RADIAN + HOWE GELB: Radian vs Howe Gelb LP/CD Radian Releases
I have to confess, that I haven’t encountered this Viennese trio before, neither Americana/Country vocalist Howe Gelb; so I don’t really have anything to backtrack on to see how this collaboration fairs in comparison to previous works.
As open minded as I am then I approached this unsure as what to expect; with the danger that musically this might not be exactly up my street, regardless of the compositional qualities of the artists themselves.
‘Saturated’ opens up the proceedings with a subtle jazz track that plays with obscure vocals and warm tympani; and is coupled with the delayed effects of ‘Saturated Beyond’, infusing brief electronics into the mix.
‘From Birth to Mortician’ is an intriguing amalgamation where feedback is allowed to flow through the speakers; and the stop/start nature of improvisation is cut short in brief interludes of corporate rock. Peculiar and unnerving, things carry on in much the same manner up until midway through ‘The Constant Pitch and Sway’ where the evolution is reminiscent of Iggy Pop.
This ‘vs’ release is an oddity that I am sure there is a market for. Personally speaking, this isn’t for me in any sense of the word, but I do appreciate what has been achieved here; right up to the bastardised and desperate cover of ‘Moon River’ that ends the show.