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Repetitive Selective Removal of One Protecting Group

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Album Review

Half genius, half madness, Repetitive Selective Removal of One Protecting Group is probably the most difficult avant-prog release of 2005. Stevan Kovacs Tickmayer is finally back in his role as the meticulous composer going impossibly berserk in the most orderly fashion. Each one of the 21 selections on this disc is a mind-boggling combination of styles, compositional techniques, and moods. Instruments? Name your preference: keyboards aplenty, strings, guitars, drums, and miscellaneous objects, all represented in various acoustic, electric, and electronic forms. Some passages rely on sped-up drumming from Chris Cutler, while a beatbox reigns in other sections. At times, the music sounds like Bob Drake recording from within a computer instead of his old haunted barn ("Restriction Fragment Length"). Ragtime piano, menacing B-3, and Cage-ian prepared piano are featured in various places, along with what sounds like scores of uncredited guest musicians sampled or featured only for a few seconds at a time (the press release mentions that Tickmayer has used sessions from the latest Science Group album, featuring Cutler on drums and Drake on bass, but that leaves a lot of almost-recognized contributions unaccounted for). Tickmayer composes in sections, each piece sounding like a clever assemblage of segments that keep changing their minds about their identity or purpose in the grand scheme of things. The listener bounces back and forth between Latin outbursts ("Differential Motivation"), nursery rhymes ("Designative Codes"), alien folklore ("Designative Codes" again), and a mixture of Frank Zappa's orchestral and Synclavier works (the three-part suite "Our Framework of Apocalypse"). After a first listen, you will feel that the music contains way too much information. After a second listen, the level of organization of that information becomes palpable — but it's still too much information. That feeling of something bigger and insanely well structured looming from above gets stronger every time, yet never diminishes the level of exhaustion and the amazement every listen triggers. Recommended, but only if you know what you are doing! ~ François Couture, Rovi


Born: April 07, 1963 in Novi Sad, Yugoslavia

Genre: World

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Born into Novi Sad, Vojvodina, Yugoslavia's Hungarian community on April 7, 1963, composer/multi-instrumentalist Stevan Kovacs Tickmayer immigrated to France in 1991, at almost the exact moment when the Yugoslav Wars began. Tickmayer has undertaken a diverse and eclectic music career crossing various genre and stylistic boundaries, in a sense reflecting both his multicultural roots and the displacement he has experienced pursuing a creative life outside his birth country, which, as Tickmayer has...
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Repetitive Selective Removal of One Protecting Group, Stevan Kovacs Tickmayer
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