Archive for June, 2009
Mining the vein opened by his first solo album, February (2005), and later by his very successful EP, I Looked at the Sun (2006), Jonathan Kane continues down the shores of “progressive blues” with Jet Ear Party. Kane winds and unwinds catchy loops, purging the genre of all incidentals, keeping only the essential: the telltale chiseled riff, repeated ad infinitum. A pursuit that began with his collaborations with some of New York’s most prominent minimalists, Kane’s quest travels backwards in time to the blues, the genre from which he draws his main inspiration: “Listen to Mississippi Fred McDowell, Son House, John Lee Hooker. These artists will often play pieces consisting of one droning chord and a hypnotic, repetitive riff!”
Minimalist and pop music have always been closely linked, the vocabulary of the latter coloring the austere principles of the former. Terry Riley and Philip Glass drew inspiration from jazz, just as Rhys Chatham and Glenn Branca, in their monumental symphonies for electric guitar, did from rock ‘n’ roll. Since 2005, and February, his first opus, Jonathan Kane has been revisiting the history of the blues. What could be more logical? “The blues is an intrinsically minimalist art form,” he shares. “John Lee Hooker […] often played consisted of one droning chord and a melodic, repetitive riff. Minimalism, yes?”
Exploitant la veine ouverte par February (2005), premier LP solo de Jonathan Kane (lire notre entretien), et I looked at the sun (2006), très réussi EP subséquent, Jet ear party recèle de longues plages de « blues progressif ». Kane y roule et déroule inlassablement des boucles entêtantes, expurgeant le genre de toutes ses accidents pour n’en garder que l’essentiel : le riff ciselé, exemplaire, répété ad infinitum. Une quête initiée lors de ses années passées à jouer avec les plus grands du courant minimaliste new-yorkais, mais surtout, la quête ultime du genre duquel il est issu et aux sources duquel il puise son inspiration, le blues : « Ecoute Mississippi Fred McDowell, Son House, John Lee Hooker, nous conseille-t-il. Ces artistes ne jouaient souvent que des pièces consistant en un accord bourdonnant et un riff hypnotique, répétitif ! ».
Visitation Rites is proud to present Rhys Chatham’s astrology column for experimental musicians, which draws on his experience as a composer and a meticulous analysis of the geometrical relationships between the sun and other planets in monthly astrological charts. Have fun reading the predictions for your sign, and do not be fooled by cheap imitations!