XI

Matt Rogalsky’s work “focuses on the exploration of abject, invisible/inaudible, or ignored streams of information”, i.e. he takes fragments of “space between the notes” – noise, sound or just silence – and modifies them with different software programs (including Kash and Sprawl, hence the track titles here) through which he interacts with his playing partners. He’s performed throughout Europe and United States, presenting his own sound installations and collaborating with instrumentalists such as Anne La Berge, Anne Wellmer and Jane Henry, and he’s a frequent associate of Phill Niblock. Memory Like Water contains material dating from 1996, and it’s a fine selection of the variegated aspects of Rogalsky’s music, both live and in studio. The first disc contains “Resonate (noise)” and “Resonate (tones)”, the latter starting with an infinite wash of something between water and metal, quite static and relaxing, before flowing into a long section where granular synthesis and sampled sources create a dramatic, if pretty consonant, wall of chordal waves in constantly changing harmonic shifts. “Kash (violin)” features Jane Henry playing with multiple bows made of different abrasive materials, loops and particles arising from the duo interplay taking on a life of their own. “Kash (guitars)” is played by a trio of Rogalskys (Matt plus his brothers Benjamin and Luke on acoustic guitars) improvising on a “few suggestions as to overall structure”, the outcome sounding not unlike Taku Sugimoto and Burkhard Stangl played at 45rpm with a few background disturbances. “Kash (radios)” appears on the second – and better – disc of the set; starting from material sourced from two radio talk shows, Rogalsky generates a long, progressive convulsion of micro-utterances, accents and syllables that recall an expanded version of Eno and Byrne’s “Mea Culpa” on My Life in the Bush of Ghosts. Vocals – by Luke Rogalsky – are again featured in “Sprawl (western magnetics)”, an intriguing piece sounding like a supplication disturbed by the whispered words of a dying man confessing a long-kept secret. The record ends with the 31-minute “Transform”, a harsh mix of Rogalsky’s own sounds and radios treated by a “series of tunable delays which create strong harmonic resonances,” a flock of scary but lovable dwarf Glenn Brancas perched on Alan Lamb’s resonating wires.

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