Monday, April 28, 2014

Recent Press for innova Recordings

MASON BATES, STEREO IS KING

SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE
"Listeners waiting eagerly for the music of Bay Area composer Mason Bates … will find sustenance in this magnificent new compilation. … [F]rom jaunty rhythmic studies to Space Age choral music to exquisite evocations of vernacular Americana … all of it thrives on Bates’ trademark blend of inventiveness, expressive tenderness and cheeky, ebullient wit." —Joshua Kosman

CLASSICAL-MODERN MUSIC REVIEW
"Mason makes a music of our time that has his particular original voice stamped onto it. … Mason Bates has a fertile musical mind that comes through here in ways that reward the listener with something complex enough, substantial enough to keep interest level high and yet quite accessible even for those who may eschew a brasher modernism. Well done! Bravo!" —Greg Edwards

 

NILS BULTMANN, TROUBADOUR BLUE

CLASSICAL-MODERN MUSIC REVIEW
"[P]ieces that work their crafted structures into your musical mind with an artless charm that in part disguises a very artful presence. … Bultmann dwells on two plains and does so with great dexterity and even brilliance, namely the earthy folk and the high art heavens." —Greg Edwards

 

BORA YOON, SUNKEN CATHEDRAL

GAPPLEGATE CLASSICAL-MODERN MUSIC REVIEW
“[H]er vocalisms [are] sometimes wordless, mostly rhapsodic, and sensual in their attention to sonic universes. … At the end all flows together in segment-after-segment, leaving one with the feeling of having journeyed to a place, a space that is rather special, both performative and landscaped inside and out. It has the quality of the universally personal, which in fact is what Bora Yoon offers to us in this suite of pieces. There is a poetry here of the celebration of existing within the emotion and experiential ups and downs of a life today. Somehow Ms. Yoon conveys that to us in this collection of works. You are left with an impression, the presence of a sound-artist composer with her own sensibilities, creating sometimes fragile, luminous assemblages, sometimes sound worlds girdered about with a more solid framework.” —Greg Edwards

 

MICHAEL HERSCH, IMAGES FROM A CLOSED WARD

GAPPLEGATE CLASSICAL-MODERN MUSIC REVIEW
"[W]renchingly sad in corresponding ways to the bleak imagery Mazur so movingly puts before us. Tempos are mostly quite slow, dirge-like at times. There are strident assertions well beyond perceived tonality and there are quieter, more tender, regretful and a bit more tonal landscapes, both ends capturing the shifting moods of the inmates and Mazur’s portrayals. … This is extraordinarily expressive High Modern music, perhaps something like Morton Feldman on an overdose of Belladonna. … It is masterful music and the Blair Quartet tackle the extremes of expression with excellent artistry. Surely this is some of the darkest string quartet music to be found. Nevertheless the kind of transcendence that well-composed music contains makes it not just bearable, but rather extraordinary, a music filled with humane compassion as well as despair. … Michael Hersch is a phenomena." —Greg Edwards

WINE & POP
"Images … finds ways of using a sparse texture to open up an extremely dissonant aural vocabulary as a means to let us inhabit this space in a meaningful way. Even melodies exist in this world, like small bits of coherent thought wedged between paranoid repetitions of the base material. It’s music for people and I find myself being drawn into its language more and more after every listening. … This music stands very much on its own and I hope that Mr. Hersch can provide us with more human experience moving forward." —Ron Karahoda

STICKING IT TO YOU
"An exercise in total logic and success … The dark images of this ward poured out from beginning to end! … So good!" —Collin J. Rae

 

XENIA PESTOVA, SHADOW PIANO

CHICAGO READER
"[A] terrific album of dark, probing music …  [J]agged, glassy toy-piano flurries are awash in nightmarish refractions of synthesized and sampled sonic abstractions. Hold tight." —Peter Margasak

CLASSICAL-MODERN MUSIC REVIEW
“Xenia Pestova has the sense of adventure, sensitivity to the techniques and stylistic particularities of high modernism and the poetic soul to bring this music to fruition in the best ways. … [T]he entire program flows together as one unified statement. Every composer comes through with an important and interesting contribution. … This is one of the most integral and rewarding programs of new music for keys and electronics I have heard. It will affirm the centrality of the colored abstractions of high modern music today for all who have ears to hear it. Highly recommended.” —Greg Edwards

TEXTURA
"[A]n uncompromising artist resolutely committed to bringing the music of living composers to life. … Pestova impresses as a model of poise and control in never being derailed by the activity happening around her. … [A] thoroughly credible collection for those whose taste runs to contemporary piano-based composition."

MONSIEUR DELIRE
"[B]eautiful stuff. … The final two [pieces] on the album … show intelligence, a strong integration of electroacoustics, and real performance sensitivity." —François Couture

PSYCHEFOLK
"Xenia Pestova is capable of showing us that piano music also has a third dimension … an extremely good and fresh presentation of how piano music and playing could be." —Gerald Van Waes

HIS VOICE
"[The pieces] enable [Pestova] to hold the piano as unpredictable field of mystery, transformations, confusions, moods, research, secrets and atmospheric twists. … This debut has confirmed that she is indeed one of the leading performers of contemporary nonconformist music." —Zdeněk Slabý

 

CHRIS CAMPBELL, THINGS YOU ALREADY KNOW

MONSIEUR DELIRE
"[Things You Already Know] is a delicate, almost ambient affair, but individual tracks can be quite energetic and busy. Campbell is both bold and thoughtful, and in my book, that is the highest form of wisdom." —Francois Couture

 

RADIO K
"[C]athartic and gorgeous … [T]ruly a mesmerizing listen." —Courtney

 

STICKING IT TO YOU
"I’ve been watching Chris develop his work over the past few years and this album feels like the one that changes everything. A 2014 essential." —Collin J. Rae

MIDWEST RECORD
"Take some classical cats, mix them up with some alt.kids, give them real instruments as well as found instruments and let the good times roll. … Perhaps nu space rock for the new generation, this is a really out there set that is more a fantasy land for your head than music for your mind." —Chris Spector

TEXTURA
"[O]ne should come to [Things You Already Know] ready to be surprised. … "Water Variations” includes passages that suggest a junkyard hoedown, an Asian improv from centuries ago, and a woozy nightmare of sickly convulsions. … no one can accuse Campbell of playing it safe."

NEW MUSIC BOX
"A tour through the composer’s aural memory palace, several doors left temptingly unlocked and the drawers open for ready snooping. … [A] rewarding journey—-particularly Water Variations, with its exotic string instrument collection. Campbell himself sits at the piano at key points offering reflective commentary until the listener is beckoned to peek behind the next swaying curtain." —Molly Sheridan

NEW YORK TIMES
"The composer and multi-instrumentalist Christopher Campbell drives deep into post-genre territory on his third album for the vital Innova label. … “Things You Already Know” deploys a flexible band of art-rock players and orchestral musicians in a heady suite for strings, guitars, keyboards, drums, homemade instruments and voices, in which elements of post-Minimalism, avant-garde rock, jazz and global-fusion styles mingle and merge with dreamlike mutability." —Steve Smith

ICON
"[Things You Already Know] works in a manner both grand and organically crafty, like the scams in American Hustle. … Aspects of Glass/Reich-like minimalism, baroque-ish finery, judicious dissonance, cavernous drones, and pop music melodrama (I’m almost certain CC “quotes” from Lou Reed’s “Perfect Day”)—it’s all here in a candy-colored kaleidoscope that feels as natural as a sunny day walk through an eclectic neighborhood, where everyone’s got their window open and music up loud, and it all seems to magically come together." —Mark Keresman

SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER
"A hard-to-describe hybrid of post-minimalist classical, new-new age, and electro-acoustic, Things You Already Know also incorporates things you didn’t know could make such interesting music. … Be ready to land in uncharted musical territory, where it’s best to just take it all in. The tumultuous ‘Lord Byron’ combines dissonance and displacement with a surprising sweep of neo-Romanticism, along with touches of psychedelia that reminded me of some chaotic notes from The Beatles’ ‘A Day in the Life.’ … It may take more than one listen, but those who enjoy a little challenge in their music (and I do), should find Things You Already Know worth the effort." —Lidia de Leon

TERAPIJA
“[C]haotic, youthful, wacky, a little crazy, and in the spirit of the avant-garde. … The album is quite unusual for innova Recordings, which emphasizes the modern classical music of American artists, and this guy is even much bolder.” [FULL ARTICLE in Croatian]

JEREMY BECK, STRING QUARTETS

KATHODIK
“It is often said that in string quartets, composers are able to explore the world of their most intimate feelings, their most hidden desires and thoughts. It’s not difficult to include Jeremy Beck in that, given his natural tendency to write music that is never excessive in presentation or bombastic in style. This CD from Innova, which contains four quartets composed by Beck between 1987 and 2006, splendidly performed by the Da Kappo String Quartet, proves much more than expected, adding the pleasant discovery of Beck’s particular affinity for the resonant articulation of the bow, from which he supports and amplifies its intrinsic potential, designing a weave that carries the four instruments at times to unite in vigorous unison, and at other times to open up into elegant and polyphonic arabesques.

"Another quality is the notable clarity and economy of the writing, even if it is the richness of details that, at the same time, are more easily appreciated. His talent is evident in all four quartets, but, it seems to me, the result is better in the second and fifth quartets, when Beck moderates the sometimes-excessive use of chromaticism, throwing a clear light on the nobility of the themes and on the rhythmic exuberance of the fast sections, with typically American straightforwardness/sincerity that is finally freed in all its expressive potential.” —Filippo Focosi (in translation)

AUDIOPHILE AUDITION
“…I found a lot to admire in these well-crafted pieces. They’re beautifully written for the four strings, and the players of three different ensembles—widely separated as to geography—seem to be equally moved by what Beck has given them to work with.” —Lee Passarella

 

JOSEPH KLEIN, IMPROBABLE ENCOUNTERS

GAPPLEGATE CLASSICAL-MODERN MUSIC REVIEW
"Joseph Klein gives us the accumulated creativity of 30 years worth of works in his near-retrospective Improbable Encounters. … ‘Pathways, Interior Shadows’ for its 21 minutes of modernist drama and vivid soundscaping is particularly worth hearing in its own right. … a good impression of a composer who does not stand still but is ever moving forward. Bravo." —Greg Edwards

MIDWEST RECORD
"Here’s a special treat for the avant garde, contemporary classical fan. This CD-DVD combo set is a career retrospective of Klein, reaching back 30 years turning this into an audio catalog d’etre. Mainstream pop for people you just don’t get, this stuff is pretty out there." —Chris Spector

TERAPIJA
"There are no particular laws which [Klein’s] compositional path follows…. [B]esides the apparent range of orchestrations (trombone, flutes) are incorporated such handy devices as rubber hoses, balloons, chains, hammers, plastic buckets, and various music boxes, from which are produced an atypical ‘classical’ sound—the kind once known to be used by [German industrial band] Einsturzende Neubauten during the 80s.  In any case, it is very interesting music that defies the classical and modern principles, and is closely associated with the electroacoustic and experimental scene, as well as a large part of the noise avant-garde.  Recommended for unusual music lovers and those seeking new challenges."

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Recent Press for innova Recordings

ZILZAL, FANOUS & HWANG

CRITICAL JAZZ
"The flamenco and classical guitar roots of Fanous are paired perfectly with the evocative flights of fancy demonstrated by Hwang … Zilzal is built on passion both to the extreme and to the minimalist perspective … to venture into the cultural extremes as exhibited within Zilzal and make the music accessible to a broad based audience is simply amazing." [FULL ARTICLE]
—Brent Black

BLOGCRITICS
"If [this music] is beautiful, it is the beauty of awe. At times it is wistful, at times wildly screeching. At times the musicians complement each other, at times they seem to be at war. At times one steps front and center, at times the other. This is … music that is on the edge of the future. It is music that needs to be heard and explored." [FULL ARTICLE]
—Jack Goodstein

SALAMANDER, PETER KERLIN OCTET

ALL ABOUT JAZZ
"Kerlin’s unique and enlivening compositions honor the modern jazz and nouveau chamber strata. … [T]he musicians articulate numerous viewpoints, enhanced by a little roughhousing in spots. The strings section closes it out with a gruff and steely imprint. Moreover, the band transcends a softly woven melody into an ostinato motif that seemingly comes out of nowhere, signifying one of many subtle surprises on this irrefutably persuasive offering." [FULL ARTICLE]
—Glenn Astarita

CRITICAL JAZZ
"How about chamber jazz with an ambient funk edge? Wrap your brain around that. … Peter Kerlin is a formidable instrumentalist and a composer with unlimited potential. The assembled octet performs like a well oiled machine and adds a vibrant edge to some of the most free thinking improvisational music of the year. A great ride!" [FULL ARTICLE]
—Brent Black

SIX BRANDENBURG FANTASIAS, LAWRENCE AXELROD

MUSICWEB INTERNATIONAL
"Axelrod … achieves his goal of developing the possibilities inherent in Bach’s instrumental challenges to come up with a colourfully orchestrated cycle that does not contain a dull moment. … [E]asily approachable to audiences attuned to Axelrod’s contemporaries like Jennifer Higdon, Ned Rorem and Richard Danielpour." [FULL ARTICLE]
—Byzantion

MONSIEUR DELIRE
"Modern-sounding, these pieces cleverly explore contemporary textures and dissonnances, while maintaining a relationship with Bach’s musical forms. “Fantasias” 5 and 6 are especially lively, frantic even. The approach (not the result) reminds me of some of Koji Asano’s chamber works -– this intent to confound eras without resorting to imitation." [FULL ARTICLE]
—Francois Couture

HIGH ART, THE LIVING EARTH SHOW

ATTN: MAGAZINE
"[A]n elephantine ballet; a precise alternation between hesitation (stifled percussion, muted muscle contraction) and luxurious release – a to-and-fro of sonic glottal stops and soft decays, feeding taut potential into outward release as levitating vibraphones become open guitar strums and hi-hat exhales. Each instrument feels as though it’s straining against a length of rope, poised in constellations of sporadic low note thumbs and notes that hang in the ether unclaimed, waiting for equilibrium to sweep down and take them. … [E]ach composition is the result of [guitar and percussion] working in parallel and counter-balance: guitar swirls upward to blanket the negative space left by the decay of chiming cymbal, while those triumphant pops of major key and bass drum radiate with the reactive glow of mutual thought. … Even when ‘Repetitive Stress’ inverts the image completely (crumpled dissonance and stumbling rhythms, like a Dillinger Escape Plan held together with masking tape), the warmth of symbiosis is there to cradle the rust and boisterous heavy metal worship, maintaining a straight line of continuity through the album’s zigzag of constant contrast." [FULL ARTICLE]
—Jack Chuter

THINGS YOU ALREADY KNOW, CHRIS CAMPBELL

NEW SOUNDS (WNYC)
"A brilliant album. Much of it seems to have the same interest in repetition and development or apparent repetition and development that we find in the music of Philip Glass.  Campbell has put together a fine ensemble and there’s brilliant use of tone color on this record."
—John Schaefer

SHADOW PIANO, XENIA PESTOVA

CHICAGO READER
"[A] terrific album of dark, probing music …  [J]agged, glassy toy-piano flurries are awash in nightmarish refractions of synthesized and sampled sonic abstractions. Hold tight." [FULL ARTICLE]
—Peter Margasak

TEXTURA
"[A]n uncompromising artist resolutely committed to bringing the music of living composers to life. … Pestova impresses as a model of poise and control in never being derailed by the activity happening around her. … [A] thoroughly credible collection for those whose taste runs to contemporary piano-based composition." [FULL ARTICLE]

MONSIEUR DELIRE
"[B]eautiful stuff. … The final two [pieces] on the album … show intelligence, a strong integration of electroacoustics, and real performance sensitivity." [FULL ARTICLE]
—François Couture

PSYCHEFOLK
"Xenia Pestova is capable of showing us that piano music also has a third dimension … an extremely good and fresh presentation of how piano music and playing could be." [FULL ARTICLE]
—Gerald Van Waes

HIS VOICE
"[The pieces] enable [Pestova] to hold the piano as unpredictable field of mystery, transformations, confusions, moods, research, secrets and atmospheric twists. … This debut has confirmed that she is indeed one of the leading performers of contemporary nonconformist music." [FULL ARTICLE — In Czech]
—Zdeněk Slabý

WALKING, VIV CORRINGHAM

TEXTURA
"[L]ess a recording of music than a polyphonic mosaic. … The fifty-minute recording makes for a fascinating travelogue [and] it inarguably offers a rich feast for the ears." [FULL ARTICLE]

AUDIOPHILE AUDITION
"[E]xtremely fascinating. … [A]n unusual audio exploration of environments and stories." [FULL ARTICLE]
—John Sunier

STRING QUARTETS, JEREMY BECK

SFGATE
“… appealing and skillfully crafted … Beck writes in lush tonal harmonies … novelty isn’t the only thing music can provide, and the moody expressiveness of Beck’s writing is its own reward.” [FULL ARTICLE]
—Joshua Kosman

GRAMOPHONE
“… forceful and expressive. … [Beck’s] writing is concise in structure and generous in tonal language, savouring both the dramatic and the poetic. … [T]he Second Quartet … is a striking and intensely felt work.” [FULL ARTICLE]
—Donald Rosenberg

AMERICAN RECORD GUIDE
"Beck writes graciously and warmly for the string consort, and his quartets will likely appeal to most music lovers[.] … Quartet 4, in four well-contrasted movements, is the most melodic of the batch, with a soaring second theme in the opening allegro and a quite nice finale—a sort of valedictory prayer[.] … All the musicians do play with endearing and communicative involvement in Beck’s music."
—Mark Lehman

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Recent Press for innova Recordings

PRESS

Andrew McPherson, Secrets of Antikythera

MUSICWEB INTERNATIONAL

"Intensity and density of notes does not take away from the approachability of [‘Kinematics’], with its sense of cadence and Paganini-like virtuosity. … The magnetic resonator piano is a hybrid acoustic-electronic instrument which extends the possibilities of the traditional grand piano … [T]he results are rich, strange and revolutionary indeed. With the opening of [‘Secrets of Antikythera’], the mechanical resonator piano emerges as a solo instrument in its own right, and the enigmatic tones and strangeness of its sonorities are well suited to the imaginative worlds generated by a unique object isolated by time, abandonment and loss. … Secrets of Antikythera is a superbly engineered and fascinating disc, and pianists, composers and the public should all be aware of this remarkable new development in the potential of the piano." [FULL ARTICLE]

Dominy Clements


Mary Ellen Childs, Wreck

MUSICWEB INTERNATIONAL

"[U]ndoubtedly very fine dance music, and the drums and driving energy at the opening and further on make for something which lends itself perfectly to dynamic movement. … The upward glissandi of The Box make for an intriguingly disturbing experience which perhaps harks back to the drowning of Wozzeck. … My favourite moments are the infinite soundscapes of the final The Abyss, and in particular the tintinnabulations of Spirit Duet." [FULL ARTICLE]
Dominy Clements


Minneapolis Guitar Quartet, Thrum

MUSICWEB INTERNATIONAL

"[T]he combination of the mellifluous and nail-hard, of resonance and striking impact a guitar quartet can have is something a bit special. The Minneapolis Guitar Quartet … is exactly the kind of crack ensemble you want performing contemporary repertoire. … Daniel Bernard Roumain’s Ghetto Strings is sharp and unsentimental, with groovy jazz/rock accents in the opening Harlem, some gorgeously nuanced quasi-minimalist dreaming … a highly enjoyable masterpiece. ‘Cinema Castaneda’ … takes us deeper into the sonic variety of the ensemble than any of the others, layering dynamics and playing with effects in ways which alter our perspectives and genuinely create a valuable and cinematic journey." [FULL ARTICLE]

Dominy Clements


Barry Schrader, The Barnum Museum

CHAIN DLK

"Schrader’s piece de resistance in this strange menagerie is the phantasmagorical 16+ minute ‘Chamber of False Things.’ … Whatever there was previously, there is even more of it in here. The minor three chord theme from the beginning is reprised; there is more descent and opening into vast space; toots of a calliope; dark and ominous drones; a march-like percussive section on hollow wood; glittering fairy dust falling from above; more swirling arpeggios, culminating in a crescendo of the great pipe organ again. Awesome! … Words fail in these descriptions as this is something that you just have to hear. … I’m giving this album five stars not only because I because I think that it’s an amazing work, but also because it’s intriguing to enough to warrant multiple plays, and I don’t see how it could be any better." [FULL ARTICLE]

Steve Mecca


Misfit Toys, Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?

ICON

"Misfit Toys … mixes affection with cheerful derision; wry invention applied to corniness, and a genuine desire to reinvent the familiar in zany but substantial ways. … Those missing the inspired (both musically and comedically) vistas of Zappa should sip at this trough posthaste."

Mark Keresman


Erdem Helvacioglu, Planet X

FANFARE MAGAZINE

"Planet X is an extraordinarily inventive and fascinating album of essentially electronic music, and I can recommend it highly on its musical content alone."

Lynne Rene Bayley


Billband, Towards Daybreak

AUDIOPHILE AUDITION

"[A] very rewarding glimpse into Ryan’s style and capabilities as a composer. … Ryan illustrates his creativity and flexibility in scoring for diverse instruments. The tinkling piano and crystalline texture of the aptly titled ‘Sparkle’ is a perfect example; the soprano sax solo that creeps in adds to the mysterious beauty. … I recommend this highly and cannot wait to hear more from Bill Ryan!" [FULL ARTICLE]

Daniel Coombs


Chris Campbell & Grant Cutler, Schooldays Over

AUDIOPHILE AUDITION

"[W]hat the heck are ‘balloon bassoons’?" [FULL ARTICLE]

John Henry


STICKING IT TO YOU

"Wonderful and bittersweet somehow. Perfect balance of tone, melody and ambient feel." [FULL ARTICLE]

Collin Rae


Jeri-Mae Astolfi, Here (and there)

SEAMUS NEWSLETTER

"Astolfi … plays with a buoyant touch and a delicacy throughout the album whether the work is understated pointillism or a microtonal finger-jammer … [T]here’s an unparalleled exuberance waiting below the controlled surface of most of these works. … Astolfi’s playing glows and is filled with warmth … the rhythmic interplay and dialogic relationships reveal both Martin’s fast-moving imagination and Astolfi’s prowess."

Tom Dempster

Friday, August 30, 2013

Get ready for Stephanie Blythe’s versions of these classics on innova

(Source: Spotify)

Monday, July 22, 2013

Recent Press for Innova Recordings

Andrew Rindfleisch, In the Zone

CLEVELAND PLAIN DEALER

“Stocked with diverse new works for brass combos, the brief but effective disc presents welcome additions to the repertoire. … [A] pure, nearly dissonance-free pleasure. Grade: A” [FULL ARTICLE]

—Zachary Lewis

Minneapolis Guitar Quartet, Thrum

POP MATTERS

“[M]elodically memorable and contains just the slightest hint of fire. The title suite … glows with the thematic gifts of a contemporary classical style in search of a new expression while never forgetting the old ways.  Thrum is a delightfully mysterious product from a group that really knows how to pull the right commissioning strings.” [FULL ARTICLE]

—John Garratt

GAPPLEGATE CLASSICAL-MODERN MUSIC REVIEW

“[The Minneapolis Guitar Quartet] are masters at forming a cohesive ensemble sound and bringing out sound-colors of a broad range. May they long thrive, and may they continue to attract and discover contemporary compositions that do them the full justice that these works do.” [FULL ARTICLE]

Greg Edwards

Ken Field, Sensorium

GAPPLEGATE CLASSICAL-MODERN MUSIC REVIEW

“[P]omo anything-goes music … works that dazzle in their musicality. … The sheer variety of what comes keeps the listener interested.” [FULL ARTICLE]
Greg Edwards

Jeri-Mae G. Astolfi, Here and there

MUSICWEB INTERNATIONAL

"[Here (and there)] celebrates music … that is far from the furrowed brow of modernity. In ‘Swirling Sky,’ Ed Martin evokes the adventures that follow the shapes and curls of clouds and how the eye … conjures up these visitants, variously clement, active, gaunt, and excitingly driving. This imaginative piece of sky colour and motion makes a real mark on the aural imagination. … Astolfi’s championing of these works is laudable." [FULL ARTICLE]

Jonathan Woolf

 

Guy Klucevsek, The Multiple Personality Reunion Tour

CRITICAL JAZZ

"[T]he seriousness and incredible level of proficiency displayed here will make you forget every unfair stereotype [about] Polka music in general and the accordion in particular! … Klucevsek has an improvisational skill that is off the charts and certainly comparable to any of the other improvisational wizards working the industry today. Klucevsek is not simply playing the notes as they occur but is thinking notes and measures ahead and journeys into a more open ended flight of fancy. … This is a jazz collective in the truest sense of the word and one of those special recordings that trashes stereotypes while cutting a new and exciting lyrical path for others to follow. Guy Klucevsek may well be the Joe Satriani of the Slovenian/Polka world!" [FULL ARTICLE]

Brent Black

Justin Rubin, A Waltz Through the Vapor

GAPPLEGATE CLASSICAL-MODERN MUSIC REVIEW

“[Matthew McCright] gives dramatic, poetic life to the … piano solo pieces included. The performances … are warm, impassioned but also precise and detailed. [A] program of well-paced chamber music that has density and drama, that has memorable content.” [FULL ARTICLE]
Greg Edwards

Jason Kao Hwang, Burning Bridge

CRITICAL JAZZ

"Burning Bridge is an incredibly personal journey that transcends the traditional review by becoming a complete experience for the critic and for the average listener. A truly stunning release of intimate beauty and simplicity." [FULL ARTICLE]

Brent Black

Michael Hersch, The Sudden Pianist

GAPPLEGATE CLASSICAL-MODERN MUSIC REVIEW

“The music is masterful, very modern, filled with extraordinarily difficult passages of expanded tonal-atonal virtuosity. Crumb-meets-Messiaen-meets-Cecil Taylor? A “Concord Sonata” for today? [T]his is quite original, fascinating, brilliant music. … The “Suite from the Vanishing Pavilions” most certainly qualifies as one of the essential piano works of this century thus far. It has spaciousness, poetic pacing, and real musical dash. Michael Hersch has the tools and the imagination to be one of the leading lights of modern music.” [FULL ARTICLE]

Greg Edwards

 

 

Thursday, May 23, 2013

The Innova Sessions. 1: New Music on the Radio

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Here’s a playlist of innova artists who have won McKnight Composer Fellowships from the American Composers Forum over the years

(Source: Spotify)

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Recent Press for Innova Recordings

PRESS

Kurt Rohde, ONE

AUDIOPHILE AUDITION
“This music is cold and crisp as a glacier morning … Rohde’s wonderful use of sound in all of the movements that grabbed my ear and imagination.” [FULL ARTICLE]
Darren Robinson

Alexander Berne, Self Referentials, Vol. 1 + 2

WQXR
Self Referentials is a profoundly enigmatic listening experience. It doesn’t make the kind of sense that we may have come to expect from a piece of music. It isn’t an argument or a story; it doesn’t come to a point. It isn’t about themes or climaxes. At the same time, it’s too seductive to the ear to pass as furniture-music, and it’s too rich to serve as some austere meditation. What it is, is a trip: it’s a journey, taken through a pair of headphones, into an unfamiliar land.” [FULL ARTICLE]
Daniel Stephen Johnson

ROOTSWORLD
“From the insectile coterie of “Far Afield Recording” and warped distortions of “Pulsationism (The Long Tick)” to the three-part “Sonum Onscurum: Headphonic Apparitions,” we find ourselves in a landscape at once industrial and verdant. Shawm-like undulations trade places with plucked strings and siren calls in a flowing admixture of whispering rhythms and inward, organ(ic) washes. Like a window covered by Venetian blinds, all that falls between stripes the ears with light and shadow. … In this industrial fever dream, hazed by thinnest cloud in moonlight, we feel the sinews that have so far eluded us flex to the point of ambulation. … [A] mesmerizing and unforgettable cabinet of sonic curios, a search that needs nothing to be sought. The only journey it harbors begins when you take the first step.” [FULL ARTICLE]
Tyran Grillo

Jason Kao Hwang, Burning Bridge

MONSIEUR DELIRE
“Hwang’s writing is lively and nuanced, and the whole thing works marvelously well.” [FULL ARTICLE]
Francois Couture

Nick Brooke, Border Towns

CLASSICAL MODERN MUSIC REVIEW
“[Border Towns] becomes most remarkable when the fragments blend together to create new music altogether, where you no longer hear the snippets as fragments, but as a whole, unified work that proceeds from A to B like a conventionally composed piece. It’s remarkable music.” [FULL ARTICLE]
Greg Edwards

Billband, Towards Daybreak

HUFFINGTON POST
“[R]eally outstanding; from … exquisite writing, to the production and the top notch performances, this is a wonderful new recording from the inimitable Billband. While many composers in this genre rely on the seductive rhythmic or modal qualities imported from pop music and minimalism for their allure, [Towards Daybreak] instead relies on a mastery of form and proportion.” [FULL ARTICLE]
Kurt Ellenberger

LUCID CULTURE
“Terse, elegant motifs shift shape and move between constantly changing combinations of woodwinds and strings, usually pensive, often somber and occasionally building to moments of sheer horror. … That Ryan never lets the music become mawkish or sentimental is its strongest suit: subtlety and grace triumph despite all odds.” [FULL ARTICLE]

MONSIEUR DELIRE
“Bill Ryan is slow to release – his last album goes back several years – but if he has to take his time to come up with gems like Towards Daybreak, so be it. … [A]n easy listen that takes hold of your emotions, without overdoing anything, without playing it too sweet. It’s a masterpiece.” [FULL ARTICLE]
Francois Couture

SEQUENZA 21
“[A] fine example of a post-minimalist/alt-classical chamber ensemble. … [D]irect and clear musical ideas well-paced and orchestrated for his mixture of performers. Even in his more driving works, Ryan has a delicate hand at orchestrating his ideas. Each instrument has not only its own musical space but also serves a vital role in creating a single ensemble sound.” [FULL ARTICLE]
Jay Batzner

Jeri-Mae G. Astolfi, Here (and there)

MODISTI
“[Q]uite melodic and vivid … Great work, great execution.” [FULL ARTICLE]

David T. Little, Soldier Songs (reviews of show)

NEW YORK MAGAZINE
"…sharp, elegantly bristling music…"
—Justin Davidson

STAGE AND CINEMA
“…a remarkable piece of work with a strong point of view…”
Cindy Pierre

TIME OUT NEW YORK
“… starkly eloquent … Soldier Songs deals in realities that defy representation.”
Marion Lignana Rosenberg

VILLAGE VOICE
“The rare show to warrant adjectives like wrenching and harrowing…this is powerful work…”
Alan Scherstuhl

NEW YORK TIMES
“…further evidence of Mr. Little’s fast-rising stock as a vital theatrical creator.”
Steve Smith

STAR LEDGER
“Characteristically hard-hitting, Little’s score gives voice to the release of aggression, all-encompassing terror, grief and incomprehension. Rock influences meld with jarring jagged lines (expertly handled by Newspeak under conductor Todd Reynolds) and ominous atmospheric effects.”
Ronni Reich
 
MUSICAL AMERICA
“One might have expected some sort of stylistic hybrid, but Little’s music falls comfortably within the modern-day ‘classical’ idiom, his allusions to pop adding rhythmic verve and melodic appeal. … Little knows how to set words.”
George Loomis

WALL STREET JOURNAL
“[Soldier Songs] has a rock-infused rhythmic vitality and melodic inventiveness that keep the audience perpetually off-balance…”
Heidi Waleson

Friday, October 12, 2012

In the mood for some Zeitgeist?

(Source: Spotify)

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Recent Reviews for innova releases (10.9.12)

PRESS

Yvonne Troxler, Brouhaha

CLASSICAL-MODERN MUSIC REVIEW

“Troxler shows eloquence, memorability and inspired craftsmanship in this round of chamber works. Ant Farm is a superior performance vehicle that excels is realizing the music. That’s a terrific combination and this album brings lots of pleasure!” [FULL ARTICLE]
Greg Edwards

Andrew Violette, Sonatas for Cello and Clarinet

CLASSICAL-MODERN MUSIC REVIEW

“Andrew Violette didn’t make a pact with the devil before he produced his Sonatas for Cello and Clarinet, but he may have engaged in some extra-spiritual scrimmaging on the astral plane with Ives, Messiaen and Hindemith before he penned the sonatas. … [The music] is filled with a very individual quality, and has a presence and melodic dynamic that is unforgettable. [FULL ARTICLE]
Greg Edwards

Paul Sperry, Open House

MONSIEUR DELIRE

“In both cycles, Sperry delivers a near-perfect performance.” [FULL ARTICLE]
Francois Couture

John Yao, In The Now

JAZZ INSIDE

“John Yao stands out on his memorable In the Now. … ‘Shorter Days’ is moody and dusky, suggesting the shorter days of autumn and winter. … [In The Now] must be accepted on its own terms and may take several listens before the listener can adequately appreciate what Yao has to offer. But In the Now is well worth the effort, and Yao’s blend of the inside and the outside ultimately yields considerable rewards.”
Alex Henderson

David Kechley, Colliding Objects

ATTN: MAGAZINE
“Kechley seems to be bypassing the notions of what percussion could be to focus on what percussion is: it’s an impact, a duration, a decay, an anticipation, a presence, an absence, an exertion, an action. …
Colliding Objects is separated into five sections, predominantly focused on percussion and rhythm but bleeding outward to explore melody and melodic instruments. What becomes beautifully apparent in the collection’s latter sections is Kechley’s distinctive approach to melody; while rhythm always maintains central focus via its dramatic turns of pace and duration, melody is threaded gorgeously through each beat, with his expert handling of the highs and lows turning those thuds and long instrumental sighs into a captivating assortment of steps and slopes.” [FULL ARTICLE]

Jack Chuter

Barry Schrader, The Barnum Museum

BABY SUE
“[L]ike the soundtrack to a bizarre science fiction film. Schrader seems to be driven by the pure desire to create … never letting boundaries get in the way of his boundless creative expression. Plenty of cool sounds here that would make Wendy Carlos proud. … His music is always spellbinding and unique. A wild mental audio ride.” [
FULL ARTICLE]

Don W. Seven

Mobtown Modern Big Band, The Re-(W)rite of Spring

CULTURE CATCH
“[R]ecalls the dense harmonies and thick textures of Bill Holman, though the shimmering introduction to the second section, ‘The Sacrifice,’ instead conjures thoughts of Gil Evans. … [A] very worthwhile pickup for jazz fans in the mood for something different.” [
FULL ARTICLE]

Steve Holtje

Cornelius Duffalo, Journaling

TEXTURA
“[A]n excellent record of both the violinist’s artistry and an overview of the work of eight living composers. … [T]he recording confirms Dufallo’s virtuoso status and also shows how skillfully he incorporates electronics so as to enhance the textural richness of his playing, but Journaling captures him using that formidable technique in deferential manner to bring his chosen composers’ works to life.” [
FULL ARTICLE]

Philip Blackburn, Ghostly Psalms

GRAMOPHONE

“[The] trippy, occasionally apocalyptic [Ghostly Psalms] knocks reality sideways. Intimate vocal soliloquies wrestle free from walls of sustained choral and string drones that morph and change with the (anti)logic of a dream’s unruly narrative.”
Philip Clark

John Yao, In The Now

ALL ABOUT JAZZ ITALIA

“… the fifty minutes of In the Now [are] held together by a remarkable communicative power that reveals a great sense of form, dynamic balance, tonal variety, ease of performance. The quintet, guided with confidence by the young trombone player, moves confidently through the potential pitfalls of an often complex and layered piece which the leader’s skill in arrangement transforms into flowing, delightful music.”

Vincenzo Roggero