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Paul Dresher / Ned Rothenberg - Opposites Attract

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Album Review

Guitarist Paul Dresher and saxophonist Ned Rothenberg tap many musical influences, from electronic and minimalist music to noise, nature samples, voice dialects, ethnic musics, and pure improvisation. In this case, these opposites and similar souls attract. Joined by acoustic bassist Mark Dresser, electric bass guitarist Anthony Jackson, and drummer Bobby Previte, they have quite a wide canvas with which to paint their layered, dense rainbow of colors and timbres. "Orient and Tropic" best reflects this culture clash merging, as elements of ambient Eno, repetitive Philip Glass, and choreographer Twyla Tharpe converge. Some nicely conceived tape loops and assimilated vocals via Dresher swim under Rothenberg's ethereal shakuhachi flute, then over the top but mid-octave bass clarinet. The mechanized toy-like precision over Jackson's stoic basslines during "Opposites Attack" is completely appropriate. Spelled "Yuuniik," a piece suggesting the meeting of circus trapeze music with a eunuch fairy princess is both enjoyable and provocative, with Rothenberg on alto. "The Long Seven," with Dresher's urban landscape guitar, sequencing, and Jackson's heavy lines, suggests more possibilities. "Straight Jabs Redux/Finale" starts with a lighter boxing feeling-out period overlapping constant, determined three-note phrases à la Steve Reich, and concludes with rock-ponderous New York City no wave punk defiance. Then there's the five-part epic "The Untold Story," ranging from a collage of vocal and animal to industrial sounds, dreamy vocal samples over a bed of Dresser's arco bowed bass, freaky Fred Frith-like shrieking, a 6/8 percussion exercise with woodwind pads and electronics, and some original skronky funk. Challenging listening for sure, this effort carries wonderful incentive to listen repeatedly, catching more nuance and subtlety, and the depth of truly creative craftsmen at work and at play. ~ Michael G. Nastos, Rovi


Born: January 8, 1951 in Los Angeles, CA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s

Studied with Robert Erickson, Roger Reynolds, Pauline Oliveros, Bernard Rands. Ghanaian drumming with C.K. and Kobla Ladzekpo, Hindustani classical music with Nikhil Banerjee, and Balinese and Javanese music. Guitarist with live delay systems. Organizer Electro-Acoustic Band, artistic director Paul Dresher Ensemble. Collaborations about American culture Slow Fire (1985-88), Power Failure (1988-89), and...
Full Bio
Paul Dresher / Ned Rothenberg - Opposites Attract, Paul Dresher
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  • $9.99
  • Genres: Jazz, Music, Electronic
  • Released: Jan 01, 1991

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