David First – PRIVACY ISSUES (DRONEWORKS 1996 – 2009)


Privacy Issues is to drone connoisseurs what a huge block of succulent cheese is to a horde of mice, a triple whammy ultimate testament to David First’s addiction to that resource (drones, not cheese). Amidst the dozens of artistic settings that he’s taken part in, from pop to chamber music, during a career that began as a young guitarist in a Cecil Taylor performance, First has always maintained a keen compositional interest in aural slowmotion. Several of these tracks are extremely valuable from a purely psychophysical point of view: neither corporeal nor overly ethereal, their use of gradual glissando a means of contrast and suspension. This is particularly evident in Pipeline Witness Apologies To Dennis, in which Christopher McIntyre and Peter Zummo’s trombones add a touch of unpredictability and fragments of melodic content to the sloping moans generated by First’s eBow guitar and “Blue” Gene Tyranny’s tuned keyboards. Another favorite is A Bet On Transcendence Favors The House for – again – eBow guitar, thick masses of harmonics transcending the essence of the originating instrument to enhance our rational permanence. Not all the pieces are destined to remain carved in the rock of perpetual remembrance, though – some appear more akin to transitory ideas or experiments whose results are only partially gratifying, particularly The Softening Door and Aw!, whose somewhat unemotional nature derives from MIDI networks that take a little magic away. But these are minor quibbles from an anal-retentive perfectionist: the operation was ambitious, and it came out just fine – there is at least an hour and a half of marvelously droning stuff herein. Go get a copy.

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