CHARLES COHEN & RED WILCOX – Those Are Pearls That Were His Eyes

(Ruby Red)

Here’s something that will curl up the toes of the “stranger is better” cult adherents: a duo improvising on a Buchla Music Easel (for those who don’t know, it’s a vintage synthesizer), drums and gongs. Both musicians come from Philadelphia; Cohen is a pure instant creator, his synth the one and only machine used in 20 years of performances which include working with Jeff Cain in The Ghostwriters (whose music I confess being not acquainted with) while Wilcox, who plays with the likes of Arthur Doyle and Steve Mackay, gains my instant utmost approval with the news that he lodges raccoons in his residence, a condemned tower of all places. I’d be lying if I told you that this stuff is totally “abstract”, since both musicians do their best to shape their modified realities into partially structured, if often scarcely accessible accounts from the borders of contrapuntal nullification; this transforms casual intuitions into multifaceted crystals and peregrine vibrations, everything splendidly detailed by the high quality of the recording which lets us catch even the players’ breath during their effort. Eventual terms of comparison can be just imagined, halfway through any competent metaphysical exploration of a synthesized world and the midi-and-drum music of people like Matt Davignon. Wilcox is a very “human” percussionist though, his unconstrained fantasy contributing a lot to a better acceptance of Cohen’s evolutional, but at times still inward-looking passages. A Buchla is a Buchla, ladies and gentlemen.


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