K. Freund - Hunter On The Wing
Aqueduct Ensemble/Lemon Quartet member, Keith Freund, steps out on his own with this nine track collection for erstwhile home and kindred spirits, Last Resort. The incidental compositional beauty and vaporous ambience of the Last Resort stable, of which Freund's other bands are of course a part, is a fine enough starting point for understanding Hunter On the Wing, adorned as it is by the ECM-styled etheriality central to much of their world. But it's only part of the story here. Freund draws from a simple palette - what he lists as piano, handmade electronics, tenor sax, 'couple strings' - but combines them with a devestating elegance. Said homemade electronics are both subtle and highly textured, pulling from the Mille Plateaux universe but showing very little concession to minimal techno tropes, coloured instead with jazz abstractions, found sound and modern compositional tropes that never fully ossify. A human voice ocassionally floats into view, speaking not singing, a Robert Ashley-like device that adds a little poetic guidance, a different kind of narrative impressionism. The overall results land somewhere between Sam Gendel's very modern emotion-led electronica, Ursula K. Le Guin's spiritual compositions and Mills College aesthetic adventurism. That Freund does all this without shouting for attention is testement to the art of his - and all - minimal music making.
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