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Anomic Aphasia

Artist: Han-Earl Park

Date of Release: 23/02/2015

Catalogue no: SLAMCD 559

Label: SLAM

Price: £10

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Han-earl Park Quartet

Han-earl Park: guitar
Catherine Sikora: tenor and soprano saxophones
Nick Didkovsky: guitar (tracks 1 and 5)
Josh Sinton: baritone saxophone and bass clarinet (tracks 2, 3 and 4)

“Anomic Aphasia” is the third SLAM CD by Han-earl Park (following SLAMCD 528 “Mathilde 253” with Charles Hayward, Ian Smith and guest Lol Coxhill, and SLAM CD 531 “io 0.0.1 beta++” with Bruce Coates, Franziska Schroeder and the eponymous machine improviser) and traces his developing project of the intervening 3 years.
Of this he writes:
“Anomic Aphasia documents two New York-based projects: the noisy, unruly complexity of the ensemble Eris 136199; and the interactive playbook Metis 9, a collection of improvisative tactics. Guitarists Han-earl Park (Mathilde 253) and Nick Didkovsky (Doctor Nerve), and reedists Catherine Sikora (Clockwork Mercury) and Josh Sinton (Ideal Bread) render a space of unexpected collisions, weaving orbital paths, and playful discord.”

 

Reviews

 

24/06/2016 Rotcod Zzaj

Han-earl Park, Catherine Sikora, Josh Sinton – ANOMIC APHASIA: If you’re looking for guitar that’s great, but “different”, you’ll love what Han-earl and his companions (Catherine on tenor/soprano sax, Nick Didkovsky on guitar for tracks 1 & 5 and Josh on baritone sax & bass clarinet) are doing on this improvised set… I’ll tell you right now, though, this isn’t music for background, or listeners who are timid! You’ll hear that right away on the 27:19 opener, “Monopod“… twists, turns and constant motion that will eat your brain if you forget to put on your tinfoil hat – ha! ha! The 7:34 “Hydraphon” will bring to mind images of Dune worms and aliens… this reminds me (a lot) of some of the works I used to hear (and on occasion participate in) with Davey Williams and LaDonna Smith (way back in the day). Of the five (very long) tracks on the album, it was the closer, “Stopcock“, that got my vote for personal favorite… very tasty guitar licks on this one. I give Han-earl and his pals a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, particularly for listeners who love strange in all its forms; “EQ” (energy quotient) rating is 4.98. Get more information at the Slam Productions page for this release. Rotcod Zzaj
http://rotcodzzaj.com/42-2/improvijazzation-162/improvijazzation-nation-issue-162/

 

27/11/2015 Ken Waxman

Guitarist Han-earl Park joins those improvisers who
conceive of a playbook for interactive tactics—his is
called Metis 9. He uses what he calls “focused
complexity” to formulate strategies alongside tenor
and soprano saxophonist Catherine Sikora throughout
Anomic Aphasia, as well as baritone saxophonist/bass
clarinetist Josh Sinton on three tracks and guitarist
Nick Didkovsky on two others.
Like a plucky heroine faced with rebellious robots
in a sci-fi flick, Sikora’s vocally inflected timbres,
especially on the nearly 27½ minute “Monopod”, add
necessary human-sourced harmony to the complex
jangles and static interference from the guitars. As the
guitarists clip staccato whines with ingot-like density
from below the bridges and along the necks, her wistful
soprano saxophone variations preserve the linear form,
eventually making common cause with offbeat folksy
strums from one string player. Hear Sikora’s final
unaccompanied cadenza as potential human triumph
over, or coexistence with, the widening machineproduced
tremolo pumps. A folk-like overlay also
makes its appearance on the concluding “Stopcock”,
although the tenor saxophonist’s concentrated
upwards snarls and magnetic near-string-tearing pops
from guitar strings make the track so atmospheric as to
become almost frightening.
The wailing vigor of Sinton’s bottom-pitched horns
adds to the reeds’ aleatoric strategies on the other three
tracks. Nearly verbalized reed tones are so euphonious
on “Flying Rods” that the subsequent layered lines
nearly move into songbook territory. But Park’s parallel
flanges and hard thumping keeps the results
electronically plugged in as well as pointedly blended.
Sardonically printing a faux questionnaire about
Metis 9 application in the CD booklet shows that Park
champions music over theory. With associates like
Sikora, Didkovsky and Sinton, it appears he can have it
both ways. Ken Waxman file:///C:/Users/me/Downloads/32.pdf

 

16/02/2015 Mike Borella

This recording involves a variable supergroup of sorts. Guitarist Han-Earl Park has been improvising throughout the U.S. and Europe, working with a who’s who of creative music. Reedist Catherine Sikora recently relocated from Ireland to New York, and is playing in various free improv ensembles. Guitarist Nick Didkovsky, appearing on two tracks, is best known as the mastermind behind Doctor Nerve, and more recently has been playing extreme metal. Josh Sinton, appearing on the three tracks not featuring Didkovsky, specializes in playing the baritone saxophone and bass clarinet, and has teamed up with notable figures of the Chicago and New York creative music scenes.

A pair of trios rather than a true quartet, putting this unlikely lineup together was almost as brilliant as the recording they have produced. The Didkovsky-Park-Sikora tracks were recorded in June of 2013 at Brooklyn’s Douglass Street Music Collective, while the Park-Sikora-Sinton tracks came from an October 2013 date at New York’s Harvestworks.

As a two-guitar, one-reed or a one-guitar, two-reed attack, it is often impossible to determine who is responsible for the sounds found herein. Park and Didkovsky lay down high-speed harmonics, loose chording, and rattle their fretwork, while Sikora and Sinton provide both background drones and foreground voices. “Free” is a barely sufficient to describe this approach, as the trios explore various angular constructs and effects. The vocabulary of sounds here is as broad as it is unconventional. Park and/or Didkovsky might strum or pick a string or two, then spend time rubbing it with their fingertips. Sikora and/or Sinton might blast percussively between more discernable notes. While an occasional interlocking harmony might emerge from all of this innovation, it is quickly shattered by unexpected Möbius twists.

Anomic aphasia is a disorder in which a patient exhibits difficulty recalling words, names, and numbers. It is accordingly ironic that it is difficult finding the expressive language to describe this recording. An exercise in texture as much as it is in melody, Park, Sikora, Didkovsky, and Sinton don’t just break molds here – they disintegrate anything that resembles the ordinary with authority and prejudice.
Mike Borella http://avantmusicnews.com/2015/02/22/amn-reviews-park-sikora-didkovsky-sinton-anomic-aphasia-2015-slam-productions/

 

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