortex which features a greater presence of choppy, crunchy radio transmissions, which get blasted and stretched out at one point. It zones out deeper as it continues, ending up with terse scrapes and wind-squeaks against a tense drone. “Nothing, By Definition, Does Not Exist” finds a weird sort of rhythm between the musicians, with electronic distortion nearly sounding like a didgeridoo and having a sort of conversation with the radioactive reed spluttering.

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