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tree sap for a heart




Steve Brand (flutes, guitdrum, cat violin, electronics, tapes, ocarina, drums, bells, voice, etc)


Two improvised live to CD-R releases from a one man band of sorts. Lots of people exploit various technologies to build a sound machine around themselves these days, and I'm always interested to hear how each individual does it. Steve Brandıs brand of solo music is multi-layered without ever quite becoming dense, yet retains a level of detail that rewards my return. These are rather quiet, intimate works, built around manipulation of simple instruments and sounds, though just what is making any particular sound is often a mystery. I like that, not knowing what a sound's source is. Is he repeating that phrase, or has it been captured by a delay?  Is that a tape I hear, or has someone opened a window?

At times I am reminded of the work of Zoviet France, mostly because of the timbres of certain sounds. I also hear a resemblance to the work of Steve Peters, another soloist who manipulates sound sources live. There doesn't seem to be any emphasis on any single aspect or sound, though the violin keeps repeating throughout "tree sap..." and various loops return occasionally. Things flow from sound to sound, are altered, faded, re-introduced. A journey in sound.

"Xibalba" starts off with what could be a loop of a bit of a recording of some primitive music, fading up and down, overdriven to dsistortion....then maybe a lion's roar or perhaps it's a detuned string being scraped... Loops mutate, fight for dominance, and quiet, as the first sound is finally revealed to be a string instrument of somekind. A sort of backwards metamorphosis. I think what I like most about these discs is their emphasis on sound rather than idea. On feeling rather than intellect, which it sometimes seems is lacking in a lot of music these days.

jeph jerman


Steve Brand/augur
5627 Granada
Roeland Park KS 66205



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