Phill Niblock – G2,44+/x2 (2002)

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Title: G2,44+/x2
Year Of Release: 2002
Label: Moikai
Genre: Electronic, Minimal, Experimental
Quality: FLAC (tracks+.cue,log)
Total Time: 01:01:01
Total Size: 305 MB

1 Guitar Too, For Four (Toral Version) 30:38
2 Guitar Too, For Four (The Massed Version)
Guitar – Alan Licht, Kevin Drumm, Lee Ranaldo, Robert Poss, Thurston Moore
Recorded By [Guitars] – Jim O’Rourke 30:22

Guitar [Samples] – David First, Rafael Toral, Robert Poss, Susan Stenger
Guitar – Alan Licht, Kevin Drumm, Lee Ranaldo, Robert Poss, Thurston Moore

Samples of Robert Poss, Susan Stenger and David First were recorded by Robert Poss at Trace Elements Studios in New York. Rafael Toral’s samples were recorded in his studio in Lisbon. The 24-track mix was scored by Phill Niblock and constructed and mixed in Deck By Richard Lainhart at O-Town Media in New York. The Toral version’s “live” tracks were recorded in Rafael Toral’s studio in Lisbon. “Live” tracks of Lee Ranaldo, Thurston Moore, Robert Poss, and Alan Licht were recorded by Jim O’Rourke at the the Sonic Youth studios in New York; those of Kevin Drumm were recorded by Jim O’Rourke in Chicago.
Review by Brian Olewnick
Phill Niblock likes large, dense slabs of sound, the larger, denser, and louder the better. G2, 44+/x2 (check the song titles for an explanation of the album’s title) consists of two versions of a single piece, “Guitar too, for four.” The first is a solo performance by the Spanish guitarist Rafael Toral. The instructions for the piece appear to be quite simple but require an enormous amount of concentration and physical tension. Using an E-Bow (a small electronic device capable of magnetically vibrating the guitar’s strings), he must hold it as close as possible to the strings without touching them, while manipulating his tremolo arm in an extremely subtle manner so as to educe the maximum amount of richness and volume from his instrument with a minimum of means. For the listener, this results in a deep, resonant, and multi-layered drone that oscillates from speaker to speaker, filling the aural space like a horde of chanting Tibetan monks. It’s hypnotic, ravishing, and endlessly fascinating. The second rendition ups the ante considerably, taking samples from Toral, Robert Poss, Susan Stengler, and David First and adding in performances of the piece by Kevin Drumm, Lee Ranaldo, Thurston Moore, and Alan Licht, all mixed by Jim O’Rourke. While in a sense sounding substantially the same, the ambience has greatly thickened, the already busy hive now super-compressed with buzzes, gargantuan hums, and seismic sizzles. The listener feels as though plunged into a complex, vibrating crystal the size of the Earth. As with many of his pieces, Niblock suggests playing the disc as loudly as possible. Do it, but warn the neighbors. Highly recommended, this is one of the finest examples of high-energy drone music around.

Biography by Joslyn Layne
American minimalist composer Phill Niblock has been active in his multimedia endeavors since the mid-’60s. His shows usually incorporate film footage (generally are long takes of non-Western people working), or other visual elements such as slides, video, and photography, often presenting more than one of these simultaneously with his music. His music itself is characterized by multiple tones sounding simultaneously for long stretches, creating a very dense, seemingly static sound. Niblock has relatively few recordings, but some argue that his music is so inseparable from whatever physical space it’s performed in, that recordings don’t do justice anyway. Nevertheless, he began curating the CD series of the Experimental Intermedia Foundation, along with David Behrman and Lois V. Vierk, to remedy this situation for himself and other modern composers. He has been involved in EIF since the late ’60s, became producer of their presentations in the early ’70s, and director of the organization in 1985. Since becoming the organization’s director, his shows have visited a number of art museums and spaces in North America and Europe, including MoMA, London’s Institute of Contemporary Art, and Palais des Beaux Arts in Brussels. He has received numerous grants from organizations including the NEA and the Guggenheim Foundation, and has taught at the City University of New York since 1971.



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