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Carl Stone

 Stone-electronics, tapes


Carl Stone has long been a prominent American electronics composer but I’ve never gotten around to listening to him until this. The pieces here are the result of disassembling and very cleverly reassembling world music vocal tracks, with highly sensual and intriguing results. The title piece comes across simultaneously as Javanese, Arabic and Japanese-it never lets you pin it down, and it’s astounding. Stone has somehow found the common denominators that underlie the various types of traditional ethnic vocal musics. “Flints” appears to be based on all-too-familiar contemporary house music beats, but they’re transformed from something that’s best to dance to into something that’s best to listen to, partly because you couldn’t dance to it if you tried. Not knowing what the original tracks (or countries of origin) were adds to the mystery and the shiver of discovery. In “Jitlada” electronic dance music has again been transmuted into techniques long since developed by experimental musicians. Maybe someday they’ll incorporate some of these tricks into dance music, but they’d have to be selective as only a rapid insect could dance to this album as it is. The final track combines the Byrds, the Baroque and a couple of limited riffs and very gradually builds into a manically minimal finish. Overall, the record is a true expansion of musical possibilities.


In Tune

CD 10



Richard Grooms