Top Bar
Musique Machine Logo Home ButtonReviews ButtonArticles ButtonBand Specials ButtonAbout Us Button
SearchGo Down
Search for  
With search mode in section(s)
And sort the results by
show articles written by  
 Review archive:  # a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z

Alex Jang - Momentary Encounters [Another Timbre - 2018]

Momentary Encounters offers up a selection of fragile, languid, & often extremely sparse examples of modern composition from Canadian composer Alex Jang. The four tracks utilize a relatively varied – but often paired-back sonic pallet that moves from blends of field recordings & wood wood,  mixes of percussion, string & woodwind, and guitar.

This CD is the 7th release in Another Timbre's Canadian Composers series- which highlights the cream of the crop in Canadian modern composition. The release comes in the label house style minimal mini gatefold packaging- featuring sparse black texts against a white background. And for this releases front cover picture we get fittingly stark painting by Lance Austin Olsen- that takes in a series of black & green scrawls against an off-white backdrop.

Alex Jang is a composer/conductor/guitarist who studied composition at both the University of Huddersfield & Victoria. He has been composing since 2013, but Momentary Encounters is his first ever released CD, and I must say it’s a fairly impressive debut- severing up a mix of extremely sparse yet fairly inventive modern composition.

The four pieces here date between 2014 & 2017, with runtimes between nine & near twenty-five minutes. Opening up the album we have "Momentary Encounters (5)" this nearing sixteen-minute track sees the blending of a field recording ofTooting Bec Common, and the lulling & spaced-out weave of Heather Roche’s Clarinet playing. Ones mind initial gets sucked into trying to hear & define the distant mix of birdsong, water rush,  children chatter & occasional dog bark. But fairly soon we get the introduction of the gentle sustained hum & blow of the Clarinet, which at first seems quite alien- but then quickly melds it’s self into the field recordings to creating this feeling lulling melancholia- which one sometimes gets on a hazy summers day, when the rest of the world is quietly buzzing away in the background as you sit in contanplaintion.

Later on, we have “A Gray, Bent Interior Horizon”- this nearing ten-minute piece from 2016 sees Christian Alvear playing a series of tightly plucked ‘n’ picked, reverb-less & decidedly sour guitar motifs- which at times almost hint at structure/ harmony, but never quite get there. The piece very nicely captures a feeling of blunt numbness, and stark emotional dwell, with a very subtle vein of fading playfulness.

The album is topped off with the longest work here 2014/2017’s "Distributed Tourism"- which sees emotionally clipped & solemnly flowing mesh of violin, vibraphone, clarinet, flute & cello notation. These elements blend together to create a felt, wavering, and at times uncertain & slurred march- which subtle simmers with fragile wonder, lulling- yet- fraught harmonics, & emotional unsure-ness.

Momentary Encounters is a fine debut- that showcases both Jang ’s subtle emotionality, flair for sparse creativity, and occasional grim playfulness. I very much look forward to hearing what Jang does next.

Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5

Roger Batty
Latest Reviews

Alex Jang - Momentary Encounters
Momentary Encounters offers up a selection of fragile, languid, & often extremely sparse examples of modern composition from Canadian composer Alex Jang....
071222   Smut Without Smut Vol. 1: Thi...
051222   Christoph Dahlberg - Blackforms
051222   Richard Pinhas/ Merzbow - Coda
051222   Death Loop Faction - Max Carnage
051222   Opus Magorum - Opus Magorum
041222   RJ Myato - Doubtless Empty
021222   Ingar Zach - Musica Liquida
021222   Mattie Barbier - Threads
021222   Marcia Aitken & June Lodge - ...
021222   Arkheth - Clarity Came With A...
Latest Articles

Dr Tom Whittaker - The notoriou...
Late last year Severin released Eloy de la Iglesia’s Quinqui Collection- a two Blu-ray set bringing together three brutal and provocative Quinqui (deli...
061222   Dr Tom Whittaker - The noto...
231122   Hastings of Malawi - Deliriou...
011122   Raffaele Pezzella - Pursuing ...
111022   Fouke - Bigfoot walled noise
150922   Joe Sherlock - The King of mo...
230822   Sdug Bsngal - Some Scars Run ...
020822   The Night Porter & Slowgurn p...
200622   The Worse Album In The World ...
240522   Noir On Powerhouse Films - Fr...
260422   Schloss Tegal - Back To The ...
Go Up
(c) Musique Machine 2001 -2017. Celebrating 16 years of true independence!! Mail Us at questions=at=musiquemachine=dot=comBottom