ADAM BOHMAN & ROGER SMITH – Reality Fandango


“Reality fandango” was digitally recorded in Smith’s kitchen and sees him playing guitar, while Bohman is active on prepared violin and objects. The CD booklet is enriched by Bohman’s collages and Elizabeth James’ writings, sort of a cross between cut’n’paste poetry and the description of the phenomena that the music could elicit in the listeners’ imagination. Coherently with the instrumentation, a frictional aura of disjointed acousticity pervades the improvisations, which may sound pretty harsh on a first approach but reveal billions of minute particulars that depict a story within the story – and then many other stories – all in the space of moments. The 35-minute “The first question” sees the duo perusing the highest range of notes and harmonics that their instruments allow to reach, metallic chips and zinging particles dropping like bird shit upon a rusty laminate of acid scraping, repeated creaking and disemboweled violin parts. Throughout the record, Bowman and Smith’s gawkish phraseology stamps a hastily handscribbled signature on a malleable concept of “harmony”, which is there but is not visible, and might even cause intellectual dysentery to many style-linked, lydian-upon-superlocrian “fans” of improvisation. In this music, you can picture tremoloing high-tension wires, malfunctioning trombones, crazed barbers slicing their customers’ heads with corroded razors, crows tripping on cyanide glue. But you won’t find a commonly defined “chord” to save your life. As ancient bluesmen used to sing, “come in my kitchen”.


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