[eh?121]charles lareau
Box of Black
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Eris I Dysnomia
[eh?117]Terrie Ex & Jaap Blonk
[eh?116]Erin Demastes
Thing Music
[eh?115]Kal Spelletich
The Blessing of the ZHENGKE ZGA37RG
[eh?113]Tech Riders
For Eternity
[eh?112]Abigail Smith
Indochina Soundscraps
The Realisation That Someone Has Been Stood Behind You Your Entire Life
[eh?110]Johannes Bergmark / Guido Hübner
nisip noaptea
[eh?109]Seeded Plain
Flying Falling
The Furies Inside Me OST
[eh?107]Jaap Blonk
Joyous Junctures
[eh?106]Sindre Bjerga
Hesitation Marks
[eh?105]Patrick Shiroishi / Arturo Ibarra
LA Blues
Atomnye Deti
[eh?103]Seeded Plain
Buffets Close Suddenly
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Live In Japan
[eh?101]Cookie Tongue
Orphan Arms
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Misty Nights
[eh?97]L. Eugene Methe and Megan Siebe
Revisited, Revisited, Revisited
[eh?96]Felipe Araya
[eh?95]Eoin Callery
[eh?93]Bad Jazz
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My Benign Swords
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[eh?89]Leonard * Day * Jerman
[eh?88]Das Torpedoes
Qu Nar
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[eh?86]Daniel Wyche
Our Severed Sleep
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[eh?83]Chefkirk & Andrew Quitter
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Studies and Observations of Domestic Shrubbery
[eh?80]Unrepeatable Quartet
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[eh?78]Lucky Bone
[eh?77]Jeffrey Alexander
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[eh?76]Bruno Duplant / Pedro Chambel / Fergus Kelly
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A Riddle Within a Conundrum Within a Game
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[eh?25]Papier Mache

The Epicureans - A Riddle Within a Conundrum Within a Game
CD-R (Boston, MA)

-cumulative wound
-the crucial loss of connectedness
-delayed appearance of putrefaction
-blade of fury
-h. s.

The Epicureans:
Dave Gross - Sax
Ricardo Donoso - Percussion
Ryan McGuire - Bass

(Paris Transatlantic) With track titles like "Cumulative Wound", "Delayed Appearance of Putrefaction" and "Blade of Fury" you might be forgiven for wondering why David Gross (sax), Ryan McGuire (bass) and Ricardo Donodo (drums) have chosen to align themselves with a philosophical movement whose principal belief was that Man should flee pain and pursue pleasure, but there is, I admit, something distinctly jouissif about this music's uncompromising ugliness, from Gross's hippo mudbath growls ("Awn") to McGuire's epic wrestling match with his bass (I'm not sure who wins) and what sounds like Donodo trying to saw through his kit (Han Bennink would be impressed). Listening to this is like enjoying the stink of your own sweat after a serious workout, but you feel like taking a shower when it's all over. There's something heroic about the musicians' unrelenting trek into the murkiest, grimiest regions of their respective instruments to wallow in the filth of their own creation, but it's not all Borbeto brainfry – there are many relatively quiet moments of considerable subtlety, especially on "Delayed Appearance of Putrefaction", even if it's the viciousness of the ensuing "Blade of Fury" you're more likely to take with you to your grave. - Dan Warburton

(Dead Angel) Cryptic stuff, man; the group employs drums, sax, and bass in such an unorthodox manner that if you didn't know what instruments were involved, you'd be hard-pressed to guess. Even knowing what they're working with doesn't tell you how they get such weird sounds; the opening track "Cumulative Wound" is a series of squeaking, clanking, clattering noises that sounds more like someone sweeping up scrap metal than actual music, and the wheezing, grunting sludge of "Awn" is equally impenetrable. Too devolved in its sound to accurately be called free jazz, this is improvisation aimed at making severely untraditional sounds through the use of standard rock equipment. The closest they come to anything recognizable is in the muffled sax bleats on some of the later tracks and the sparse beats of "Delayed Appearance of Putrefaction," while the bass is employed mainly in service of creating noises like a dying machine captured on tape and slowed down to a crawl. This is a sound that makes no wave sound like pop music by comparison. Strange, enigmatic, and at times unsettling, it's an art-damaged aesthetic that certainly lives up to the album's title. - RKF

(Vital Weekly) Following their 'Introducing' release on Semata (see Vital Weekly 646), here is 'A Riddle Within A Conundrum Within A Game' by The Epicureans, the trio of Dave Gross (saxophone), Ricardo Donoso (drums) and Ryan McGuire (bass) from Boston. Very much along the lines of their previous release: all acoustic approach to their instruments, but this one seems to be more along the lines of less traditional improvisation and more playing their instruments as objects. Still with a great dynamic range, but without lesser surprises and outbursts. This material has a more natural flow to it. Again this is strong material, and as far as I'm concerned quite a step forward from the already fine 'Introducing' release. - Frans De Waard

(Tokafi) On their second album „A Riddle Within a Conundrum Within a Game“, meanwhile, Boston-based threepiece The Epicureans cull an equally diverse sound from a purely acoustic line-up of Bass, Drums and Saxophone. Effectively, each instrument is stripped of its stereotypical connotations and considered a raw tool for producing sound. The microphone turns into a fourth band member, as equally subtle and complex airstreams and the tiniest tactile operations involving strings, metal and membranes are inflated to epic proportions. This in turn allows the members of the ensemble to create effects which are, at least occasionally, astoundingly similar to the electronic manipulations of their aforementioned colleagues. In comparison to the serpentining arrangements of its eponymous predecessor, the album is slightly more linear and, relatively speaking of course, more accessible. There always appears to be a concrete and constant motive pushing the action forward, making each track highly recognisable. There are exceptions, of course. The two-minute tensile test „Blade of Fury“, for example. Or the ten minute closer „H.B.“, which seems all but finished at the five minute mark but then grinds to a halt in slowmotion on silence and sourdined momentum. You can virtually see the musicians looking at each other, uncertain about whether to go on and then deciding to add a few precisely placed notes before leaving for a beer at the pub around the corner. Overall, the courageous combination of upfront, concretely palpable Noise and almost tender exchanges underneath a protective dome of glass has remained firmly intact. Compared to the rich variety in colours of Hear and Trio Sowari, however, they sound reduced and raw, with the way a tone is played and produced becoming the centre of attention. As the Epicureans demonstrate, electronics in themselves do not change the process of interaction between different improvisers, because the result of their musical communication is not directly related to them. To someone like Nakamura, for example, who used to play the Guitar before readjusting his focus, the Mixing Board is not so much a technical device but an instrument in its own right. As such, his responses and queues in a group context will depend, in a very traditional way, on his personal and creative relationship with the other performers, the audience and the performance space – a notion fortified, for example, by his clearly differentiated work in the context of alternative line-ups, such as his early Repeat project with Jason Kahn. And yet, even a layman will be able to distinguish fundamental differences between „Shortcut“ and „5 Pieces“ on the one hand and „A Riddle“ on the other. Strangely, therefore, the term “EAI” seems more justified, the less you think about it. Even insiders, after all, have found it hard to arrive at fully satisfying definitions of what the supposed genre is about. For all the bickering and friendly infighting, one thing's for sure, however: It may be a good thing to occasionally get excited about academic questions like this one. At the end of the day however, what really counts is that all these three discs – as similar or different as they may be – are stimulating and enjoyable food for thought. - Tobias Fischer

(Sea of Tranquility) Avant-garde music has always been something for a relatively small group of listeners, a musical artform that can be rather dissonant, noisy, and unmelodic, rarely taking the shape or form of common song based structures. Then again, there are acts that perform an even more extreme form of avant-garde, of which The Epicureans certainly fall into. This trio, whose new album A Riddle Within a Conundrum Within a Game is out now on Public Eyesore Records, simply fails to meet any sort of criteria that would qualify it as music. Even after giving it 5 spins (and I've sat through a lot of releases from Public Eyesore over the years, none of them being easy listening by any means), there's nothing here that's remotely pleasing to the ears. Dave Gross (sax), Ricardo Donoso (drums), and Ryan McGuire (bass), have put together six tracks of noise, the first half of the CD barely registers a blip on the audio counter, slight tinkering of cimbals & drums while bass strings are scraped against, while the last two pieces, "Blade of Fury" and "H.S." brings to mind images of what a herd of dinosaurs farting might sound like, Gross' bleating, squonking sax and McGuire's bass practically unrecognizable, instead rumbling like bad gas being squeezed out between many butt cheeks. Sounds harsh? Well, I'm all for saying that there's a market out there for just about anything, and you have to give these guys credit for REALLY going out there with this, but in the end I'd have a hard time recommending this flatulent nightmare to even the most loyal avant-garde lover out there. From what they've presented, the listener has no clue that they know how to play their instruments, let alone write a tune. Next time guys, give us a little something extra...please? - Pete Pardo

(Kathodik) Sperimentazioni minimali, frattaglie e deragliamenti sono i contenuti principali di questo cd, diviso in sei brani tutti rigorosamente strumentali dove il jazz è una base, ma anche un suppellettile, dato che i tre musicisti: Dave Gross al sax, Ricardo Donoso alla batteria e Ryan McGuire al basso si lasciano andare soltanto a frattaglie di suoni da cui emergono o le angosce dalle viscere della terra (Awn) o le schegge rumoriste ed acide dopo ronzii fastidiosi (H.S.). Gli unici momenti leggermente più ritmati, ma al tempo stesso più deliranti sono quelli di Blade of fury, con un sax in totale schizofrenia free form. Insomma un disco non dal facile ascolto, consigliabile solo a chi è appassionato del catalogo Wallace, degli Zu e dei Gastr Del Sol. - Vittorio Lannutti

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