Sound Choice No. 17 1992 173w

GIBBS/KNOPOFF: Culture in the Airwaves C

Gibbs and Knopoff sign the tape as "A no-age production" and the term "no-age" seams to be meant as a reaction against the ubiquitous "new age" attribute. The mood of their music is certainly not ecstatic or spacey or dreamy. Each performance is an arduous, free improvisation by wind instruments on collages of electronically treated sounds that may range from muezzin-like chanting to animal noises, from commercials to children. The clash between the sad, low, pathetic raving of the instruments and the lively, chaotic, frenzied soundscape couldn't possibly be more devastating. This Oakland duo is indeed a cross between Negativland (builders of inventive aural collages) and Borbetomagnus (cacophonic jazz improvisers). I loved every second of this tape. The oriental, dejected melody of "Transcendental Acquisition" was especially captivating. To my knowledge this is one of the first serious and successful attempts at a fusion of jazz and musique concrete, and Dexter Gordon and John Cage. (Nexus Cassettes, Current Address Needed) -- Piero Scaruffi