Caterina Barbieri - Fantas Variations
It's hard to look at any new release on Editions Mego without thinking of the unexpected death of label boss Peter Rehberg last month, such was his contribution to the emergence of a new avant garde. If any record is to directly follow Rehberg's passing, it does seem fitting that it be Fantas Variations. A remix album of sorts, Fantas Variations takes Barbieri's Fantas as its starting point, and invites a series of collaborations and interpretations from a range of artists from the contemporary electronic and experimental underground. And it's quite a selection of names - Kali Malone, Kara-Lis Coverdale, Bendik Giske, Lyra Pramuk, Walter Zanetti++ This is the sonic underworld Rehberg cultivated. The results are understandably varied and contrasting: drone, noise, modern composition, power electronics, and on the Evelyn Saylor opener, multi-vocal chamber song, all manifest themselves in some way. The Kali Malone contribution is an obvious head turner, but particular attention should also be given to what Bendik Giske and Kara-Lis Coverdale each do here - beautiful, textured, explorative compositions that transport Barbieri's initial vision into different worlds. It's kind of incredible how one song can spark such wide-focus creativity. The same root becomes a million different possibles. It feels like an appropriate epitaph for Rehberg. The influence, if not the body, appears unending.
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